Although we’ve come a long way from our hunting and gathering days, our thought patterns are still governed by deep-rooted instincts. Savvy marketers know this and use this knowledge to motivate buyers to act the way they want them to, i.e. buy a product, install an app, download an ebook and so on.

The human psychology is complex and varies from person to person, but there are universal elements that you can take advantage of to achieve your marketing goals.

  1. Scarcity

When something is limited in supply or availability, the demand for it inevitably rises. People want items that are scarce. It’s a behaviour that’s driven by the fear of missing out, or what millennials call FOMO. To avoid missing out, the buyer tends to make a snap decision in favour of buying. Psychologically, people respond faster and better under pressure.

  1. Mob mentality

Buyers tend to second guess their purchase decision several times before committing to a sale. They simply don’t trust your marketing alone and feel they need more evidence to justify the purchase. This is where reviews and client testimonials come in handy.

People trust someone who has nothing to gain and whose motivation is share their firsthand experience with a product, rather than to sell. Reviews let buyers see the product through a different pair of eyes.

  1. First impressions

Much of marketing is winning the trust of potential customers, and the first step in doing so is to make a good first impression. At first glance, potential buyers would decide if your marketing is a gimmick or a genuine opportunity.

But since you don’t know where a prospect’s first interaction with your brand happens, it’s important to ensure all online and physical touch-points align with your brand identity and convey your marketing message clearly. Your website, social media pages, imagery and brick-and-mortar store all have a direct impact on a customer’s first impression.

  1. Reciprocity

Ever wonder why some companies spend money on giving away free samples or complimentary items to customers, even when they aren’t buying anything? Aside from promotional purposes, handing out freebies is a persuasion technique based on the concept of reciprocity.

Here’s how it works. People tend to reciprocate kind gestures. When they receive an unexpected gift from someone, they feel special no matter how small or simple the gift is. As such, they tend to want to return the favour or even to give back to that person who went the extra mile to give to them.

  1. The Feel-Good effect

There are a lot of companies today that donate a percentage of a sale’s profit to charity or donate a product for every product sold. Known as “cause marketing”, this strategy is an effective way to increase sales while luring buyers away from the competition.

The logic behind it is simple. When a person buys something with the knowledge that they are able to help others in doing so, they feel better and more satisfied about their purchase. And because they are able to give back without giving a donation, these buyers are less likely to feel remorse after the purchase and more likely to tell other people about your cause. That’s killing two birds with one stone.

  1. The power of hand holding

Holding your buyer’s hand as you close a sale is one of the most powerful persuasion techniques that salespeople still use to this day. Not only does it give finality to a sales process, but it also establishes a deeper connection between the buyer and the seller. This is why it works very well for repeat buyers.

Of course, in the digital landscape, a physical handshake is not possible. But the idea is that a handshake can be used as a system to simplify the process so repeat customers don’t have to go through the same hoops with each purchase. For your online business, this could take the form of a subscription program or a membership.

  1. Imitation

People subconsciously pick up the mannerisms and speech patterns of those they spend a lot of time with. Interestingly, this habit makes them more likable, as people act more favourably to those who mirror them.

In the same way, imitating your prospects’ behaviour can trigger positive feelings toward you. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should blatantly mirror your prospects. The idea is to be on the same wavelength or disposition as them.

Knowing what makes your audience tick is one of the best drivers to reach your marketing goals and improve your bottom line. Start making use of these, if you aren’t already.