Monthly Archives: August 2015

How to Utilize The Psychology of Persuasion to Increase Conversion Rates

Why do customers buy your product and not your competitor’s?

Well-known consultant and author Jack Trout once said:

“Marketing isn’t a battle of products, it’s a battle of perceptions”.

This is probably my favorite quote because it truly explains the essence of marketing (and conversion optimization): what matters to customers isn’t your pricing or features, it’s not even how good your product is. What matters to customers is how you make them feel and what’s in it for them. This is what determines whether customers choose you or your competitor.

One of our most studied and applied subjects at my company (Conversioner) is the psychology of persuasion. To increase revenue we have to get to know our customers better, understand their emotional triggers, and most importantly their decision making process. Once we understand our customers better we can run meaningful AB tests, build better user journeys and increase revenues across the board.

One of the most influential books on this topic is called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Published In 1984 by Dr. Cialdini, it is a massively important book for every marketer. After three decades its value and lessons are considered fundamental to any marketing strategy. The main focus of the book is Cialdini’s six principles of how to influence people and address their emotional needs. In this article we’ll take look at these principles and how we can leverage them to turn visitors into customers.

The Six Principles of Persuasion

1. Reciprocity

Our natural human behavior dictates that if someone gives something to us, we feel obligated to repay that debt. This principle highlights the fact that if someone does something nice for us we generally feel the need to repay the favor or the debt.

The mutually beneficial exchange between humans comes natural to us and has become even more common online. Examples of this include signing up for a newsletter to get a free eBook, spending X amount of money and receiving a gift, or simply getting a discount on a product in exchange for sharing, commenting or reviewing it.

How to use this principle:
First you must determine what action you would like your customer to perform. This can be something like registering or downloading a product, sharing the product with their friends, or simply signing up to a newsletter. Once you’ve identified what you need, identify what you can give your customer in return (reciprocate) for this action (an e-book, a discount, cash back).

The emotional targeting methodology also emphasizes that reciprocity doesn’t have to be an actual commodity, a simple promise of a better life, feeling safe or accepted by our peers will convince us to give something in return.

For instance, at Conversioner we use an exit pop up that offers people exclusive content on emotional targeting in exchange for signing up.


CopyHackers uses an exit intent pop up to offer a free personal guide in exchange for signing up for their newsletter.


In both cases, customers are willing to reciprocate by signing up and leaving their details for exclusive content we’re willing to give away.

2. Commitment and Consistency

As humans we like to maintain a consistent self-image about who we are and what we believe. As consistent beings, when we make an internal or public commitment about something we tend to follow through with it to preserve our self image.

One of most popular methods of using this principle is while buying a home. Once you’ve viewed a house and seen it, you’re asked by the estate agent to write down details of the house and propose a figure. Even though this number isn’t a real commitment, having it written down has made it more realistic and you’re now more prone to buy that house (not necessarily for that price). Getting a customer’s commitment early on increases the chances and makes it more likely that the customer will follow through with it.

An online example would be getting customers to commit for a one month trial or asking your customers which plan they prefer on a pricing page before sending them to a payment page. Once they’ve chosen a plan they feel compelled to take you up on the bigger action.

The example below is from a B2B company that asks people to first leave their details for a demo and then fill in more information about their business. Once they had already agreed to getting a call back from our client’s representative, they felt more committed and compelled to answer our follow up questions.

Step 1:


Step 2:


3. Social Proof

People like to do things they see other people doing. For instance, if a restaurant looks busy you’re more likely to eat there than if it were empty. There’s also more chance you’ll put money in a tip jar if there’s already money in there. In the online world, social proof is extremely important.

People want to feel they are not the only ones to use a product or service, that others have taken the risk before you and they are satisfied customers. This is why you see testimonials on landing pages, reviews for E-commerce stores and well-known logos on landing pages, these logos inflict trust and show people that the best of the best are using a certain product and it can be trusted.

Piktochart is one of many companies using social proof on their homepage:


This principle is also called Wisdom of the Crowd. It’s why people read reviews, buy bestsellers or browse most popular items before buying. We want security in numbers and most of us want to fit in and be a part of a community, not trend setters. Other ways to increase social proof include social media sharing and publishing case studies on your website to prove that other people are using your service and finding it successful.

In this landing page shows the amount of people using the service as social proof:


Amazon uses reviews, showing visitors the satisfaction rate of customers from a specific product rather than the entire site:


4. Liking

People are more likely to buy products or services from people they like and trust which is why likeability is a huge influencing factor. A common example of this principle is known as the “pyramid” business. This is when people are invited by their friends to an event and feel obligated to purchase tupperware/protein shakes and other products regardless to their actual feelings towards the product. This happens because of their personal relationship with the salesperson and the commitment principle. They’ve already taken one step in the process of coming over and now feel obligated to buy.

How to use this principle:
The best way to utilize this principle is by building trust and a good relationship with your visitors. This takes time – trust and likeability isn’t built overnight. To get there, you can increase likeability in a few ways:

  1. Similarity – We like people who are similar to us. Based on your product and your customers you know what type of persona your customers will like and feel close to. Mirroring your customer in your strategy (using images, content and the right social proof) will increase likability and trust.
  2. People – Using pictures of people on your website and adding a personal voice increases likability.
  3. Association – Many brands associate themselves with current trends and celebrities. By associating your product and brand to something people like and can identify with, you increase your likability.

Wix does an incredible job of mirroring their customers in their landing page by using photos of people in their work space and adding their name and occupation. Though these are clearly professional photos, by giving them names they’ve made them accessible and real, thus increase likability.


Another one:


5. Scarcity

People like the idea of buying things that are rare or hard to come by. If something is marketed as a “limited time offer” people will rush to buy it as they will feel a sense of urgency and fear of loss. Scarcity all boils down to- “get something before you lose it forever”.

This is happens because of a well known cognitive bias called “Loss Aversion” which states that people would prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. Losing something hurts us more than the pleasure of gaining something. Which is why scarcity works.


Another part of scarcity is status. This is very important to a lot of people – they want to be admired by their peers. Labeling your product or offering as a one-of-a kind and giving it a time cap (“only 5 spots left”) will increase its desirability and as a result increase conversions tremendously. If will value a product much more if it’s a once in a lifetime type of product than if it’s a commodity.

Popular examples include 24 hour sales, a countdown clock and limited time offers. AliExpress uses all these techniques plus makes it exclusive by applying the sale to app users only:


6. Authority

People trust and respect those in authority. Authority can be instilled through uniforms, titles like Dr. or Professor, or an endorsement from someone in a position of authority like a CEO or celebrity.

One of the most famous studies on this subject was held in 1974 when researchers were studying the influence of negative reinforcement. Participants were told they could give electric shocks to other participants (sitting in a different room) if they answered questions incorrectly. At first participants didn’t feel comfortable administering these electric shocks, but once a person came in with a white cloak and told them it was ok, researchers saw participants increase the voltage and commit. Though the people (actors) in the other room screamed everytime they got an “electric shock”, while the men in cloak stood and noded to the participants, they continued.

How to use this principle:
To increase authority for your brand, you can translate this principle to the web by having testimonials from experts, referencing important research and studies conducted to backup your product or service and using an authority figure.

Note how Tanning Truth uses an image of an unrelated doctor wearing an “official” cloak and a quote to increase authority and trust.


This also works by getting awards and/or recommendations from respected organizations

Over to You

Cialdini’s principles have been used for many years by marketers to reach out to their customers and appeal to them on an emotional level. Though not all principles may be achieved with every campaign you run, you should review each landing page you create and see what you can add or remove in order to tap into those psychological principles and translate Cialdini’s principles to increase conversions.

What is your favorite principle, and how do you use it?

About the Author: Talia Wolf is the CEO and Founder of Conversioner. Talia helps businesses build their conversion optimization strategies and execute them to increase their revenues, grow their sales, leads and engagement using quantitative data, consumer psychology & emotional conversion optimization. Talia specializes in Ecommerce optimization, landing page optimization, mobile optimization and consumer psychology. Tweet her at @taliagw.

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Fast Project Recipe – Launch a Content Marketing Platform

OwnerFUEL As you know, I recently launched OwnerFUEL. It’s the media portion of my company, Owner. I wanted to share with you just how simple it was to launch, and what we did to get it up and running. I’ll tell you right up front that a lot of what I recommend hinges on you choosing to build on the Rainmaker platform. But I explain all the reasons why that’s the right choice.

Fast Project Recipe – Launch a Content Marketing Platform

Project Time: 2 Business Days

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PV Solar Panel Glass

The glass in a solar panel is designed to protect solar cells, but at the same time as the light efficiently and reached the solar cells efficiently without thinking.

When we ask, “How does a solar panel”, tempered glass, which is the material used in the real panel must be part of our discussion. The reason is simple, is not easily broken and when it does not produce sharp pieces of glass that can cause harm to a person when it breaks. A tempered glass is as the glass material of the window of his car. Tempered glass panel also helps provide stiffness. If you have experienced the operation and development of a broken pane, you will feel it is unstable and can break if not completely handled some support from their fields, bottom and side. Now why use such a sign? Well, you need to carry the broken boards and send it to the manufacturer for warranty purposes, hence the need to ensure that no further damages.

Although solar cells have been integrated into the anti-reflective coating to prevent the inner layer of silicone to reflect light, the glass panel can further improve energy conversion using clear additional non-reflective material. But this anti-reflective coating on the glass may not last long or can not follow the life cycle of the panels and can reduce the performance of the panels in several years. Another method for resolving this problem is to texture the glass surface, which reduces reflection and even this to work, the rough texture may become a means of dirt or dust to attach to the surface and may not be easy or even winds heavy rains to evict them from the cup. This is where low iron tempered glass comes in where it provides long-term protection for panels of external harmful elements such as dust, water, chemicals, objects, or other biological factors that may impair the inside panels. This specialized type of glass is also stable under prolonged ultraviolet (UV), highly transparent, waterproof and gas and is self-cleaning. PV glass iron content is significantly reduced during manufacture to mainly improve transmittance.

Manufacture of glass for solar panels are not only to build it. Manufacturers also adhere to international standards in order to make safe and reliable glass.

Of course, if you build your own solar panel, you have the option of using special high quality glass however, if you are a beginner, a good glass material is Plexiglas, which has similar characteristics of tempered glass. Plexiglass is actually a brand name and also called safety glass. Knowing these facts about the glass used is only the first step in answering the question of “how a solar panel.”

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With New CEO Aboard, Lands’ End Seeks To Reinvent Itself With Fall Campaign

For its fall effort, the 50-year-old retailer unveils a two-pronged approach aimed at expanding its portfolio while holding onto loyalists.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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How Marketing Funnels Work

If you’ve spent any time learning about marketing analytics, you’ve probably come across the term “funnels.” If you’re curious about what they are and how they can help, this post is for you.

What Are Funnels?

You undoubtedly want visitors on your website to take certain actions. Maybe you want them to make a purchase, sign up, or fill out a form. When someone does something you want them to do, it’s known as a conversion. The visitor converts from browsing to taking the action you want them to take.

A funnel is the set of steps a visitor needs to go through before they can reach the conversion.

Think about the Amazon purchase funnel. There are a few steps a visitor has to go through before they can purchase a product. Here’s how it looks:

  • They have to visit
  • They have to view a product
  • They have to add a product to the cart
  • They have to purchase

There are additional steps/actions that can be taken in between each of these steps, but they do not matter in the purchase funnel. For example, a visitor may view Amazon’s About page, Contact page, and Careers page, but we don’t need to count these in the funnel because they aren’t necessary steps.

Why is the set of steps to conversion called a “funnel”? Because at the beginning of the process, there are a lot of people who take the first step. Then, as the people continue along and take the next steps, some of them drop out, and the size of the crowd thins or narrows. (And even further along in the process, your sales team gets involved to help close the deal.)


The top of the funnel is where everyone goes in (visiting your site). Only the most interested buyers will move further down your funnel.

So when you hear people say “widen the funnel,” you now know what they are referring to. They want to cast a larger net by advertising to new audiences, increasing their brand awareness, adding inbound marketing, etc. in order to drive more people to their site, thus widening their funnel. The more people there are in a funnel, the wider it is.

You aren’t limited to using your funnel strictly for signing up and/or purchasing. You can put funnels all over your website to see how visitors move through a specific website flow.

You may want to track newsletter signup (Viewing newsletter signup form > Submitting form > Confirming email) or a simple page conversion (Viewing a signup page > Submitting signup). Figure out what your goals are and what you want visitors to do on your site, and you can create a funnel for it.

Once you have the data, you’ll be able to see where roadblocks are and optimize your funnel. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.

Why Funnels Are Beneficial

With a funnel report, you can see where you are losing customers.

Let’s take your average SaaS business as an example. Here’s how a funnel may look for them:

  • Visited site
  • Signed up for a trial
  • Used product
  • Upgraded to paying

Do people have to use the product before paying? They don’t, but it’s a good idea to track it so you can see if it’s a roadblock for them.

Here’s how that funnel would look in the Kissmetrics Funnel Report:


In this example, the business manages to get 165 people to use the product, but only 13 people convert to Billed. There are opportunities for improvement at every step of the funnel, but it’s important to first work on the areas that need the most attention. The more people they can convert to Billed, the more revenue they’ll have. This should be the first area of the funnel to optimize.

A Funnel in Real Life

Funnels occur everyday with consumers. Let’s look at the funnel process for a retail store and see the corresponding steps in an ecommerce store. We’ll be tracking a purchase funnel.


The Ecommerce store has the fortune of being able to see a funnel. If they use Kissmetrics, they’ll see the exact number of people that move through the funnel, and where and when they drop off in the purchase process.


Okay, so now we have an understanding of what a funnel is and why it helps. Let’s take a look at two products that offer funnels – Google Analytics and Kissmetrics.

How Google Analytics Funnels Work

Google Analytics offers funnels, and we’ve written extensively about it in the past. There are a few things you’ll need to know when creating funnels in Google Analytics:

  • It’s a pretty basic funnel. If you don’t want to dive deep into the data and optimize, you can go with this.
  • You cannot go back and retroactively view data. Once you create your funnel, you’ll only be able to the funnel going forward as the data comes in.

Click here to learn how to set up a conversion funnel in Google Analytics.

How Kissmetrics Funnels Work

Kissmetrics funnels, on the other hand, are simpler. You just create your events and then set up the report. Events are various actions people take on your website. These may include signing up, downloading something, clicking on something, viewing a page, using a feature, etc. Once you have these set up, you can create funnels. There are a few benefits to Kissmetrics funnels:

  • You can go back and retroactively view data. Want to create a funnel that views your performance 3 months ago? No problem. As long as you were tracking data during that time, you can go back and view your performance. If you weren’t tracking data during that time, there are ways to import data into Kissmetrics.
  • It doesn’t matter if people leave your funnel and then return to it and convert. In other words, they don’t have to follow a strict path. In the example funnel above, a visitor can go on other pages of your site before signing up. They don’t have to go to your homepage and then straight to signing up. If they go to your homepage, then your About page, your Contact page, and your Pricing page, and then enter signup, they’ll still be counted.
  • It doesn’t matter if the conversion takes a long time to happen. As long as it’s within your date range, you can track it. Do you have people who visit your site one day and sign up 20 days later? If it’s within your date range, Kissmetrics will register the signup conversion.
  • You can segment your traffic to see your most valuable segments. This can come in especially useful if you’re tracking traffic or UTM segments. Tracking these can help you find your highest converting sources. Once you know what they are, you can put more effort into getting more traffic from those sources. We covered this in this blog post on increasing conversions.
  • We don’t track pageviews. Our technology tracks every person on your site. This means you can see each person in every step of your funnel. Take, for instance, the example funnel above. With the Kissmetrics funnel, you can see the people who did not convert to “Billed.” You can then email them to gather feedback and find out why they decided not to convert to paying. You can then take this information back into your product development and marketing.


We’ve gone through a fair amount, here’s a recap:

  • When someone on your website does something you want them to do (i.e., sign up, make a purchase, fill out a form, etc.), it is known as a conversion.
  • A funnel is used to track the steps that lead up to that conversion. For example, Ecommerce companies want people to purchase products on their website. Their funnel may have these steps – visited site > viewed product > placed product in cart > purchased.
  • Using a funnel report you can see where people are dropping off in the path to conversion.
  • Both Google Analytics and Kissmetrics provide funnels. Each have their unique use cases. Kissmetrics provides additional reports in addition to the Funnel Report.

Video Explanation

Want to know more about the Kissmetrics Funnel Report? Just click play below.

Ready to see how the Funnel Report and other Kissmetrics reports can be used to grow your business? Then request a personal demo today.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is a Content Writer for Kissmetrics.

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Yahoo: The Decline Of The Mobile Browser Is A Threat To Search

Earlier this week Yahoo held its second Mobile Developer Conference in New York. This was the East Coast version of its inaugural developer conference held in San Francisco earlier this year. As part of that event, which I did not attend, Simon Khalaf, Yahoo’s SVP Publishing Products, took…

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Marketing Day: World’s Largest Media Buyer, Native Ads & Retail Marketing Strategies

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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Here’s Where The World’s Largest Media Buyer Spends Its Money

WPP’s GroupM spends $76 billion a year on media. All but one of the top recipients of that investment are digital media companies.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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The Brand’s CMO, Its CFO And An Agency Shill Walk Into A Bar…

On this Friday, we’ll listen in on a conversation that could occur while a couple of C-level execs, along with their agency rep, enjoy a few drinks at happy hour one evening.

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Native Ads: Effective, But Are They Accepted By Consumers?

Marketers have enthusiastically embraced “native advertising,” and there’s an emerging body of evidence supporting the proposition that it’s more effective than traditional display. The latest addition to that corpus comes in the form of a report just published by the MMA….

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