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The massive majority of marketers aren’t psychologists.
But many popular marketers regularly employ various psychological sales techniques when attracting customers. Clever marketers use psychology to attract as well as engage clients and force them to buy.
I think you’ll all agree with me when I say:
It’s getting more and more difficult to convert cold website visitors into leads and even more into paying customers.
Well, there’s no surprise considering that currently there are over 26 million online stores in the world.
The competition is just massive!
But the problem is that many online companies are paying little attention to their customers’ buying habits and psychological factors.
In today’s post, I’m going to show you some psychological online sales techniques you can get ideas from and to test out on your own business.
- Key Takeaways:
- 1. The Paradox of Options: When More Choices Hurt Sales
- 2. Psychological Pricing Tactics
- 2.1 The Science and Psychology Behind $*.99 Price Tags
- 2.2 The Unexpected Effect of Identical Pricing on Sales
- 2.3 Pricing as a Psychological Tool: The Price Illusion of the Middle Option
- 2.4 The Power of Comparative Pricing: How Strategic Anchoring Boosts Sales
- 2.5 From $1,499.00 to 1499: How Syllables And Currency Signs Affect Price Perceptions
- 2.6 Why Price Surge Could Be Your Strategic Edge
- 2.7 The “Pay What You Want” Experiment: Real-world Results
- 3. Discounting Psychology: What Science Says
- 4. Smart Sales Funnel Tactics
- 5. Smart Ways to Employ Sense of Urgency in Your Marketing Campaigns
- 6. Transforming Questions into Sales: The Live Chat Way
- 7. The Shift: Modern Tactics to Boost Post-Purchase Satisfaction
- Required Reading on the Psychology of Sales
- 1. The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy
- 2. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
- 3. The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld
- 4. Neuromarketing: Understanding the Buy Buttons in Your Customer’s Brain by Patrick Renvoise & Christophe Morin
- 5. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
- Choice Overload: Too many options can be overwhelming, sometimes negatively impacting sales. Simplifying choices can yield better results.
- Pricing Strategies: Psychological pricing, like $*.99 tags and comparative pricing, can significantly affect buyer perceptions and behavior. The way prices are presented (syllables, currency signs) can also play a role in customer decision-making.
- Discounting Techniques: The way discounts are presented, whether in percentages or absolute amounts, can influence buyer decisions. Positioning quantity over discount percentage is a strategy to consider.
- Sales Funnels: Techniques like the “Free Plus Shipping” method capitalize on psychology to move customers through the sales process.
- Urgency in Marketing: Creating a sense of urgency, like limited-time offers, can push buyers to act more swiftly.
- Live Chat: Offering real-time chat support can bridge the gap between customer queries and sales, significantly boosting conversions and trust in the brand.
- Post-Purchase Engagement: Modern tactics now focus not just on the sale but also on post-purchase satisfaction. This includes strategies like offering upgrades or recommendations on thank-you pages.
- Importance of Sales Psychology: Understanding the psychological principles behind buyer behaviors is vital to crafting effective sales and marketing strategies.
1. The Paradox of Options: When More Choices Hurt Sales
Seller and buyer relationships have some very interesting traits.
Usually, when sellers are trying to sell something online, they’re overloading their websites with information and various action options hoping that it’ll help increase their sales.
But that’s so wrong…
Because customers make a decision to buy faster when they’re able to focus on the product without any additional distractions.
- fewer forms to complete…
- less information to read…
- and even… fewer products to choose from!
Yes, that’s right.
Don’t let your potential buyers think about anything other than the product you want to sell them.
I’ll explain why:
The more visual inputs and action options your visitors have to process, the less likely they are to make a purchase decision.
This is because instead of letting your potential customers focus on what you want them to do, their attention is pulled every which way causing them to actually miss out on the action you want them to take.
And very often, that leads to lost conversions…
So to avoid this, you need to find out which distractions are the most harmful to you and how to fix them.
1.1 The Deterrent Effect of Long Registration Forms
Let’s face it:
When browsing the internet, we often become lazy and capricious.
And this particularly occurs when we have to complete various long forms in order to get or buy something.
Look at this image.
Which registration form are you more likely to complete?
I have no doubt that you have chosen the second one.
The problem is that we’re just too impatient for those time-consuming tasks… And if we’re uncertain whether we really need that product, we are more likely to close the browser window than complete those massive registration forms.
And various online studies confirm just that.
For example, Marketo conducted A/B testing on its registration form to find the best-performing version.
The company tested forms with five, seven, and nine fields.
The short form with only five fields produced an average conversion of 13.4%, with a cost-per-lead of $31.24.
Adding additional company information fields — a number of employees and industry — to the form, dropped conversion to 12% and raised the cost-per-lead to $34.94.
Adding the CRM system and work phone fields further lowered conversion to 10% and cost-per-lead jumped to $41.90.
As you can see from the table above, an additional 4 fields decreased conversion rates by a whole 34%!
That is a very measurable number. And can you even imagine how much-lost revenue that one additional field could cost for such a large company like Marketo?
Millions of dollars…
What should I do?
If your users need to complete the registration, only ask for the most important information.
The best solution would be to let them create an account only by providing their name and email address (this way, you’ll gather their contact information) and ask them to provide additional information in later steps.
1.2 Staggering Results from Simplified Landing Page Design
The rule with fewer choices works not only with registration forms but with landing pages too.
Take a look:
An example from Visual Website Optimizer: by reducing choices on a client’s landing page, one partner saw a significant revenue increase.
The objective here was to modify the homepage/landing page in order to draw more visitors into the sales funnel by minimizing the number of distractions.
So, they’ve created a new landing page variation that only had one call-to-action button and significantly reduced the number of links.
They speak for themselves:
- Bounce rate: -8.5%
- Conversions: +10.9%
- Transactions: +11.4%
- Revenue: +19.7%
As you can see, the original homepage confronted visitors with too many choices, which caused confusion.
Reducing distractions resulted not only in a bounce rate decrease but also had a positive impact on conversions and total revenue.
What should I do with my landing pages?
Don’t overload your visitors with information.
Make your landing pages as simple as possible – remove all the distractions and leave only the most important information with a highly visible “Call-to-Action” button to encourage your visitors to take the desired action.
1.3 The Science Behind Choice: Why Offering Less Can Yield More Sales
Do you think that selling more products will earn you more revenue?
Again, this line of thinking may be wrong…
When there are too many choices, people are less likely to buy something.
I’ll explain with an example:
Sheena S. Iyengar, a professor at Columbia University, and Mark R. Lepper, a professor at Stanford University carried out a test to find out how different quantities of products affect buying behavior.
They set up a free tasting booth, with six different jams in a grocery store.
During the test, 40% of the customers stopped to taste the jam, and 30% of those bought some.
Then, a week later, they set up the same booth in the same store, but this time with 24 different jams.
And here’s what happened:
60% of customers stopped to taste. But only 3% bought some!
That’s 10x fewer buyers compared to the first test even though the choice was 4 times greater!
Doesn’t it seem a bit strange?
It seems that if you have more choices to choose from, you should be able to select the most suitable product that best fits your needs.
In fact, it’s not the case.
It actually just gets more difficult for people to make a decision to buy.
But there’s a rational explanation for that:
When we have more choices, we expect more. This is because we expect that we’ll be able to choose the exact item that meets our needs perfectly.
But the truth is…
…when more choices are given for a product, the chances of our being dissatisfied with the product are higher.
This is because our expectations to find the perfect product are increasing. Meanwhile, when no choice is offered, we either have no expectations or our expectations are lowered.
Here’s how Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, explains this paradox in his book “The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less”:
“The more choices we have, the more effort goes into our decisions, and the more we expect to enjoy the benefits of those decisions. Adaptation, by dramatically truncating the duration of those benefits, puts us into a state of mind where the result just wasn’t worth the effort. The more we invest in a decision, the more we expect to realize from our investment. And adaptation makes agonizing over decisions a bad investment.”
He also presented a talk at a TED conference dealing with the same materials as in his book:
According to the professor, one of three things happen when people have too many decisions to make:
- Consumers end up making poor decisions;
- Consumers are more dissatisfied with their choices; or
- Consumers become paralyzed and don’t choose at all.
How should I use this information?
Don’t offer too many choices on your page.
Only present 3 to 6 products at a time.
2. Psychological Pricing Tactics
Pricing isn’t just about setting a cost for your product.
It’s also about influencing how customers feel and think about what they’re buying.
With psychological pricing, businesses use specific numbers and strategies to make products seem more attractive or affordable.
It’s a smart way to nudge customers into buying more or choosing one product over another.
In this section, I’ll explore the different tricks companies use and why they work.
2.1 The Science and Psychology Behind $*.99 Price Tags
Head over to practically any store around and you’ll see prices that end in “9” everywhere.
Sometimes it gets really confusing.
But that’s probably one of the most popular tactics that marketers are using to trick the human brain and make the product look “cheaper”.
Let’s investigate how this little trick is affecting consumers’ buying behavior.
The University of Chicago decided to carry out an experiment with price variations.
In their experiment, a mail-order catalog was printed in 3 different versions and sent to an identical number of people. A standard woman’s clothing item was tested at the prices of $34, $39, and $44.
To the researcher’s surprise, in all tests, the item with the number 9 at its ending price got the most sales.
Even when the items were priced at $39, they got more sales than the same item priced at $34.
But that’s not the only study with 9 price-ending.
William Poundstone also analyzed 8 different studies in his book “Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It)” on the use of charm prices ($49, $79, $1.49, and so on).
He found that, on average, prices ending with 9 increased sales by 24% versus their nearby, ’rounded’ price points.
So, how to explain this magic of the number 9?
Morwitz and Thomas explained this effect in their study called “Penny Wise and Pound Foolish: The Left-Digit Effect in Price Cognition”
“Since we read numbers from left to right while evaluating “2.99”, the magnitude encoding process starts as soon as our eyes encounters the digit “2”. Consequently, the encoded magnitude of $2.99 gets anchored on the leftmost digit (i.e. $2) and becomes significantly lower than the encoded magnitude of $3.00.”
But wait there’s more.
It seems that this number can totally mess up our understanding of real price differences.
Earlier there was an article called “The Psychology of Pricing: Making Prices Tick” in the Product Management Journal (unfortunately it’s not live anymore, but I’m so happy that I’ve saved it to my notes).
There was a pricing example provided from Microsoft’s web page selling Windows 7.
It’s funny how $199.99 seems a lot less than $219.99 even though it’s only a $20 difference. It’s also interesting that $119.99 and $199.99 don’t seem that far apart even though there is a $80 difference.
It only proves that the psychological difference between $199.99 and $219.99 looks bigger than the difference between $119.99 and $199.99 because the leftmost digit matters most.
2.2 The Unexpected Effect of Identical Pricing on Sales
Since too many options can reduce consumer commitment, you might think that identical price points for similar items, such as scooters in different colors, won’t affect your overall sales.
Unfortunately, it’s not true.
According to research from Yale University, if two similar items are priced the same, consumers are less likely to buy one than if their prices are even slightly different.
Here’s how the experiment was conducted:
Researchers asked participants to choose or keep their money for two different packs of gum.
One group saw both packs of gum priced at 63 cents while the other saw one gum priced at 62 cents and the other at 64 cents.
These were the results they got:
This trivial difference caused 77% of the second group to buy vs. just 46% of the first group.
In other words, that’s a whopping 67% increase in total sales!
It seems that when similar items have the same price, consumers are inclined to defer their decision instead of actually taking action.
So, when you have similar items with different features, consider adjusting their prices slightly to test sales outcomes.
However, there’s another aspect to consider regarding this strategy.
Don’t think that you can’t use similar pricing on your sales pages.
Actually, you can. And it can be stunningly effective!
But there’s one little secret involved.
Want to know what it is?
Let’s move to the next paragraph then.
2.3 Pricing as a Psychological Tool: The Price Illusion of the Middle Option
Did you know that by placing a less valuable product next to a single product at the same price, you can raise its perceived value without changing its actual price?
I’ll explain with an example:
In his book “Predictably Irrational,” Dan Ariely provided an example in which the introduction of a third variant suddenly made one of the earlier variants appear much more attractive.
He came across the following subscription offer from The Economist magazine:
Three types of subscriptions to The Economist magazine were offered to 100 MIT students:
- Web ($59);
- Print ($125);
- Print + Web ($125).
And here are the results he got:
16% chose web subscriptions and 84% print & web subscriptions.
Nobody chose the middle option.
Then he removed the middle option and gave this offer to another 100 MIT students.
Now 68% chose web subscription and 32% print & web subscription.
Did you notice that in the first experiment, the print & web subscription was the most popular option, while in the second one the lowest-priced option was more favored?
The point is that the middle option wasn’t useless, but it helped people to make a decision.
That’s because people have difficulty comparing different options. But if two of them are very similar (for example, the same price), then it becomes much easier to decide which is more valuable.
Using a similar model, Unbounce conducted an experiment with its pricing page.
Before the test, the pricing option of that company looked like this:
Their hypothesis was that consumers were too familiar with this type of pricing page and found it hard to discern the real value.
So they decided to change the pricing structure to the following one:
They speak for themselves:
233% increase in TOTAL conversions.
86% purchased the yearly plan of $299 and only 14% opted for a monthly plan.
And how you can use it?
First, give your users a product with only core features.
Then create another product with all your features. This is the product you WANT to sell.
Finally, create a third product that has the same or similar features as your first product and price it the same as your second product.
Track the results.
2.4 The Power of Comparative Pricing: How Strategic Anchoring Boosts Sales
Imagine if you could make one simple tweak to your pricing page and see an instant boost in your online sales for a high-value product.
Think it’s nearly impossible?
You should think again.
There’s a proven solution confirmed by various studies which can help increase your sales even for high-priced products.
Let’s get started with a quick question:
What’s the best way to sell a $1,000 suit?
Put a $10,000 suit next to it!
It’s so strange, isn’t it?
$1,000 by itself seems like a pretty big amount to spend on something.
But next to $10,000 it suddenly becomes quite a reasonable price.
This mental effect is called “price anchoring“.
According to research from Rutgers University, we are willing to pay higher prices when they are “anchored” by an even higher price.
Mathematical psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman explained that if we have any uncertainty about the price of a product, we often look for information from surrounding offerings. Thus, a $1,000 suit seems like a bargain next to a much more expensive suit.
Take a look at the pricing page on BombBomb.com a few years ago:
Note: This is an old screenshot of their pricing page. Current prices may be different if you check their official page.
That $49/month package looks like a really good deal next to the $1299 annual package.
Doesn’t it seem so?
William Poundstone revealed that this strategy is also very often used in restaurants to encourage diners to buy more expensive items.
By putting high-profit items next to the extremely expensive anchor, they seem cheap by comparison. So, the triple-figure price here is probably to induce customers to go for the $65 Le Grand plate to the left of it or the more modest seafood orders below it.
How you can implement this strategy?
Add some very expensive products to the selection (that you don’t even intend to sell) next to the product you want to sell.
By placing premium products near standard options you’ll be able to create a clearer sense of value for potential customers, who will view the less expensive options as a bargain in comparison.
Moreover, there are always people who want a premium option. And offering an expensive option will not only allow those interested in spending more the ability to do so, but it’s also a lot safer than introducing a cheaper option.
2.5 From $1,499.00 to 1499: How Syllables And Currency Signs Affect Price Perceptions
In the Journal of Consumer Psychology, researchers found that prices that contained more syllables seemed drastically higher to consumers.
When these pricing structures were shown to subjects:
…the top two prices seemed far higher to consumers than the third price.
According to the same study: This effect occurs because of the way one would express the number verbally: “One thousand four hundred and ninety-nine,” vs. “fourteen ninety-nine.”
The same also happens even when the number is evaluated internally, or not spoken aloud.
But that’s not all.
If we start to talk about the number of symbols in the price – then another question arises:
How about those “$” and “€” currency signs?
Another study by Cornell University found that diners in upscale restaurants spent significantly less when menus contained the word “dollars” or the sign “$”.
Researchers explained that “in a society where we’re overloaded with information, consumers tend to follow the path of least resistance. Expensive restaurants usually have minimalistic prices like “24” — meaning $24.00 – because they want you to focus on the food and not the price.”
So, perhaps making your prices look more simple is just what your sales pages need?
2.6 Why Price Surge Could Be Your Strategic Edge
Let’s face it:
Sometimes increasing your product price can help you dramatically increase your overall revenue.
And you shouldn’t be afraid of doing that.
As it turns out…
…one simple lift in your product price can help increase your total revenue by a whopping 100% and even MORE!
I’ll explain with an example:
Visual Website Optimizer shared a study, which revealed how a server monitoring company was able to increase its total revenue by 114% by raising its product prices.
Here’s what they did:
At first, their pricing page looked like this:
Then they decided to A/B test a new “packaged” pricing structure where the lowest package started from $99 per month:
And here are the results they got:
The increased price resulted in a 35% decrease in free signups.
…their total revenue increased by the whole 114% (or more than 2x more than it was before)!
After the test, they also generated some very interesting insights:
- Pricing is important to get right and the best way to do that is to test your hypothesis with real data.
- Most of your customers care more about the value your product provides them rather than how much it costs you to operate.
- Therefore, you should base your prices on what your product is worth to your customers and not on how much it costs you or the profit you want to make per sale.
- Always keep testing; you don’t know where you’re leaving money on the table.
In fact, many sales professionals agree that it’s much easier to sell 1 product which is worth $2000, than 200 products which are worth $10 each.
That’s because it’s a lot easier to get 1 paying customer than getting 200 people to pay even a small amount.
So maybe a small lift in your prices is just what you need in order to increase your overall revenue.
2.7 The “Pay What You Want” Experiment: Real-world Results
Here’s the brutal truth:
People don’t know how much things are really worth.
Thus, the possibility for buyers to pay their desired amount can work extremely well.
Of course, it’s true that:
In some cases, the buyer will choose an option to pay the lowest possible amount.
But in most cases, they should choose to pay more than the product is actually worth.
Let’s look at this experiment, which was conducted by the University of California:
In this experiment, more than 113,000 amusement park visitors were offered three different ways to buy a souvenir.
A first group was given a traditional fixed price, and half of this group were told that 50% of the income would go to charity.
A second group was allowed to pay whatever price they wanted, including zero.
And of this second group, half were told that 50% of whatever price they paid would go to charity.
Here are the results they got:
During this experiment, researchers found that at a standard, fixed-price, the charitable option increased demand only slightly.
However, when participants were able to pay whatever they wanted it created substantially more profit.
In another experiment, creators of the indie video game “World of Goo” decided to celebrate their one year anniversary and offered their users the chance to buy the game for whatever price they want.
During 13 days of the experiment, about 83,250 people downloaded the game from their website with an average price paid of $2.03.
Moreover, another nice side effect of this promotion was that sales of other games Steam and WiiWare rose by 40% and 9% respectively.
Of course, this strategy won’t be suitable for all types of products. But it can be quite an interesting and attractive solution if your product complies with these 5 conditions (according to the Smart Pricing book):
- A product with a low marginal cost
- A fair-minded customer
- A product that can be sold credibly at a wide range of prices
- A strong relationship between buyer and seller
- A very competitive marketplace.
3. Discounting Psychology: What Science Says
Ever noticed how discounts grab your attention?
There’s a reason for that.
Discounts aren’t just price cuts.
They play with our minds.
But here’s the kicker:
Not all discounts hit the mark.
Some do, some don’t.
Want to know why?
We’re about to dive deep into the science behind it.
Get ready to uncover the secret sauce of the most effective discount strategies.
And first up?
Understanding when to use percentage discounts and when to opt for absolute dollar amounts
3.1 Percentage vs. Absolute: Which Discount Type Is It Better to Use?
You probably already know that product discounts are one of the most effective marketing strategies.
However, did you know that if presented incorrectly, discounts can also lead to delays and lost sales?
Let me explain it to you.
Let’s look at an illustrative example from an article titled “Pricing: Setting the optimum price. Tips, Tactics and theory” that was once published in the Product Management Journal.
Take a look at the image below.
Which options do you think are more likely to stimulate customers to make a decision to buy?
As you might’ve observed, the discounts in the first two examples are identical.
However, according to pricing psychologists, a 50% discount in the first example is more attractive than a £5 discount.
This is because 50 is a bigger number than 5.
Meanwhile, £20 off a £200 item seems far better than a 10% reduction.
The third example originates from a U.S. retail store experiment as reported in ‘The Psychologist‘.
The first offer of a 20% discount for 3 days caused a 70% increase in sales.
However, the second offer of a tapering discount resulted in a staggering 200% increase in sales!
The driving force here was customers’ eagerness not to miss out on the discount, pushing them to make an immediate purchase.
Now you’re probably thinking:
Which option would be the most suitable for me?
My advice would be…
…follow the “Rule of 100”!
This rule was suggested by Jonah Berger in his book ‘Contagious: Why Things Catch‘:
- When your price is under $100, use a percentage discount (e.g., 25% off).
- When your price is over $100, use an absolute value (e.g., $25 off)
In both cases, you’ll be choosing the discount with the higher numeral (which will influence people’s perception of the magnitude).
3.2 Quantity Over Discount Percentage: How to Position Your Offers
A team of researchers, led by Akshay Rao of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, looked at consumers’ attitudes towards discounts.
They discovered that many people perceive a 50% increase in quantity as a better deal than a 33% discount off the regular price.
In this experiment, the researchers sold 73% more hand lotion when it was offered in a bonus pack than when it carried an equivalent discount.
The main reason is that many people struggle with fractions.
This numerical blind spot remains even when the deal clearly favors the discounted product.
In another experiment, the subjects were offered two deals on loose coffee beans:
- 33% extra free
- or 33% off the price.
While the discount was clearly the better proposition, many students perceived them as equivalent.
Some researchers believe this is due to many humans’ difficulty with basic fractions.
But consumers may also place a higher value on the idea of “acquiring more,” as opposed to “paying less.”
How can you apply this knowledge?
Don’t talk up the discount. Talk how much bigger the box is or how much additional value they’re able to get.
4. Smart Sales Funnel Tactics
Ever feel lost in the world of sales?
You’re not alone.
But there’s a thing that can help:
Smart sales funnel tactics.
They’re like a roadmap for your business, guiding customers smoothly from start to finish.
A powerful strategy that’s changing the game: the “Free Plus Shipping” model.
Let’s uncover the secrets behind its success.
4.1 The Psychology Behind “Free Plus Shipping” Funnels
Ten years ago it was a very effective way to increase online sales.
But today, most of us expect free shipping when we make a purchase.
So, if you want to try something innovative, why not offer a FREE product and ask your visitors only to cover the shipping costs?
Let me explain it:
This is a very successful sales strategy that Russell Brunson is using when selling online.
What he does is offer a free product and ask customers only to cover the shipping costs (see an example of this in action here).
If you aren’t familiar with how the offer works, you may be confused about how people make a profit when they are sending a product for free.
But that’s only the first impression.
All the secret is in the…
Upsells and downsells!
While there isn’t much margin when you offer the product for free plus shipping, you can offer some outstanding upsells that encourage people to buy more right after they order your product.
The idea behind a ‘free plus shipping’ funnel is simple:
If a customer gets a product for free and only pays for shipping, they might feel inclined to purchase something else.
Instead of selling ONE item to your visitors, you identify people that are BUYERS and thus present them with immediate upsells and/or downsells to maximize the amount of income you can generate from them.
You should take your customers towards your highest-perceived services or products step-by-step by providing a great amount of value.
Consider a dentist who offers free teeth cleaning to attract his ideal clients.
Second, he offers additional value by offering Retainers.
Third, he offers Cosmetic Surgery.
As you know, many dentists make the most money and provide the most value for their patients by offering cosmetic surgery.
Fourth, he offers you six months check-up program which is actually a continuity program.
A continuity program is where you continue paying on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis until you decide to cancel.
You see, instead of trying to convince someone to buy the most expensive offering right away, you need to build a funnel that will help you to do two things:
- Provide value to each customer at the unique level of service that he or she can afford.
- Make money and be profitable while identifying your dream clients who can afford your highest offer.
When you implement each of these secrets, you will transform your business into a sales and marketing machine that allows you:
- to outspend your competitors
- acquire an almost unlimited number of new customers
- make (and keep) more money
- and most importantly – serve more people.
5. Smart Ways to Employ Sense of Urgency in Your Marketing Campaigns
Catching a buyer’s eye is just step one.
The real goal?
Making them click “buy” quickly.
The secret weapon?
Using urgency in your marketing.
Done right, it can turn window-shoppers into buyers in seconds.
But there’s a fine line between urging and pushing.
Let’s dive into smart ways to create that “buy now” feeling.
5.1 A Few Creative Ways to Force People to Worry About Losing a Good Deal
Shopping from home on multiple sites gives users the chance to take their time before making a purchase.
That sounds great for them…
…but not for you!
As a seller, your main goal is to prevent potential customers from checking deals on other sites and accept your offer as fast as possible.
Thus, urgency sense may appear as a great strategy to increase your overall sales.
How are the world’s biggest brands using urgency in their online sales strategy?
Groupon is probably the best example of implementing a sense of urgency with regular deals.
They offer huge discounts on various products, but the countdown timer silently warns you not to delay if you don’t want to miss this great offer.
The same strategy is used by AppSumo, which provides daily deals for digitally distributed goods and online services:
They regularly come up with brilliant discount offers, but they are always time-sensitive.
However, a countdown timer isn’t the only urgency example you can use.
Some marketing experts even argue that showing limited items works much better than a countdown timer.
Amazon usually shows buyers that only a few items of specific products are left in stock:
This message tells users that this item won’t be available for long due to the popularity and limited stock.
Therefore, it provokes people to act more quickly.
But wait, there’s more:
EasyJet does something very creative:
They actually show you the number of other people looking at the same route.
Knowing the fact that low-priced flight tickets are usually very limited, you may start to think: “Wow, so many people are looking at this offer right now. I’ll have to hurry up if I want to get the best deal“.
You likely buy quickly, before others even make up their minds.
How does a sense of urgency influence a user’s thinking?
Buyers do what their instincts tell them to do — to act immediately on what is important, and to acquire what is limited.
Therefore, people tend to act quickly when an issue is important enough.
They’re likely to buy quickly if they fear missing out on a product.
And the fascinating thing about urgency is that when something begins to run low, people’s desire for it tends to rise.
This compels users to act.
6. Transforming Questions into Sales: The Live Chat Way
Here’s the deal:
We live in a fast-paced world.
People want answers now.
Online, they have questions and doubts.
But what if one tool could clear up their confusion and make them hit that ‘buy’ button?
That’s where live chat steps in.
It’s a real-time problem solver, turning unsure visitors into paying customers.
6.1 How Adding a Live Support Can Raise Confidence in Your Brand And Increase Conversions by 150-200%
From the customers’ perspective, shopping online is a bit more complicated than shopping in an offline store.
When shopping offline, customers are able to take a look at the product before spending their money. Meanwhile, when shopping online, they have to pay before they get the product.
Another advantage of shopping offline is that customers can immediately get help from shop assistants if they have questions, an opportunity often missing online.
According to Econsultancy, 83% of online shoppers need support to complete a purchase. This is a particular issue for ‘dependent’ shoppers, those with limited experience in online shopping, where this number increases to 90%.
But wait, there’s more.
They also expect to receive support quickly.
71% expect some assistance within five minutes. And if they don’t get it, 48% will abandon the site.
Getting the issue resolved quickly is the most important thing for online shoppers. Therefore, having a live support feature on your website may be one of the most influential factors for higher sales.
It helps to add a human factor to your website and effectively assigns your customer service agents to provide real-time answers and build confidence during a customer’s shopping experience.
According to the study on eMarketer, online buyers who had used live chat were more likely to make online purchases at least once a week (40%) than buyers who had never chatted (22%).
Moreover, 63% of respondents who chatted said they were more likely to return to the site, and 62% reported being more likely to purchase from the site again.
A further 38% of respondents said they had made their purchase because of the chat session itself.
Take a look at how these two companies were able to increase their conversions by using live chat
Logical Position implemented live chat on their website to offer immediate help to clients who were looking at their site.
This feature alone helped them to increase leads by 150%, meanwhile, sales went up by a 30-40% margin (far more than they initially expected).
They successfully increased conversion rates by up to 211% using proactive chat at different parts of their site with different chat designs in those areas.
Using proactive chat on the checkout page increased their average order value by 43% compared to when chat wasn’t used, and there was a 20% increase in conversion rate when proactive chat was used.
Meanwhile, lead page conversions increased by 190%.
What you might consider.
Test the live chat feature on your website.
There is enough evidence to show that using live chat effectively results in both increased conversion rates and higher-order values.
Even if you are not able to increase conversions, you’ll still have the opportunity to talk to your visitors, find out what exactly they’re confused about, and what their main objections preventing them from buying your products or services are.
Why live chat works so well?
First of all, think about how you’d look for support whenever a question pops up about a product or service.
You find yourself looking on the website for contact details or support articles, taking away precious time and you often don’t even find the answer there.
Live chat is convenient for customers, it taps into customer pain points, and it lets them feel a stronger connection with your company.
7. The Shift: Modern Tactics to Boost Post-Purchase Satisfaction
7.1 Upgrades, Recommendations, and More: Expanding the Thank-You Page Arsenal
As a conversion-oriented marketer, your main focus is convincing visitors to take a specific action on your landing page, typically to make a sale.
Do you agree with that?
But here’s what the most common problem is:
Once that happens, many marketers simply thank the customer and happily walk away with cash in hand.
That’s a huge mistake!
And here’s why:
Scientists have found that very often right after the purchase customers may begin to feel a form of cognitive dissonance called buyer’s remorse.
Buyer’s remorse occurs when we regret the cost of what we’ve just bought.
It may stem from a fear of making the wrong choice, guilt over extravagance, or a suspicion of having been overly influenced by the seller.
However, marketers have been attempting for years to reduce buyer’s remorse using various methods.
One specific technique employed by marketers was the inclusion of a coupon towards a future purchase at the point of sale.
As it turned out, this has many benefits for both – the consumer and retailer:
First, the consumer is more likely to return to the store with the coupon, which will result in a higher percentage of repeat customers.
But most importantly, each successive time a purchase is made and is deemed satisfactory, buyer’s remorse is less likely to be experienced (as per the Journal of Global Business Issues).
However, these days, marketers have developed much more sophisticated ways that can help you engage your customers right after the purchase and increase their satisfaction.
Would you like to know more?
Then keep reading.
Here’s what you should do:
When customers reach your Thank-You page, it’s the exact moment when a nice surprise will fire up their endorphins and make them feel happy again.
So don’t waste this moment with a simple “Thanks for buying! See you later” page.
Instead, use this:
Give your customers something valuable in exchange for something equally valuable to you.
Right after the purchase, it’s the time when customers tend to be most engaged and receptive to your brand.
This is the perfect moment to go the extra mile, either by asking for something or offering your customers something more.
You can ask for a social share in exchange for a discount coupon, or give them a free gift for referring other people to your sales page.
Everything can work incredibly well if implemented wisely.
Would you like to see some real-life examples?
Here you are.
One of the most incredible post-conversion marketing examples I’ve ever seen is Harry’s viral marketing campaign.
With one little trick on their Thank-You page, they were able to gather 100,000 emails in only one WEEK!
Let’s see exactly what they did:
After a user signed up for their email list they got the Thank-You page, which contained a shareable link to the email registration page.
By sharing the link, users had the opportunity to earn various free products.
The more friends signed up using their unique referral link, the bigger the prize they earned.
And, as I mentioned earlier, the results were astounding…
77% of the emails were collected via referral, meaning about 20K people referred about 65K friends!
It should also be noted that after this incredible product launch, Harry’s raised 100+ million dollars to buy a 94-year-old German factory that makes its blades, and their success story still continues…
But let’s take a look at a completely different example from Unbounce:
What they did is change their webinar registration Thank-You page from asking for a social share to asking people to subscribe to their blog newsletter.
2,500 people registered for the webinar, and of those, 40% subscribed to the blog!
That’s 1,100 extra blog subscribers (which they have an opportunity to bring back later) just by adding a CTA to the confirmation page of a webinar lead generation form.
How to implement it into your business strategy:
From here, it’s all about experimentation. Take a few moments to evaluate your own thank-you pages.
Experiment with upsells, live demo signups, quizzes, social recommendations, and everything else that comes to your mind.
If you find what works best with your customers, you’ll enjoy the extra benefits, which probably wouldn’t have occurred without these tricks.
Required Reading on the Psychology of Sales
1. The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy
2. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
He uses research to explain key persuasion principles.
These principles apply in business and daily choices.
He shows real-life examples of these ideas.
The book teaches about human behavior and what guides our actions.
3. The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld
He uses data to back up traditional sales methods.
The book talks about how buyers think and feel.
Blount gives strategies based on this understanding.
It also helps readers sell more effectively.
4. Neuromarketing: Understanding the Buy Buttons in Your Customer’s Brain by Patrick Renvoise & Christophe Morin
It combines neuroscience with marketing.
They study how the brain makes buying decisions.
The book simplifies tough scientific ideas.
It helps marketers craft better campaigns.
To understand and tap into what drives a shopper’s choices.
5. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
He finds that we often act irrationally.
Our decisions are swayed by biases and society.
Emotions and values can cloud our thinking.
The book helps us understand these behaviors.
It asks us to think more about why we act.
Selling has always been about understanding people.
Today, with so many ways to shop, this is truer than ever.
I’ve explored how choices can impact sales.
And how modern tools like live chat can help.
But here’s the deal:
Books by Tracy, Cialdini, and others give us deep insights.
They show us why people buy.
But remember this…
What is the core of every sale?
A human connection.
Keep that in mind.
Connect, understand, and watch your sales grow.
It’s that simple.
And it’s powerful.