Six tips to boost conversion rates and increase sales

By September 2, 2012 Marketing, Sales One Comment

Using psychology in online marketing

What I want to cover today is how you can use age-old psychological triggers in your online marketing that will help you increase your conversion rates, lower buyer resistance and enhance your user’s experience when they visit your website. I have six tips for you here but if you want to understand more on this subject then I’d encourage you to read one of the best books written on this subject: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, By Robert Cialdini.

1. Emotionally connect

I know it’s kind of obvious but we are emotional creatures and all of us make our decisions based on emotion. It’s not just a female trait! Interestingly, logic is used, but only after the fact – to justify the choices we have already made (emotionally).

Effective online marketing therefore needs to capitalise on this and appeal to our feelings as oppose to our thoughts. So when you are marketing online, use this principle when promoting products, services or offers on your website, or in your campaigns and watch your conversions rocket. When writing copy make it stir something deep inside the reader and talk to one person at a time. Make them feel a connection with you and be specific, not vague or wishy washy. Emphasize how the product will make the buyer feel during or after use, or how it will remove an existing pain and get them to use their imagination.

2. Increase perceived value

We all know that value is not the same as price. If your offering is not seen as delivering more value to the end user than the price asked for, then no one will buy. So when marketing online, you need to ensure that the perceived value far outweighs the perceived cost.

You can increase value by lowering the price, but you can also get the same effect by:

  • Explaining the outcomes that the user will get more clearly, and exactly what it will mean for the buyer.
  • Comparing the product to other solutions (in a favourable way).
  • Including free ‘premiums’ or bonuses.
  • Improving your product.
  • Outlining all the negative consequences of not purchasing.

3. Appeal to self-interest – WIIFM

As harsh as it may sound we’re all motivated by the what’s in it for me (WIIFM) factor.  When someone tries to sell us something, most of the time our first thought is, ‘how will this product or service help me?’  So with this in mind make use of the psychological principle when marketing online or pitching. Ensure that your offering directly tells the buyer how it will help them. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using ‘you’ in your sales copy as oppose to more impersonal language. Here’s an example. Would you be more inclined to purchase an eBook about people who have managed to lose weight, or would you rather purchase one that tells you how to do it yourself? More than likely you would buy the eBook that is going to help you, rather than the one that simply recounts the experiences of others.

4. Solve problems and sell solutions

Don’t concentrate on selling the features of your product or service. Instead focus on selling the benefits. To do this identify the problems your buyer has and then demonstrate how you product or service solves those problems.

For example, if you are selling an eBook about gaining weight, then the main audience are clearly people who have a weight problem. Tell the customer how your eBook will solve that problem, and remember to invoke an emotional response in doing so (for example – ‘imagine how much more confidence your will have when you have lost your weight.’)

5. Be believable

There are only three reasons why people don’t buy from you.

  • They don’t want what you’re selling.
  • They don’t trust what you are saying.
  • They don’t understand what your offering.

I can’t stress it enough – trustworthiness, and credibility are extremely important especially online, where the barrier to entry for sellers are so low. These days’ people are also concerned with online security and fraud, or paying for a product online only for it never to arrive. Therefore, you need to do everything possible to boost your credibility in the eyes of your visitors and customers. Here are a few tips:

  • Emphasize that your customers are safe when purchasing by having full SSL encryption  on your website.
  • Make sure your branding is consistent, clean and professional. This demonstrates reliability and credibility.
  • Offer testimonials and case studies – especially video testimonials. As what others say about you is believed much more readily than anything you can say about yourself.
  • Provide several ways to get in contact and respond to requests or queries quickly.

6. Assume a positive outcome from the offset

Work on the basis that your visitor is going to buy and act accordingly. Use language in your copy to do this e.g. rather than saying ‘if you buy the new weight loss program, you will get…’, say ‘when you purchase the new weight loss program…’ – this assumes the visitor is going to purchase the product or service, helping them to accept the decision before it has been made.

[box]“Online reality is almost replacing actual reality so get your face behind your virtual real estate so people to feel closer to you.” TWEET THIS[/box]

In the comments below, tell me what your biggest frustration is with converting prospects into sales and what top tips you have for dealing with it. Let me know what action you’ll take as a result of watching and reading this post too. I’d love to hear.

Thank you, as always for watching, reading and contributing here. If you found this useful, please share it with your friends!

With love and gratitude – as always,



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Jane Frankland is a successful cyber security entrepreneur, consultant and speaker who has had a diverse career encompassing art and design; business development; and operations. Having held directorships and senior executive positions within her own companies and at several large PLCs, she now provides agile, forward thinking organisations with strategic business development solutions. Right now she is writing a book on gender diversity in cyber security and is focused on increasing the numbers of women in the profession.

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One Comment

  • What is the best way to sell more on your website? You can reduce the price of your products to create more demand, but there's a better way. It's known as the scarcity principle and it works by making customers believe that the item won't be available anymore if they wait longer.

    Limited time offers is the most widely used approach. See how you can create limited time offers on your website and use scarcity tactics.

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