In Part Two of The Digital Psychology Checklist for Website Redesigns, we discussed the importance of design psychology and how it impacts brand association, recognition, and decision making. In Part Three, we touch upon marketing psychology, and the science of digital commerce, conversion strategy, and copywriting.

Marketing Psychology

Buying decisions are 20% logical and 80% emotional.

Buying decisions are 20% logical and 80% emotional. These digital marketing psychology principles will help you make deeper emotional connections that are specifically designed to increase sales. Follow this checklist and determine for yourself how effective your company’s approach to marketing is.

I’m leading with product benefits instead of features, logistical information, and pricing: yes or no?

The Psychology: The Framing Effect tells us that the way we present information has an effect on the way it’s received. Are you putting forth the most compelling information?

I’ve used authoritative sources to build credibility for my product: yes or no?

The Psychology: The Authority Bias says that if a credible source presents information it must be true. Specialists’ findings are highly regarded due to their expertise and authority. 77% of online shoppers use recommendations from product reviews, blogs, or social media to make a purchasing decision.

I’ve set minimums for my calls-to-action to help my users break through “action paralysis”: yes or no?

The Psychology: People are more likely to take action when minimal parameters are set. For example, if you’re trying to raise funds for a cause, people may ask themselves if they have enough to donate and whether it will make a difference. By clarifying that “even a penny” could make a difference, the second line makes the request more achievable for those considering a donation. Implying that a small action is a good start will make people more amenable to making a move.

I’m not making my price sound larger than it has to: true or false?

The Psychology: “Reframing” is similar to “Anchoring” in that it is often used in pricing strategies. Reframing as a concept simply means to put something another way. Think of it this way: is it easier to ask your customers to spend $84 per month or $1,000 per year on a given product or service? Even though it’s the same amount of money, one clearly sounds more appealing.

I’m bundling products: yes or no?

The Psychology: Pain Points can be caused when users have to make a lot of individual purchases. By bundling products you’re only requiring your user to experience one pain point instead of several – even though the price is greater.

I’ve A/B tested the little things: true or false?

The Psychology: In one scenario, researchers changed the description of an overnight shipping charge for a free DVD from “$5 fee” to “small $5 fee” and increased the response rate among tightwads by 20 percent! Test multiple versions of something to arrive at the best possible solution.

I’ve demonstrated that other people trust my brand: yes or no?

The Psychology: “Social Proof” says that we look at what others are doing or have done to resolve personal insecurity when making a decision. 81% of consumers receive advice from friends and family relating to a product purchase through a social networking site. Use social media, testimonials, client logos, and customer stories to create social proof.


I’ve created a sense of urgency around my product: yes or no?

The Psychology: “Loss Aversion” or “Scarcity” is the idea that we instinctively assign greater value to resources as they become less available due to fear of potential loss. The unconscious fear of losing something is always running in the back of our brain. If you make losing the product a possibility, it’s more likely that people will buy.

I’ve strategically created opportunities for users to express themselves: yes or no?

The Psychology: Harvard neuroscientists claim that discussing ourselves triggers the same pleasure receptor in the brain as food and money. Reviews, social sharing, and polls are great ways to get users to share their opinion.

I’m creating content that stirs positive emotions: yes or no?

The Psychology: Positive emotions are more contagious than negativity on social media. Create positive content that begs to be shared in order to spread your message. Negativity only breeds more negativity, which is the last thing you want associated with your brand.

I’m fostering instant gratification: yes or no?

The Psychology: Instant gratification is a powerful motivator. Our mid-brain lights up when we think about receiving something right away. Words like “instant,” “immediately,” or even just “fast” are known to flip the switch on the mid-brain activity that makes us so prone to buy. In fact, other than the words “free” and “new,” the word “instantly” just may be the most persuasive term you can use in your copy.

I play Devil’s Advocate to overcome objections: yes or no?

The Psychology: By playing “Devil’s Advocate” and addressing your product’s potential shortcomings you can actually enhance your persuasive efforts. For example, “Some have said that my product is too complicated, but here’s why it isn’t…”. Use this technique to back up typical objections with solutions to dismiss your customers’ apprehensions.

Stay Tuned for our Final Installment!

In Part Four of our four-part series, The Digital Psychology Checklist for Website Redesigns, we’ll be dissecting user experience (UX) psychology. What can you do – and perhaps more importantly, what are you doing – to provide a positive experience for your customers? Be sure to bookmark our Blog for the fourth and final installment of this series. We also encourage you to download the entire four-part series in our Resources library.