5 Psychological Principles You Can Use to Convert More Visitors – Use With Caution!

The secret to great marketing is in the ability to truly understand the psychology of the buyer. The very first thing to understand is that people buy on emotion and then justify with logic. 

The reality is if you’re not selling then you’re not surviving in business for too long. With that said, you can ethically leverage your prospects emotions by increasing the chances of them buying from you through a number of incredibly persuasion principles.

These are tried and tested tools that work both online and offline, please don’t abuse them and use in moderation and ethically!

Tell the problem in your sales copy 

Write sales copy that frames the problem before discussing the solution. Don’t introduce the solution too early, take the user on a journey of discovery.

You want your prospects to feel the problem first. Your prospects are more likely to engage with you if they feel you understand them and their pain points.

Isn’t it easier to talk to someone who seems to just “get it”? They instantly become relatable.

www.benylin.co.uk, a provider of cough, cold and flu relief remedies focusses on the problem.

Give to get

Giving a little goes a long way. Not just because people appreciate it, but because they have a psychological need to return the favour.

Gary Vaynerchuck the author of the book, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, summaries it in his book: provide value first, then ask for the sale later.

When you provide value for free, people feel a sense of indebtedness towards you, and this indebtedness has significant positive effects in favour of you for your subsequent requests.

So how can you use this principle you may be thinking?

One of the ways in you can implement this on your website is by providing great value. Know your audience, research them and understand their pain points and why they might be coming on your website. It’s not always to buy from you immediately!

Key takeaway: When you provide honest value, people naturally want to do business with you when the time is right.

Monday.com, a team management software throws this pop up at you before you attempt to leave the site giving you a free trial of the software.
www.grenade.com, a sports nutritional and performance brand give you 20% off your first order.
www.purplebricks.co.uk, an online estate agent provide a simple to use savings calculator for free.

Social proof

Social proofing is one of the most powerful forces to have tipped the scale to encourage us to buy. 

If you’ve ever watched a sitcom, you must have noticed the canned laughter that is played to queue laughter from the watching audience. The canned laughter is played to help the viewer understand what’s funny and encourage and elicit laughter.

Don’t believe me? Try watching Friend’s with the laughter dubbed out on this Youtube video https://youtu.be/4BFSZ8XzWOM and observe how less funny the content becomes.

Laughter is contagious, the producers of comedy sitcoms know this very well. Certain types of laughter will trigger you to laugh even if the contents aren’t that funny. 

This happens because your brain is thinking, other people are laughing so it must be funny.

There are countless examples of social proofing and it works online too. Here are a few examples of websites using social proofing effectively not to invoke laughter, but to demonstrate trust, and encourage the act of making a purchase because others have done so too!

www.booking.com, a hotel booking website utilises multiple social proofing concepts such as customer reviews and people watching count.
www.isawitfirst.com, an online fashion retailer displays trending categories.

Fear of missing out (FOMO)

The fear of missing out is a psychological trigger that we can’t help but fall victim to. Let’s face it, nobody likes the feeling of being left behind.

Advertisers know how to leverage this, which is why we’re continually bombarded with suggestions about what we might do: go book a holiday to the Maldives, start a tech company or buy the latest flat screen TV. The modern world makes sure at all times just how much is going on out there.

The fear of missing out invokes anxiety in the minds of people, and because of this phenomena, it greatly increases the likelihood of the prospect rummaging wallets and purses in the ditch to make that purchase.

You too can use the power of FOMO to your advantage and increase your website conversion rate.

Here are few examples of FOMO at play.

www.groupon.co.uk, a deals marketplace purposefully displays limited-time and selling fast badges. 

www.booking.com, a hotel booking website boldly reminds users that hesitation could result in them missing out on the room.


People are likely to listen to you if they consider you an authority in the space or subject matter. People are simply more willing to buy from you if they think of you as an expert.

Holding authority in a particular field or practice means people will trust you, they are likely to see you as a credible source and tell others about you and your product or service.

Ideally, you really do need to be an absolute master in your field and then you’ll need to shout about it! You should position yourself in a way which people recognise your mastery. If you don’t demonstrate your expertise then how will anybody know?

Even if you’re not an expert, there are still ways to make yourself look more credible and reap the benefits.

  • Provide lot’s of value
  • Solve problems 
  • Engage with your audience and become the go to.

Here are some examples of website that have used authority effectively.

www.emoov.co.uk, an online estate agent declare they’re excellence.
www.theaa.com, primarily a breakdown cover provider boast their five-star rating.


We are all psychologically influenced to make purchasing decisions that are primarily emotionally motivated. Understanding which psychological triggers can be used to influence and persuade prospects to purchase can be incredibly rewarding.

These psychological principles are so powerful that unfortunately in the hands of the unethical are subject to abuse and can sometimes cajole people into making a purchase when they didn’t even want to.

Happy converting!

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About the author

Mamo has been in the Online Marketing space since 2005, has a background in Software Engineering, User Experience Design and has a deep understanding of the principles of Digital Marketing.

He founded his first company at age 17 and has been instrumental in launching over 300 website builds and executing 100’s of successful marketing campaigns generating millions in revenue.