The Psychology of Conversion

In Conversion, Customer Journey by Kari SwitalaLeave a Comment

Attracting prospects without converting them into customers is like one hand clapping. 👏🏻

When you’re building your marketing strategy, make sure you strategize for both elements: bringing new people or businesses into your sphere of influence AND persuading them to actually buy what you’ve attracted them with.

There are hundreds of strategies for both of those steps. Today, we’ll focus on just a few strong strategies, based on psychological observations, to close the deal.


Stories engage people emotionally. Master story teller Maya Angelou said, “at the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

Those feelings are enduring and meaningful. Did you know…
Emotionally connected customers can be 50% more valuable than other customers (Harvard Business Review).
Customers who are emotionally connected to a company are less price sensitive (Customer Thermometer).

Read more about the power of storytelling in our recent blog post Want to Stand Out? Tell Your Story!

Trigger Pain Avoidance and Pleasure Pursuit

These two forces–the avoidance of pain and the pursuit of pleasure–are hard-wired into us, and into all sentient creatures. These urges are so reliable that evolution depends on them.

Lead prospects to conversion by emphasizing the pain you’ll help them avoid, and the pleasure your product will confer on them. Tell them a story of how they can move from pain to pleasure with your help–make it clear that once they pull the trigger to accept your help, they’ll enjoy the pleasure of more business, fewer headaches, greater organization, lower cost, etc. Set them up for this journey by reminding them of the pain they’ll suffer until then–the scarce customers, the disarray, the long delays. Paint a clear picture, tell an evocative story, and they’ll walk the path you lay out for them.

Tempt with Novelty and Scarcity

Novelty is attractive. According to a 2006 UCLA study,

A region in the midbrain (substantia nigra/ventral tegmental), which is responsible for regulating our motivation and reward-processing, responds better to novelty than to the familiar. This system also regulates levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain.

Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter.

Marketing has revolved around novelty for generations. New car models are released every year; fashion shifts from season to season and year to year; phones and sneakers draw lines of eager followers willing to sacrifice hours (or days!) to get their hands on something new.

The flip side of that is scarcity.

How many of us have succumbed to the “limited time offer” trigger? When you realize there’s a narrow window to buy that product, sign up for that class, or buy that airline ticket, you’re much more motivated to act. Groupon might be the master of this tactic, with a countdown clock whirring under each offer, instilling a sense of urgency. That sense of scarcity was key to the excitement which surrounded EBay for years: When the auction closes, you’ve lost your chance–forever!!!–of obtaining some bright, shiny, limited-edition object.

Psychologically Based Sales Tactics

There’s a huge volume of resources out there on harnessing hard-wired, predictable psychological tendencies to convert customers and close sales–These are just a few of our favorites.

Next time you’re moved to buy, take a moment to examine your motives. We predict you can probably identify a psychologically based motive.

Ready to make the most of your marketing and start converting? Wild Fig Marketing can help. Contact us today to get figgy with it.


At Wild Fig Marketing, we’re committed to helping businesses grow. For the next few months we’ll be highlighting each step in the customer journey – attract, convert, deliver, nurture and refer.

This post is focused on the conversion stage and different ways and strategies for converting those leads! Click below for recent articles on how you can convert leads through  your website, landing pages, email marketing, blogging and more! Learn More >>

Leave a Comment