It’s what every marketing executive is looking for — simple, straight-forward ways of converting more prospects into customers. While the Internet offers a plethora of web apps and tools that promise to aid you in achieving this task, here are 10 scientifically proven methods you can put to work to amplify the success of your marketing and convert prospects into customers:
1. Break through “action paralysis” by setting minimums. Research by professor Robert Cialdini showcased how adding a minimum to a request increased donations for the American Cancer Society by 78%! Remind your customers how “easy” it is to get started. Offer “no payments for…”, etc.
2. Label your customers as part of a “superior group” and their actions will reflect those characteristics.
In a behavioral study examining voting patterns, researchers found that people who they randomly labeled as “politically active” were 15% more likely to vote despite the fact that they were randomly chosen.
3. Know the psychology of your buyers. Buyers can be placed in three primary types:
- 5% spendthrifts
- 24% tightwads
- 61% average spenders
By understanding the psychology of these three types of buyers, you can package your products and articulate your message in ways that speak to their listening. For the budget conscious, bundle products and reduce the amount of small fees associated with your product.
4. Admit shortcomings. Fiona Lee, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at University of Michigan, concludes that customers are more trustworthy of companies who admitted “strategic failings” over those who blamed external sources for company problems.
5. Use urgency the smart way. Urgency and scarcity are proven to increase sales, but according to research from Howard Leventhal, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology at Rutgers University, people are prone to block out urgent messages if they are’t given information on how to follow up. Therefore, be sure to provide clear action steps for customers to take.
6. Make their brain “light up” instantly. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have shown that our frontal cortex is highly active when we think about waiting for something. This is a bad thing for sales conversions as a confused mind makes no decisions.
To increase sales conversions, make the buying decision easy. Provide testimonials and references. Point out how your product or service will solve their problem “fast and easy”. Reduce steps they need to take to compete the order. Offer fast shipping or instant access (when applicable) to appeal to their desire for instant gratification.
7. Make an enemy. According to the Social Identity Theory from social psychologists Henri Tajfel and John Turner, your self image is defined in part by the social group or groups you consider yourself to be part of. Apple, for example, attacked the PC users themselves, and drew a sharp distinction between Mac users and everyone else.
8. Stand for something. Of customers who have a strong relationship with a single brand, over 64% said it was because they had shared values with the company in question. Consider values your company has which your customers share. Perhaps a percentage of sales donated to a cause such as cancer research.
9. Devil’s advocate. Ancient Catholic tradition demonstrates that when groups of people have their ideas questioned by a “devil’s advocate”, they actually increase their confidence in their original stance. Your business can play your own devil’s advocate to help increase buyer confidence. For example, address common concerns and dismiss them with well researched information.
10. Keep ’em on their toes. Customers value consistency but love upside surprises. A study by psychologist Norbert Schwartz found that as little as 10 cents was enough to change the outlook of participants who found the money by surprise.