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Mere-exposure effect

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The mere exposure effect discusses how we are more likely to buy the things with which we are familiar. This is also introduced as the Familiarity principle in Social psychology. Our mind always tends to deal much effectively with what it is used to deal with.

Table of contents:
  1. Where does this bias occur?
  2. How to Use the Mere Exposure Effect to Boost Your Sales
    1. Leverage retargeting for more conversions
    2. Encourage your visitors to share your content
  3. Wrap-up

Let's see a very simple example to see the mere exposure effect in action. Think about a celebrity, who you didn't like very much at very first. What happens if you happen to see him every day in action? You will notice that after some period of time that you no longer hate him as much as you did before. The more you see him, the more you have grown fondness towards him. Such things happen simply because of the mere exposure effect.

Where does this bias occur?

The mere exposure effect can work on you at any time in any place. Suppose you are in a foreign country. You feel hungry and you are looking for a restaurant to have a meal. Suddenly, you see this restaurant which offers the cuisine of your country. You go to that restaurant without a second thought with a smiling face. What influenced your quick action? That is the mere exposure effect! You got this familiar feeling in a foreign country, and you couldn't help yourself from running there even though you had a zero idea on the quality of the food in that place.

When it comes to marketing, the mere exposure effect can impose a significant effect on the decision making process of the consumers and it will ultimately effect on Conversion rate optimization (CRO). According to social psychology, people spontaneously turn towards what they know.

It is the challenge for every marketer to look for ways on how to use this familiarity principle in increasing brand awareness. Even though it looks easy theoretically, it is not that simple in practical implementation. Your digital marketing effort should be crafted in a way that your consumers catch your bite. The favor of mere exposure effect can be used to influence your consumer to use your products again and again without hesitation.

Here come the top tips on how to use the mere exposure effect for Conversion rate optimization (CRO).

How to Use the Mere Exposure Effect to Boost Your Sales

Leverage retargeting for more conversions

Retargeting pre visited people on your website when advertising your product or service will cause a positive result than targeting raw prospects. It has been found that 'Click through Rate' (CTR) of retargeted ads is 10 times higher than 'Click through Rate' of a display ad. There are loyal customers who are used to visiting your website. Focus widely on them through retargeting to get the maximum advantage of the mere exposure effect towards conversion rate optimization (CRO). Re-purpose and re-distribute existing content.

As a marketer, you are expected to spend your time, energy, effort in producing content that covert. This doesn't mean that you should always produce brand new content. There are situations that re-distributing existing content over different social channels can pay back a great deal due to the mere exposure effect. Some studies have shown that repurposing content has acted way more effectively than creating new content. Info graphic, video, podcast and slide presentation are some ideal ways that you can use to re-distributing content. As a result, your target audience can see the same content over and over in different channels and it encourages more acceptance from them as the result of the familiarity created. By making your brand and content readily available to the customers, you can drive more traffic towards your website to assist with Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

Encourage your visitors to share your content

By enabling the visitors sharing your content, you can get the advantage of re-sharing. To do so, embed a 'share' button right next to your products or whatever the content that you believe is useful to your visitors. Moreover, you can embed shareable links, shareable newsletters etc. Remember, the more visibility you create, the more the fondness it grows!


You need to be more strategic for being competitive in digital marketing. There are a lot of competitors out there waiting to drive your prospects towards them. Seal your prospects within you by creating a familiar environment for them with your digital marketing efforts. That is why the mere exposure effect can be widely used in advertising and marketing to drive your customers towards the conversion.

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The references contain experiments and studies that prove this bias is there.

1. The Mere Exposure Effect: An Uncertainty Reduction Explanation Revisited
2. Stimulus Recognition and the Mere Exposure Effect

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