How to Leverage Psychology for Online Marketing Success

Marketing professionals must understand how people think and behave. Success depends on grasping what motivates an audience to buy. A basic understanding of psychology principles can help businesses reach and engage their targets in ways that ultimately result in sales.

Photo 1Photo 1: Courtesy of, licensed under CC0 Public Domain

Appeal to Emotions

Companies often create marketing strategies that depend solely on logic. By presenting facts about available products and services and measuring their online performance based on clicks and page views, marketing tactics can generate some results. Still, the logical approach ignores the role of emotions and leaves money on the table. A healthy combination of logic and feelings lays the foundation for robust marketing strategies.

Your business might do better by emphasizing emotion over logic. People naturally rationalize their everyday decisions based on their emotions. When they make a decision, they engage their mind in supporting it. Therefore, when people emotionally choose a brand, they look for evidence to support their decision. You should work hard to optimize your conversions by engaging your prospects and customers on an emotional level.

Make relationship building your top priority. Long-term, meaningful relationships have a strong emotional component that you can cultivate by engaging the senses. Use visual content to grab the attention and inspire the imagination of your audience. Create a brand personality and experience for people to see in their mind. When you have inspired emotions, sales will soon follow.

Explain the Value

You must supply facts that prospects can use to support their emotional decision to buy. Begin the process by explaining how your products and services give customers value above their purchase price. You can underscore the value you provide by clearly defining your offer through a comparison to similar solutions in the marketplace. Or simply compare the value of your product or service with the value of a common item people spend on daily. Headspace, a course of guided meditation, delivered via an app or online, has a brilliant approach with their marketing strategy; they offer a free 10-day trial and once it’s coming to its end, they send an email offering a year’s subscription, with two months free, explaining that it „works out at just $6.66 USD a month. Less than a fancy sandwich (and far fewer crumbs on the carpet).“ They’ve found an innovative and unobtrusive way to give prospects an extra nudge toward conversion.

There are also other, more forward ways you can provide something extra to enhance your value proposition. Include a branded t-shirt, an exclusive e-book, a premium package, or bonus features to help shoppers rationally affirm their decision to purchase from your company.
Photo 2

Photo 2: Image courtesy of, licensed under CC0 Public Domain

Offer Solutions

Present your products and services as solutions to customer problems as another way to strengthen your deal. People often go online to find solutions to their problems, so you can get an idea of why people need what you offer by conducting thorough market research. When you understand the needs of your customers, you can pitch your brand as the perfect solution.

Bellroy provides an excellent example of solution marketing by the way it markets its thin wallet. The company first explains the underlying problem (fat wallet in the customer’s pocket) and then shows how its product solves it.

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Photo 3: “start_bellroy” by Alberto Monteverdi is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Establish Credibility 

Internet users tend to concern themselves with safety. They will not buy from you until they feel comfortable with your company and your website. To develop credibility, maintain a professional image and give people multiple ways to contact you. Post bios of your team members on your site to let your prospects become intimately acquainted with your firm. You should also post testimonials from satisfied customers to reinforce your credibility.

For shoppers to submit their payment information over the Internet, they must feel safe. Make sure your website has a current SSL certificate and that it handles all transactions through encrypted connections. Even the best marketing efforts will fail if customers do not have a secure way to place an order.
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Photo 4: Image courtesy of, licensed under CC0 Public Domain

Leverage Social Proof

People instinctively adopt the beliefs and actions of the groups and people they like. Entice your customers by introducing them to industry leaders and influencers that endorse your brand. When you have the backing of significant entities, your products will naturally increase in value.

Tekkers Eyewear provides an excellent example of the practical use of social proof. Tekkers wanted to convert their first one thousand sales quickly, so they gave away their product to the primary influencers on Instagram. With a sound basis of social proof, the firm next reposted images of their customers. As people learned about the people and groups who bought Tekkers, they wanted to adopt the same values. The company moved in for the kill by providing a clear call to action.

The tips listed here give you a good place to start your psychology-based marketing strategy. Spend some time in your customers’ shoes to understand how to engage their emotions and persuade them to buy from your company. After creating emotional involvement, safety, and social proof, tell your audience what you want them to do. Ask them to buy from your business and watch your conversion rates increase. Experts continue to study the role of psychology in marketing, so expect to find more interesting tactics to use in future marketing campaigns.

Lisa Michaels HeadshotGuest post by Lisa Michaels.  Lisa is a Portland-based freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant. She enjoys keeping up with the current trends in the business world, leaning and sharing her insights with like-minded people. She spends her free time trying out new recipes or reading Scandinavian crime novels. Social media profiles:


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