Psychological Triggers for Conversions and Sales

Marketing in the digital era has made it much easier for businesses to target audiences and increase sales. Not only can they reach potential customers through more channels, but they can get more accurate data as to what their audience likes, key demographics, and shopping patterns. All this data is great, but it can be overwhelming and difficult to remain on top when every competitor has the same targeting capabilities. Be that as it may, there is one key element that often gets overlooked and that is the element of psychology.

Yes, there is no denying that this data is revolutionary, and we should incorporate it into our digital marketing efforts. However, customers are not robots; they are human beings. As people, we have psychological reasons as to why we make decisions and psychological patterns within our decision-making process. Without understanding this, the data is basically going to amount to a whole lot of nothing. By obtaining a greater understanding of the psychological triggers of consumers, you will be able to better apply your data and targeting techniques, which will yield greater results.

The Trust Bank

The trust bank is a concept based on reciprocation: the more you give the customer, the more likely they will give back to you. It is very difficult to ask a customer to hand you money when they don’t know much about you. Remember, they are thinking “What’s in it for me?” That is why giving something for free can turn into a lead. You are giving them something with no obligation attached. That will not only make them like you, but it will also allow them to trust you. This giveaway can be a free sample of a product or a free course/information session. Upon offer, you can ask for their email address. That way, they can be on your email list and turn into a potential lead. You get the lead, yet they feel validated because they didn’t have to spend a dime. There are going to be times when you know this free giveaway might not result in anything. In these cases, just remember that you are adding to the trust bank. All the instances that you have volunteered to donate time, info, etc. will continue to build the customer's trust and then they'll want to add to your business. It’s a long-term plan but does yield results and places you as a kinder, more caring business in the customer's eyes.

Supply and Demand

People want what they can’t have, which is why supply and demand, particularly scarcity, is a major psychological factor. The idea of possibly wanting or needing something and not being able to obtain it moves customers down the purchasing funnel way faster than usual. Even if they are not actively looking for a product or service, the thought of missing out on their only chance of getting it triggers their FOMO.

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supply and demand

A common issue is that it’s difficult to advertise scarcity if there are currently no supply and demand issues with your product or service. However, if you are selling a product, you can show that there are only limited styles (maybe seasonal products that will not be around for much longer). You also do free trials with limited spots or a one-time-only promotion. A great way to elicit scarcity is to use a full-screen pop-up, where the consumer will have to either chose to accept the offer or decline it. This is more drastic, but customers tend to be more hesitant when they must give a definite “no”, especially if it is something of interest to them.


Getting your customers to see your ad is easy with data and targeting techniques. Getting them interested can be done with the trust bank and scarcity/FOMO marketing. However, how do you actually get them to commit to that purchase? Well, human behavior thrives on consistency. People like to be viewed as consistent and have their former actions, viewpoints, and behaviors match with their previous ones. That is why once they announce a major change, they are more likely to follow through with it. For example, if you announced to all your friends and family that you would like to lose 20 pounds, you will probably be more likely to achieve your goal, so you do not fall back on your word. That physical announcement leads to social pressure. Therefore, once you get a commitment that the customer is interested in your business, they will likely follow through with a purchase.

Additionally, smaller yeses tend to lead to bigger ones. It is much easier to make a minor commitment. However, once you commit, you are much more likely to make a bigger commitment. A good way to add smaller “yeses” to your marketing is to add a checkbox before proposing your desired conversion. By having them simply check off a “Yes I am ready to start saving on X, Y, Z” they will most likely go through with the conversion.

Social Proof

When people make a decision, they are heavily influenced by others. Their decision process is affected by their friends, family, colleagues, and coworkers. By demonstrating your brand’s authority, a person is more likely to invest in your business. If they see a celebrity drinking a new green tea, they might buy it. If they see their friends’ wearing clothes from a new store, they might start shopping there.

However, if you can’t get a celebrity endorsement that’s fine, just utilize your logo. Make sure your logo is something you are proud of (If not we can help with that!) and place it on every image of your business. Make sure your content has a similar look and feel so when people see it they know it’s your brand. The more recognizable you are, the more the customer will see you as an authority. Additionally, if you have a strong social media presence, show that to customers. They want some validation from those people who like and trust you before they decide to become a customer.

As you can see, psychological factors should be incorporated into marketing efforts. Emotional triggers have a major impact on consumer purchasing patterns. Ignoring these triggers and focusing solely on data can only get you so far. At aha! we take a step back and figure out why the data is showing certain trends. Data is not the solution; it is a tool to solve a problem. Analyze data trends and figure out why your audience reacted the way they did. These marketing tips above will definitely help you connect with your customers and have more successful campaigns.