The human mind is a strange and wonderful thing. Marketing psychology is fascinating because the human psyche often turns our assumptions on their head. Understanding your customer’s counter-intuitive traits boosts your online marketing. Use these psychological tips, and test them to see how your customers respond.


1. The Halo Effect

The Halo Effect describes the human tendency to form positive associations based on unrelated, positive features. We assume good looking people are intelligent and products marketed with nature-themed images are healthy. The halo effectcan be a boon to your business or it’s undoing. Your customers and leads form opinions about the quality of your products or services based on unrelated factors as well. They associate social media interactions, blog posts, and even your company’s web design with the quality of your content or services. Like it or not, the quality of your online marketing is how your customers determine the quality of your company.


2. Priming

Priming occurs when people are presented information in a way that preconditions them to value certain qualities or features. People who have been primed will be more receptive to buying a product that possesses primed traits. In fact, website design can actually influence buying behavior. Use your online marketing to prime your customers and leads to see the value in the features and traits that your products or services possess. They will be more receptive when presented with your call to action.

Get customers involved in your business for conversion optimization

3. Adding an Egg

When Betty Crocker first introduced cake mixes, the mixes came in a just-add-water variety. Purchasers didn’t respond. Homemakers felt guilty to act as if they baked a cake when so little effort was involved. The answer, have users add an egg. When homemakers added an egg, they felt sufficiently involved in the baking process. The online marketing psychology takeaway is that your customers will be more responsive to your marketing more when they’re involved. Get them to tweet with your hashtag or comment on your blog posts, and they’ll feel a sense of ownership in your marketing. Customer engagement supercharges online marketing not only because it spreads the word, but it turns customers into apostles and makes your marketing memorable.


4. Anchoring

Initial information serves as a reference point in human decision making. In negotiations, the first offer sets expectations, and any negotiated settlement will likely end up relatively close to the initial offer. Whether you’re quoting a price or predicting deliverables on your product or services, you’re dropping an anchor that will inform their expectations. Make sure you’ve thought this information out before drop the anchor. If you’re mindful in setting expectations, you will be able to sell your customers on your products and services and make them think they’re getting a bargain all at the same time.



FOMO or “fear of missing out,” a supposed millennial phenomenon, actually manifests itself in a much wider demographic. FOMO causes people to check social media and text messages constantly. People are even feeling phantom vibrations from their phones. While FOMO represents a serious problem, it also means that you have the opportunity to communicate with your customers and leads any time, day or night. Your customers are anxiously to avoid missing out on any social opportunity, so take the opportunity be social and provide your customers with interactions they won’t want to miss.


6. Human Association

Humans have a herd mentality. We mimic behaviors from birth. We do things that don’t make sense, just because everyone else is doing it. You can use this human behavior in your marketing. Highlight the customers who are already using your products and services, and get your customers to be social and share your offerings with the world. When people see that converting to your business means associating themselves with a group of successful people, conversion rate will rocket upward.


7. Time Pressured Sales

Time pressure sales focus customers on your products and services while other variables such as budget constraints fall by the wayside. Under pressure, customers act impulsively. If your product is attractive or desirable, they buy. Make your products or services sexy, and use a time pressured sale to induce impulse purchases. If you use a time pressured sale, remember how people will act; market to instinct, not reasoned decision making. Don’t forget that when the pressure is gone, people will wake up. If your product or service wasn’t worth it, people won’t be fooled twice.


8. Loss Aversion

Loss aversion describes the greater value people attribute to things they own. Loss aversion is not rational from an economic point of view, but humans tend to actively avoid the pain of losing. You can take advantage of this human trait by giving your customers free trials. Free trials will give your customers ownership of your product or service. You transform the decision from whether to buy into whether to lose. When this is the decision, your customers will be motivated by the human desire to avoid the pain of loss.


Understanding online marketing psychology gives your company a leg up on the competition. Don’t rely on intuition, make sure the rationale behind your marketing is psychologically sound, and use A/B Testing to find out if it works.
What human psychological traits are powering your online marketing strategy? Tell us about them in the comments!