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5 Simple Psychology Hacks Guaranteed to Boost Your Sales

In the world of conversions, every little success means a boost in revenue.

Every tactic and change that you make can have a massive impact on your bottom line, and it’s important that you understand the details that can get you there.

But it’s also important that you take into account the absolutely massive amount of competition that there currently is—and how many ecommerce stores are being opened every single day.

But—believe it or not—you can beat your competition…easily.

What if I told you there are 5 science-backed psychological hacks that are proven to pump up sales?

And the best of all – you can start using them today.

Read on to learn how to achieve better open rates, click rates, and sales without breaking a sweat. The hacks explained bellow are tested, proven and gets great results. 

#1 Foot-in-the-door Technique

Tell me if this is a familiar scenario: you have just been stopped on the street and offered to try a new kind of cinnamon bun.

You grab a piece, it’s delicious.

The person carrying the tray suggests you go inside and look around – they have a special 3 for 2 offer on today!

That sounds great, doesn’t it?

You don’t see why you shouldn’t go inside and have a look. Before you know, you’re spending 30 minutes in a store you hadn’t planned on entering, considering whether you should buy just 3 cinnamon buns, or take some extra for your colleagues.

This is what psychologists call the foot-in-the-door technique. It’s based on the idea that you can get people to commit to bigger things (like buying, for example) by first getting them to do smaller tasks (like trying a sample).

Researchers Freedman and Fraser showed this psychology hack back in 1966.

They called a random selection of housewifes in California and asked to survey them about household cleaning products they use. After 3 days, they called them again and asked if they’d agree to allow 5-6 men to inspect their cupboards.

The women that agreed to the first request were twice as likely to agree to the second, bigger request.

The takeaway

You should apply this psychological hack when designing your conversion funnels.

For instance, instead of bombarding your prospects with offers the second they land on your page or open your email, you could get them to sign up to your newsletter by offering something valuable (a free ebook, tutorial, discount, etc.). The exit-intent popup is one of the most effective ways to convert prospects who are about to abandon your page. This technology works brilliantly to reduce drop offs and convert even the most critical customer. 

The idea here is to think of your buyer journey in small steps: every action you get them to take on your site is leading to the ultimate goal – purchase.

That’s why it’s important not to just focus on your short-term goals (maximum sales now), but to set up your funnel so that it pays off in the long run in a consistent way.

#2 Price Anchoring

This technique may also be known as the ‘middle offer’.

In the commerce world, it’s quite common to present shoppers with three choices – something cheap, something decently priced, and something pricey.

Think back to the last time you were trying to pick out a bottle of wine at a supermarket. Unless you’re an expert-level wine connoisseur, you’re choosing wine the same way as the rest of us – not the cheapest and not the most expensive one. You’ll typically go for a decently priced middle offer. And if it’s on offer, you’ll feel like you’re really getting value for your money.

That’s exactly what the supermarket wants!

The technique of placing the item you want to sell next to a much more expensive item is known as price anchoring.

This principle relies on the human instinct to benchmark. The expensive item becomes the anchor or the reference price, against which consumers will match other prices.

So, if you’re aiming to sell a $50 backpack, listing it in between a $25 backpack (which is obviously lower in quality or features) and a $100 backpack that has similar features (but not enough to justify that price point), will make the middle item stand out as the best option.

The takeaway

Applying this technique in your email marketing will be pretty straightforward.

Simply figure out which of your items have the highest profit margin and list them as the second item after the more expensive item.

You can get away with listing only one main offer after the expensive item, or you can list a lot of similarly-priced options after the anchor price.

That way, all those products will look like a steal when compared to that initial anchor price.

#3 Reciprocity

Reciprocity is considered by many to be one of the most powerful laws of human nature.

In the simplest of sense, it can be explained as “if you do something nice for me, I will do something nice for you. I will feel compelled to reciprocate.”

Philip Kunz ran one of the most interesting experiments on reciprocity.

He sent out 600 Christmas cards to people he never met, and (to everyone’s great surprise) received back more than 200 cards – about 35%.

The urge of reciprocity was so strong that it compelled 200 people to send out a Christmas card to a complete stranger.

The takeaway

Once you weave reciprocity into email marketing, your sales will start going up.

A quick and simple way to apply this technique is to give something away for free. Delight your subscribers with a free gift, free shipping or a special discount and they will be bound to pay you back in some way – whether it’s by spreading the word about your brand online or purchasing something from you.

Do this consistently (a surprise freebie in your order confirmation emails or even welcome emails) and you’ll start nurturing the type of customers who love buying from you over and over again.

#4 Scarcity & FOMO

FOMO stands for ‘the fear of missing out’ and is a psychological trigger, rather than a side effect of a modern lifestyle.

Many studies have shown that people simply can’t help but respond to this trigger in fear of missing out on rewarding experiences that others might be enjoying.

Curiously, the fear kicks in even when people aren’t really interested in the particular offer at all.

FOMO goes hand in hand with scarcity or rather – the creation of scarcity.

The scarcity effect is defined as perceiving products that are in limited supply or available for a limited period of time as more attractive. It makes people want them more!

Worchel, Lee and Adewole devised an experiment where a group of students was shown two jars with similar cookies inside each jar.

The students were asked to rate the cookies based on desirability, and the results were very similar—both groups rated the jars of cookies almost the same.

However, when 8 cookies were removed from one jar, the students immediately valued that jar as being more desirable, even though nothing else about it had changed.

That’s the power of FOMO/scarcity at play!

The takeaway

To capitalize on the FOMO/scarcity effect, try running limited-time or limited-availability offers.

For example, you could extend a 20% offer on a particular item, valid for only 24 hours.

But it’s important that you emphasize this in your copy and your visuals, so that it’s front-of-mind for your customers.

Adding a countdown timer in your email or on your product page can help you emphasize the scarcity effect even further.

#5 The Less is More Approach

One thing you really don’t want to trigger is the analysis paralysis.

When faced with too many options, consumers are known to struggle to make any decisions, so they end up not buying at all.

In his book The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less, Barry Schwartz explains that it’s always better to offer fewer, curated options.

This hypothesis is supported by a study that comes from Lyengar and Lepper.

Researchers showed one group of shoppers 24 different types of jam, while another group was shown only 6 jars. While the group that saw 24 jams was more interested, it only had a 3% purchase rate. The group that got to choose from 6 types of jam initially had lower interest, but ended up with a 30% purchase rate.

The takeaway

The key lesson here is to present your prospects with curated offers.

It’s not enough to simply reduce the number of options — they have to be targeted to that particular segment of customers. So when you are able to segment your customers accurately, your promotional campaigns become more acceptable. 

If you succeed at segmenting your subscribers, it’s a win-win situation for everyone. 

Final Thoughts

Aim to implement one hack at a time to see which one produces the best results. This hacks have proven to be result driven every time!

If you play smart and tailor these psychological hacks to your audience, you will quickly see that they not only boost your sales, but also make your customers more engaged and loyal to your brand!