Using Psychology to Increase Conversion

Avenew Media
Aug 23, 2018 · 6 min read
Image for post
Image for post

It’s one thing to attract an audience, but it’s another to make them remember you and your brand.

Making them want to get back to you isn’t just about attracting their attention, but creating psychological triggers, like how habits are formed. This is far from easy as the online market is now more competitive than ever.

Attracting attention is already an endeavor onto itself, but holding onto that attention is another. We know how site traffic is the metric for online attention and how it can potentially translate to higher sales. You can also target influencers to get that attention and eventually become an influencer yourself. However, how can you convert that attention into actual interest?

The idea here is to get into the habit of implementing these ideas to influence your customers, consistently leave your mark in their minds, and even become a part of their online habit.

Time Limits and Scarcity

Human desire is dictated by aversion from pain and wanting of pleasure, whether for short term or long term. Some people may be willing to endure pain for delayed gratification, but only when the reward is worth the momentary discomfort. This is the root of human behavior, and knowing it can help you get into taking advantage of your customers’ tendencies.

Limiting access to something, either through creating scarcity or imposing a time limit, has been an effective way to make people want something more much sooner. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book and it still works as it creates urgency.

That’s why you may tend to see phrases like “for a limited time only,” “while stocks last,” “daily deal,” and so on as part of sales pitches everywhere. It pretty much tells people that if they don’t avail of the offer now, they’ll miss a rare opportunity. It taps into both desire and regret; wanting something for much less and not wanting to feel sorry later for not availing the offer while it was still there.

With that said, this psychological trigger only works if said scarcity is for real. Few things make people feel bad more than being lied to, so keep in mind that creating artificial scarcity under false pretense is ill-advised. Meanwhile, time limits are easier to manage as long as they’re reasonable.


People are drawn to stories. If a product or service has a history behind it, whether something interesting happened during its conception or a customer has an interesting experience with it, then you have a story that can be used to draw more customers to it. Businesses make use of stories all the time to pull on heartstrings and add a new dimension to their product or service.

Of course, what lends power to a story is its authenticity. It’s not to say that fiction has no power here, but you wouldn’t want to just outright lie about whatever you’re selling by inventing stories about it. You can even tell the story of how you got to decide on selling that product if it’s interesting enough. As long as that story is true and is not boring, then there will be people who’ll be interested in learning more.

Read: Utilizing the Power of Storytelling for Your Brand Marketing

Novelty and Curiosity

Human beings get drawn to new things and anything that’s not of the norm. When we are curious about something we’ve never seen before, we crave for more information and derive reward from being able to find out more about that thing. The potential for knowing more is a great motivator for curiosity.

It’s much like scarcity, but of information instead of supply of product. If you have something new to offer, you might not want to give customers all the information you have about it all at once. Just crack the door open a little bit to gauge their interest first, then let out a bit more when you see there are people interested in it.

People buy things from you because they either trust you, believe you have the best solution to whatever problem they have, or the product or service you have let’s then save time, money, or space. Take these factors into consideration and make the most of both novelty and curiosity to pique your customers’ interest and make them want more from you.


The power of someone’s word is strong. Around 84 percent of people who want to try a new product or service look for testimonials from family, friends, and acquaintances who have tried it before, as well as online reviews from trusted sites. Their experience with that product or service gives them a measure of authority, and more than 88 percent of people trust these testimonials and online reviews.

As you prove yourself more to customers, having their reviews of your products visible on your site can help make your brand have a reputation for openness, which people can appreciate. If those reviews are good, that can encourage more people to start buying as well, thus, potentially creating a snowball effect.

Later on, you can seek out influencers in your particular market and have them put in the good word about your brand, thus adding more authority to the testimonials about your products and/or services. Social proof is a big thing as more people are willing to believe in you if they see others, especially more prominent figures, believe in you as well.


Selling online is about providing options. Customers are made to decide on whether an offer is worth their money or not. They have to look at your product, compare it to other products, and make their own assessments on whether it provides enough value. That’s a lot to think about, and it can take some time before they make their choice.

Therefore, making that decision-making process simpler and more streamlined is a good way to shorten the time between them looking at your products and making an actual purchase. More is not always better; less is more in this case. By making people choose less, they hesitate less and potentially take action more.

If you happen to be selling a lot of different products and are seeing not that much return, then you should think about cutting down on your offers. Once you take out the ones that aren’t that high in demand, then you may start to see an increase of sales or it can somewhat ease your mind.

It’s much like what the Pareto Principle states in that 80% of results may come from only 20% of your efforts. You can do other things like reducing the number of fields on your website’s sign-up form, as well as not having as many options on your navigational menus and so on. Your customers may even appreciate how you give them less headaches to deal with and more room to think on their own.


People are more accepting of something if the reason for it is clearly stated, even if it’s not a strong reason. They seem to appreciate some show of honesty, even under the flimsiest of pretenses. That may sound rather ludicrous, but there’s some scientific truth behind it.

According to the results of an experiment conducted by social psychologist Ellen Langer of Harvard University, people standing in line at a photocopier were 34 percent more likely to let someone cut in when they audibly stated their reason for doing so, even if it was something meaningless like, “I need to make some copies.”

It’s not to say that you should expect customers to buy from you just because you tell them why, but do know that they may be more likely to buy if you give them some assurance of quality, whether it be of the product or of your service. It’d be best if you say something for both and be able to stay true to your word.


Everything you may have heard about traditional and online marketing is all about being able to catch people’s attention and make use of what you know about their tendencies to make them want to buy from you. Psychological triggers are yet another layer in that marketing puzzle that entrepreneurs have been looking into.

By making a habit of implementing these different tactics that can help you tap into your customers’ psychology, you’ll be able to do more than catching their attention and actually convert their interest into actual sales.

Follow Avenew Media on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to find out how we can help boost your brand today!

Avenew Media Magazine

Borderless digital agency.

Avenew Media

Written by

Borderless digital agency. We specialising in digital strategies, communities, content production and beyond.

Avenew Media Magazine

Borderless digital agency. Specialising in digital strategies, communities, content production and beyond.

Avenew Media

Written by

Borderless digital agency. We specialising in digital strategies, communities, content production and beyond.

Avenew Media Magazine

Borderless digital agency. Specialising in digital strategies, communities, content production and beyond.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store