Internet Marketing Psychology is the concept of understanding how your customers think and behave so that you can engage with them better, please them greatly and ultimately sell more. The idea of using psychology to sell more is not new. Retailers in traditional stores, for instance, use psychological techniques – major supermarkets even employ psychologists to work out where to stock products to gain our maximum attention and how to layout a store so that we fill our trolleys with even more products. So, online, you can use similar techniques to make that what your business offers is more appealing, more interesting and more “buy-able”. Plus you can use psychological methods to get more visitors, gain more attention and keep people interested.
Ultimately people buy products for two reasons – because they have to and because they want to. The “have to” products such as food, drink, housing, heating and so on are still open to psychological persuasion though. Just because you need water does not mean you “have to” buy it from one specific supplier. True you might only get water from your local water company – but you can also get it from dozens of different mineral water suppliers and brands. In other words, you do have a choice even about the most basic of your purchases. And choice can be influenced psychologically. When it comes to products and services which are not essential to our survival, the potential for psychological influence grows massively. After all, you don’t really need the latest cellphone, not really…!
So, what can you do to sell more of the products and services you offer via your websites?
Step One – Understand Your Customers
Before you can try out any techniques of psychological persuasion you need to understand who you are dealing with. What works for one kind of person, does not work for another. True, there are some basics which every sales person can rely on, but each audience you are targeting will have different ways of thinking which you need to know about to maximize your chances of success. You need to understand what your audience does with your website; how long do people look at anything, where do they look, what things do they click on and so on. Your website analytics can provide you with plenty of psychological groundwork. Plus, ask them – conduct regular surveys which find out about the hopes and desires of your customers and potential clients.
Step Two – Focus For Speed
Unlike a traditional store, people can visit a website and depart again within seconds. If they don’t see what they want straight away they leave your site and try to search for another website which will give them IMMEDIATELY what they want. Far too many sites present everything, leaving it for the visitor to hunt down what they want. Online, attention spans are very low indeed – measured in fractions of seconds. If you don’t make it completely obvious what’s on offer, people will wave you goodbye. For many businesses this ultimately means you need a combination of well-crafted “landing pages” for specific products and services as well as a range of “micro-sites” which focus solely on one single product you sell.
Step Three – Engage
The one thing that ultimately drives people is the knowledge that other people like them; we all want to be loved. If you ignore your customers, if you don’t show them you love them, they’ll engage less – even ignore you too. Just imagine yourself walking into a traditional store. You look around, show obvious interest in what you are looking at but the sales staff just carry on, standing in the corner discussing their love-lives. You probably walk out, annoyed and frustrated. When your online visitors are paid no attention by you, they do the same. So you need to respond to comments, emails, social media mentions and so on as quickly as possible. Preferably, if possible, have a “live chat” system and dedicated phone lines which are clearly displayed. Make it clear to your potential customers that you want to talk with them. Don’t ignore them.
These are the essential components of Internet Marketing Psychology, but there are many more things you need to consider such as the colors you use on your web pages because color influences purchasing likelihood. Also, consider things like the direction people are looking in any pictures you have on your pages. Your visitors will follow their eye-lines, meaning if the images look in the “right” place, you can get more buyers. People looking the “wrong” way in your website images can reduce sales because it forces your website visitors to look away from important and relevant information.
You also need to consider memory triggers, to help increase word of mouth marketing, cognitive factors like the readability of your fonts and the reading age of the text you use, and several other psychologically important elements which in combination will boost your sales. As you can tell, there is a great deal to consider if you wish to sell more online…!
Get your website psychologically analysed
Your website can be put on the couch and analysed by Internet Psychologist Graham Jones…! I will check your site for some basic psychological factors including:
- Readability and reading age calculation – can your target readers quickly and easily understand your site?
- Customer focus – does the text focus on what you offer or what your customers can gain from you?
- Popularity – what makes your website popular and will be people share it and recommend you?
- Colour value – what will people think based on the colours on your web pages, buttons and on your shopping cart?
- Eye lines – where will people look on your pages and will they be looking at what you want them to look at?
- Emotional impact – do your page headings connect at a deep emotional level, or will they pass people by?
For more information or to buy the analysis (starting at just £67) go to http://www.websiteopinion.co.uk/
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+