Home The CRO-tool blog Four Proven Principles of Psychology towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Four Proven Principles of Psychology towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Posted on Sep 8, 2022

Any expert in the digital marketing scenario will agree to the fact that the secret ingredient towards conversion optimization is none other than ‘social psychology.’ We may have it all- a pro design, professionally written content, advanced tactics of testing, yet it is difficult to shape consumer behavior to our favor, unless we know how persuasion works in psychology. We are about to discuss four proven success factors of psychology towards optimized conversions. Let’s dig in!

1. Loss aversion theory

Loss aversion theory discusses the human tendency of wanting to avoid a loss than gaining a reward. As a result, we try to avoid losses at any cost. Think about it! Why do so many people pay for insurance? Can you recall how insurance companies stress upon many potential ways how we can incur losses in our lives? As they explain the losses, how to avoid them are emphasized that our brains certainly accept their suggestions due to the principle of loss aversion in psychology.  Moreover, in a casino you can see how loss aversion works in action. Once a person faces a loss he/she tends to play over and over until they regain what they lost or until they are completely broke trying to do so.

How to use loss aversion principle for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

  • Highlight the benefits that your target audience is going to miss if they don’t act.
  • For example, you can simply offer a free gift or a special discount. And if you want to amplify the result, you can simply highlight such rewards are for limited time.

Real world examples

Netflix emphasizes that you can ‘join free for a month.’ It’s true that this offer won’t be taken off soon but once you are registered and reached the end of the trial, here comes the loss aversion into play. That’s when many of us ended up buying the subscription because we simply didn’t want to miss out all the cool movies by cancelling the subscription.

2. Fear of missing out (FoMo) theory

According to social psychology it’s the nature of humans to act upon obtaining things when they are feared of losing something. This phenomenon is referred to as FoMo by psychologists. This theory has a close relationship with the principle of scarcity (people obtaining things quickly which are in the scarce state).

How to use FoMo for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

  • Convey the message that ‘act now or you will never have it soon again!’ This is an ideal way to persuade your target audience.
  • You can simply add the ‘limited offer’ or ‘limited stock’ labels right next to the desired products.
  • Furthermore, you can embed a label denoting the stock availability; i.e. 10 pieces are remaining.
  • Indeed, you can embed a time countdown or a quantity countdown next to the desired offer or the product respectively.

Real world example

Take a look at the following homepage of booking.com. Next to each type of room, you can see the availability of the rooms. And if you are truly longing to spend your vacation there, nothing else will persuade you to book the room right away than the remaining count of the rooms as a result of the FoMo theory in human psychology.

3. Principle of reciprocity

As the principle of reciprocity describes (one principle of Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion), we are obliged to return a favor we received. For example, based on a research done in 2002, it was observed that a waitress was tipped 20% higher than the normal, when she offered mints after dinner for the customers saying that those are especially for them, even though the mint was for everyone.

How to use the Principle of reciprocity for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

  • Give something to your customers that they feel indebted towards you and to make them feel special.
  • Make sure to let them know that it’s from you and it’s especially for them.

Real world example

You can obtain Spotify premium membership absolutely free for a month with every exclusive feature. Moreover, you can cancel the membership at any time at zero cost. As a result, the majority of visitors absolutely loves the site and ultimately finds it very difficult to cancel the subscription at the end of the free trial. Therefore, they tend to proceed with payment.

4. Instant satisfaction

According to social psychology, our brains are highly active at times when we are waiting for something. So our brain kind of gets lit up towards instant rewards. Think about it! You have wanted to have a snack for a couple of minutes and you see this ad copy, ‘Get your hands on the freshly baked pepperoni pizza NOW.’ If you’re similar to the majority of us, you will place the order right away even though you were quite indecisive a while back on what to have. This is the power of instant satisfaction to persuade consumer behavior to your favor.

How to use Principle ‘instant satisfaction’ for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

  • Convey a clear message that your products and services are readily available for them to consume.
  • Add the terms such as ‘fast shipping’ or ‘quick arrivals’ next to the offers.
  • Moreover, you can add the words such as ‘RIGHT NOW, IMMEDIATELY, FAST’ to your ad copy or the page headings to make the most use of instant satisfaction towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

Real world example

Take a look at the blog article taken from goodhousekeeping.com.

The title, ‘How to Lose Weight FASTER, But Safely’ puts instant satisfaction in the mindset of the readers. As a result, they will be most likely to proceed with the article.

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