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5 ways to use psychology in your online marketing (I)

5 ways to use psychology in your online MARKETING

This article will introduce you to a few techniques and principles you can use in your online marketing or, more specifically, in your online communication. So, without further ado –

The foot-in-the-door technique

Basically, if you get someone to agree to something small, they are more likely to later agree to something larger. This has to do with the fact that people want to be consistent, and if they take a few steps in one direction or another, like accepting your initial request, they would want to stay on the same track and fulfill your later requests as well rather than do a complete flip and refuse.

How you can use this in online marketing:

Ask for smaller, low-cost or no-cost, actions from your audience in your initial interactions with them, then gradually request more involvement on their part. Types of conversions that can result from this initial request include:

  • Signing up for your company’s newsletter
  • Interacting with your social media posts
  • Checking out your website
  • Downloading a free trial version of your product

After these types of actions, and many others, your audience is more likely to accept larger requests, such as visiting your showroom, attending your events, buying your products etc.

Other related concepts which you can explore and adapt to your online marketing strategy include “the low-ball technique”, “the Ben Franklin effect” and, of course, “cognitive dissonance”.

The door-in-the-face technique

Basically, you start with a large request, which will most likely be refused, but this gives your follow-up request, which is smaller and more reasonable, greater chances of being accepted. Reasons why people are more inclined to accept the second request after refusing the first include guilt management and the appearance of reciprocal concessions.

How you can use this in online marketing:

Incorporate it in your web copy while keeping the medium in mind.

For example, if you’re a NGO, you can ask for attendance at a protest in a certain city, while knowing that the majority will not be able to come, and then mention that they can “also” sign your petition.

Or you could ask for paid, long-term subscriptions at first, then mention the free, 30-day version.

You could also do something like presenting your most expensive and high-end products at the top of the newsletter, web page and so on, state the high price and then subtly mention that customers could also purchase the second-hand or resealed versions of these products.

There are more psychological principles at work in this last example and you should be very careful to not offend your audience.

Another thing you should be careful about is forgetting your initial aim. True, you might get positive responses even to the initial, large request, and there’s no way that’s a bad thing, right? But don’t lose sight of your original goal, which is getting your customers to accept and fulfill the smaller, second request.

You could also apply the door-in-the-face technique to traditional mediums, such as videos. One very good example is this social marketing video that uses the concept in its own unique way.

Too much to take in all at once? We’ll cover a technique related to that in the second part of this article, which will be published next week.

Till then, take some time to think about how you could use these psychological techniques in your online communication. If they work or not, if you have more of these insights to share, write us a letter… or leave us a comment! (see what I did there?)


Until next time!

Yours dedicated,

Alina Andreica