The psychology of the user: 30 tactics for conversion optimization

Welcome to a huge resource for conversion optimization. For many years marketers have written countless articles on attracting clients online. So why write another one?. In all this literature lacks the question “Why?”.

In an article for answers to these questions used research. You will learn why 30 powerful techniques on conversion optimization from the point of view of psychology. Each appointment is structured in 4 paragraphs. No matter you are an experienced expert or a beginner, something valuable you will make from here.

Best A/B tests are based on two things. But there can be problems. If you are the only person operating the business, then you may not have enough resources to cover this information completely.

You have no time to collect and analyze data or capital to hire someone else. So what to do. Here psychology and will help, because the techniques are already based on specific hypotheses. Will they work every time.

No. Still, its not some random thoughts, taken from the air. Most often psychological techniques provide positive momentum. There are a lot of letters.

How to learn what are the most important. The answer lies in the structure of the material. You will notice that I carefully dismantled the various calls to action that you want to direct the user (CTA). Each section represents a different phase of your funnel.

Are you the owner of online store. Then your funnel may look as follows. Funnel e-commerce (customers saw the product added to cart — checkout — bought goods). Once you have defined the steps, can calculate the conversion rate for each step.

Funnel e-commerce conversion rates. Once you have calculated these values, determine the areas that need improvement the most. Find out what is most valuable and start with relevant tactics. Thus adapting the funnel, you scale growth more effectively.

Some marketers are obsessed with their buttons. Even if this obsession is sometimes not justified, it still makes sense. Push-button test offers several key benefits.

In the distant past, our ancestors acquired an important trait — the ability to distinguish the contrast in the environment (Endler, 1992). This feature was needed to spot predators or other threats to life, without it people died. Thanks to natural selection, this ability still we have. Your attention is drawn to things that are visually noticeable.

Use this to his advantage. Enhance the visual appeal of your button. Choose for her the colors that contrast with the rest of the page. The contrast by itself will attract attention.

Contrast button increased conversions by 21%. In both cases, the button is located in the same prominent location. Although the green button for less contrast, its still hard to overlook. People will most likely notice it.

So what happens. If people notice the two buttons, why is red more effective. The answer lies in the fluency of processing.

Processing fluency (fluency of processing) — the ease and speed with which we process information. Alter & Oppenheimer, 2009 for details). The idea is captured quickly and easily, the contrast results in a pleasant shock in our brain.

Then we mistakenly attributed this positive development to the proposal — I think that offer is better, simply because it is much easier to process. How this relates to the color of the buttons. Contrasting color buttons increases the speed of processing. By contrast, the fact that the ability to click will reach users faster.

Easy then will generate in the brain a positive response. The ability to click on will seem more attractive so that users will click on it more likely. Plus, in addition to attracting attention and fluency of processing, there is a third reason for higher efficiency of contrast buttons, but we will return to that later.

Cm. Reception 1. Representativeness Heuristic ( Kahneman & Tversky, 1972).

We judge the probability of an event based on representativeness (Kahneman & Tversky, 1972). Some sites contain beautiful buttons, sometimes just giant, you cant miss.

Dont do it. Your button must have similarities with other buttons. Without the base it wont look like a button. Therefore, people wont click on it.

How to make the button more appealing to the user. For a start, make it normal size. Do not use huge buttons, overloading the page. Also think about how to add the button to frame, bevel or shadow.

This will help to visually increase the depth, the volume, the button will become more attractive to the user. Representativeness Heuristic (Kahneman & Tversky, 1972). Cm. Reception 3.

Representativeness Heuristic ( Kahneman & Tversky, 1972). Cm. Reception 3.

We follow our natural desire to follow the opinions of others ( Emory, 2000). To draw attention to the button, Orient the photos on the page so that they were looking at the button. If you need more information on this topic refer to my articles about stock photos and advertising.

Mere Exposure Effect (Zajonc, 1968). Do you need to repeat your CTA for several reasons.

For a start, you are more likely to attract attention. Users may not see your CTA in the top right corner, but to see it at the bottom of the page. Secondly, you can use the time. It is possible, users still wont be ready at the beginning of the page, but by the middle or by the end they will react best to CTA.

Theres a third reason. Robert zajonc in its productive investigation revealed a simple effect of presentation. People become more susceptible to suggestion, if repeatedly confronted with it ( Zajonc, 1968).

Part of this effect may involve fluency of processing. With regular contact people will learn your CTA is much easier, which will increase their sympathy or predisposition thereto. However, zajonc offers another reason — reflex. “The paradigm of a recurring event can be regarded as a form of conditional reflex, if we assume that the absence of unpleasant events is an unconditional stimulus.

Empirical research shows that a benign experience of repetition can in and of itself to improve a positive impact..” ( Zajonc, 2001, page 224). What does it mean. Well, if you are faced with a proposal and have not experienced the negative emotions, you have experienced positive. The proposal and from that moment it has become synonymous with them.

Because of this new Association indirect collision with the proposal will be the impetus for positive emotions. Anyway, the message is clear. Repeat your CTA will help increase conversion.

Some marketers increase conversion by using the first person in the wording of their CTA. For example, Michael Aagaard tested the example above and was able to increase conversion rates by 90%, and this effect looks pretty stable. In a similar experiment, he increased the conversion rate by 25%. Joanna the Web has increased conversion by 24%.

Visal Website Optimizer increases conversion rate by 8%. So what leads to steady recovery. I believe two factors.

Speaking in the first person, you use both advantages. First, your visitors mentally evaluate CTA in terms of personal “use”. Seeing the treatment from a third party, they see your CTA as a call of another person that is not as effective. Secondly, due to the fact that the users themselves are performing your CTA, they stronger effect on conceptual fluency.

So they can see themselves executing a given action and become more predisposed to the Commission of. Incidental Change Detection ( Shapiro & Nielson, 2013). Shapiro and Nielsen to understand one thing.

When a proposal in your environment quietly change even if it is not evident, your susceptibility to it rising. Researchers connect this discovery with the proverbial rapidity of processing. When a proposal in your environment changes, you subconsciously able to recognize this change. As a result, you spend more resources on evaluation and processing of this stimulus, and increases your credibility.

But how to apply this opening. For starters, you can make the appearance of your CTA-buttons-dependent conditions. For example, you can use JavaScript to change the color of the button every 30 seconds. Or, as with Bounce Exchange, to change the color of the button as the user scrolled page.

Of course, these visual changes can attract more attention. But even if this does not happen, the visitors must be the most pleasant experience of your CTA. Thanks to the random advantages the recognition of changes.

You walk down the street. Ahead you notice someone giving out free snacks. Hmm, interesting.

But not so easy to seduce. You plan to ignore promoter. Unfortunately, he didnt want to just let you go. Once you caught up, hes screaming you in the face. “Would you like a free granola bar?”.

Uh.. Now you probably need to reject such a proposal. But, by analyzing your failure, you are experiencing change. For starters, you were not so against the proposal — just never really be sure.

Plus the refusal would be rude, and not fitting into social norms. What odd fellow will refuse free food. And you fell for it and happily take my granola. And as this anecdotal situation applies to conversion optimization.

At this point, many bloggers, myself included, allow users to go freely. Visitors can walk out and ignore our CTA. Dont let this happen. Be pushy promoter.

Encourage visitors to choose the option. To accept or reject (with the corresponding consequences of failure). Joana the Web implemented this idea and increased conversion rates by 400-500%.

Why is this happening. If you force people away from something to refuse, they have to weigh the pros and cons of what provokes the fear of loss ( Levin et al., 2002). They accept the offer, because I dont want to lose the benefits. This effect is strong, in particular, when choosing hedonic products (products that dont solve basic human needs — approx. Ed.).

(Dhar & Wertenbrach, 1999). After visitors clicked on the button to subscribe on your blog, create account, free trial — some of them will not complete this process until the end. It is inevitable. The following techniques should help prevent a premature exit from your visitor funnel.

Want to get more conversions. Then you need to make so that to users it was more difficult to be converted. When you ask people to create an account, you usually have two options.

It doesnt seem logical, but the two-step confirmation is more efficient. The reason. It causes cognitive dissonance ( Festinger, 1957).

In a two-stage model, when site visitors click on the first button, they typically are trying to achieve a goal (e.g., register, get bonus content and so on). And most people click it without realizing that there is still one step. Sounds crazy, but so they once again confirm their interest in achieving this goal. Once users have reached the second stage, they face the dilemma.

They clicked your button because they were interested in CTA. If they have not completed your CTA, then their behavior wont match with their attitude. And such mismatches activate the anterior cingulate cortex and insular lobe of the brain ( Veen, Krug, Schooler, &Carter, 2009). In such a situation, people experience an unpleasant emotion — cognitive dissonance.

And it motivates them to solve the problem. How they solve it. They act in accordance with its original position — fill to enter. Many entrepreneurs look at the creation account as a dichotomy.

But there is no dichotomy here. Make account creation not the first step, put it a little further in your funnel. Ideally, visitors should make tangible progress using your product before they have made their personal data.

If they see progress, they have growing desire to complete the registration process. Suppose you have created an application that sorts all the top content in your personal network dashboard. If you use the dichotomy, your funnel looks like this.

Create account — select theme — to set the dashboard. Instead start with creating an account is fairly large and decisive step, — ask the user to choose the topics that interest him. This setup gives you three key benefits.

Commitment and Consistency ( Cialdini, 2006). So what one is better. Totango has analyzed data from 100 SaaS companies (software as a service, software as a service — approx. Ed.).

They found that companies are more successful if you do not require a Bank card for a trial version. When these cards require a direct, more people agree that the full version is definitely good. However, this requirement limits the number of people who agree to a free trial.

When a credit card is not required, the increase in new registrations leading to increased conversion rates overall. Conclusion. Always do the first steps in your funnel as simple as possible.

If you can give a pulse (any pulse), people will be more inclined to follow a specified path ( Cialdini, 2006). Goal Gradient Effect ( Kirvetz, Urminsky, &Zheng, 2006). People succumb to the effect of the gradient of the goal.

We feel a strong desire to reach the goal after he made progress towards her. There is an example experiment in a cafe ( Kirvetz, Urminsky &Zheng, 2006). Loyalty program returning customers had to collect 10 stamps to get free coffee.

It turns out that customers come back more likely, if they are given a card with 12 stamps, two stamps already affixed. Although in the first and second cases need to collect 10 stamps, the illusion of progress is motivating customers to return. So use it in your funnel.

At each stage underline the progress that people are doing. Because in your funnel a reasonable number of steps, these prompts will direct clients to the end of the funnel. You keep online store.

Then youll need people to add items to your cart. Or perhaps you offer a special subscription plans or pricing. In this case, you want to influence people so that they chose a plan with a high ROI ( Return On Investment — ROI — approx. Ed.).

These techniques can help with both goals. If you need some more conversion tactics associated with the pricing of the product, you can refer to my article on pricing. Visual Fixations and Choice ( Krajbich, Armel, &Rangel, 2010).

Speaking about the first appointment, I described two advantages visual contrast. It not only attracts attention, but also increases the fluency of processing. People find it easier to digest the CTA, and their interest in it is increasing.

These advantages apply here. Try to highlight your target product or tariff plan. In the description of the first dose, I also mentioned the third advantage of the visual contrast. Here it is.

When the stimulus becomes visible, the longer people look at him. And that. Think of it, isnt it. Well..

Its a big deal. Visual fixation can affect the behavior of the selection in General. Studies show that people are more likely to choose the subject if they spend a lot of time browsing this object ( Armel, Beaumel &Rangel, 2008). Thats why visual contrast helps visitors to select specific product.

When your target group becomes more visible, visitors spend more time looking at it. Most likely, they will choose it, when you make the final decision. In previous tactics I explained the role of visual contrast, eye fixation and selection behavior. But you also have to consider the location of your target product.

Researchers have identified the effect center position. Objects attract more attention when they are in the center. “The results of two studies show that the brands located at the center receive more visual attention.

They are chosen with greater probability”. ( Atalay, Bodur & Rasolofoarison, 2012, page 2). You can attract the attention of your desired rate or product and to influence more people if you place it in the middle. Conformity ( Asch, 1956).

Now your target plan is centrally located and visually distinct. Why not add a dash of public opinion. We humans feel an innate desire to follow the crowd ( Asch, 1956). Showing the most popular option, you indicate a socially acceptable way.

Your visitors will naturally strive to follow public choice. Default Effect ( Johnson &Goldstein, 2003). Johnson and Goldstein found a surprising effect of the default settings.

According to them, the country could double the number of organ donors using a process of elimination of options (instead of adding extra options). When the donation option is enabled by default, it accepts two times more people. Why default options are so important.

Three main reasons. You can use the options “default” differently. On the one hand, you could set your target plan by default (see. The visual example above), but this setup is pretty weird.

Very few people structure their pages. Perhaps better would be to use the options “default” to increase sales at the time of purchase. When visitors see that the insurance protection is offered by default, we believe that it should be — so, excluding her, they will deprive themselves of privileges.

Its frustrating. You can also use the option “by default” when people sign up for a free trial. For some customers, this decision can be a draw, but if you add it by default, then they need to think about it.

Instead of thinking, some customers will simply select the options “default”. This technique does not work for every business, but its a great way to increase your income, if your product is adaptable (have several variations). Park, Yun, and macinnis asked the participants to purchase a hypothetical machine.

Some of the participants started with a fully loaded model, and removed functions that were not necessary to them. Other participants started with the basic model — they added the features they need.

As with the previous tactics, the option of default options was more effective. When participants started with all features enabled, they felt the fear of loss. They didnt want to lose these features and have decided to leave them. In the end, they paid for the car a higher price.

If your product is adaptable, make an initial option with all the default features and ask customers to remove features that they dont need. You not only cause fear of loss, but also get the benefit of the anchor ( Tversky & Kahneman, 1974). When people start with a fully functional product, their end product is closer to the starting point.

Quick question. What animal do you like more. Got the answer.

Super. Xu and Weyer asked the respondents about the same. It turned out that this increases the likelihood of purchase of computer.

Weird, huh. But why did this happen. Well, it includes three main stages of the purchase.

Whenever people make the comparison, regardless of the topic, they are configured to thinking “What to choose”. If after that, they will view the goods, then, most likely, will miss the first stage of the buying process. They wont decide whether to buy. They will decide what to buy.

So how can you apply this knowledge. Before to present your products, invite visitors to make a choice or comparison. Lets say you sell clothes. Most online stores send visitors directly to the product catalog.

Try to redo the interface. Before displaying the products, ask visitors to choose what they want to see. You will make the decision simple, if you ask them to choose their gender.

Can still offer additional options or a category of clothing. Or size. In the end, once users have made their choice, you can provide them with a directory.

To adjust the filter parameters, you can use the advanced menu. This can increase conversion rates for several reasons. These were just some of the advantages described receiving.

Do not forget about the main benefit. Instead of trying to decide whether to buy clothes, users will decide what clothes to buy. Mental Interaction ( Elder &Krishna, 2012).

Here I will tell you about the trick that will make an image of your product better, and it works not only for online stores. Elder and Krishna found that if the photo visualized the interaction of humans with the product, users are making more purchases. In other words, when people see themselves interacting with the product, increases the chance that they will get.

So how can you show the interaction of the. In addition to keep the item in the photo, the researchers also found the following options. All these techniques increase psychological connection with the goods. People imagine themselves interacting with it, and tempted to purchase it.

The deficit is one of the six principles of influence, found in the book “Psychology of influence” (Cialdini, 2006). This technique is quite common, so I will not here describe it in detail. You can read the book to better understand the principle.

Heuristics ( Tversky & Kahneman, 1974). How long should be the description of the product. This is a complex issue.

The answer depends on specific item. However, researchers have found useful information. Describing the hedonic product (i.e. a product designed not for survival, but to improve the quality of life), better to include as many benefits.

Village and Berger have found a confirmation of this thesis. “Because attributes are usually heuristic indicator for the usefulness of the product, they show advantages over other similar products.. [our] five studies show that many of the benefits of hedonic goods brings more benefits than the long description is more useful and necessary goods” (page 1). So, your visitor clicked on the button “add to cart”. Congratulations.

But to drink the champagne too early. Baymard Institute studied 31 a study on the cancellation of the purchase after adding to cart. The researchers found that an average of 68.5% of people refuses to purchase. It very much.

The following techniques can help to reduce this figure. Whenever we pay for the product, we feel pain, known as pain of payment (see. My article on pricing).

Why do we feel this pain. This is partly due to cognitive dissonance. Whenever we pay money, we feel two desires. On the one hand, we want to buy this item, we do not want to pay for it.

These conflicting desires cause pain ( Festinger, 1957). Usually we unimem the pain, when we choose one of the options. In any case, we combine these conflicting things.

This process usually occurs at the time of purchase, because at this moment we feel the most pain. Thats why trust symbols are so important. Trust symbols are visual elements that provide confidence, information about the warranty or the safety symbol next to the payment button. Adding to buyer confidence during the completion of the purchase, you are helping him to resolve the dissonance.

You bring it to the first option. This psychology is very important. Some marketers place trust symbols at the beginning of the funnel, for example at the stage of account creation.

But, as a rule, error. That is why some tests show negative results. You dont need trust symbols at the beginning of the funnel because people at this stage still cant feel pain. The pain occurs during checkout, when we are going to give their money.

That is where you should place trust symbols. People are rarely satisfied with the end result. Most often, they compare your benefit of buying with the benefits of other people ( Festinger, 1954). This effect applies to prices.

How do you determine a fair price. Usually we look at the amount of money paid by other customers. “..All cost estimates, including estimates of equity rates, comparative.

And a theory of justice, and the theory of equal distribution suggest that the perception of justice is formed, when a person compares their benefits (for example, by the ratio of the invested efforts and obtained results) with the benefit of another”. ( Xia, Monroe &Cox, 2004, page 1). If the client needs to pay a higher price than other people, he is less likely to make a purchase, even if the end price will be fair. He wants to buy the item for the same price as others, or cheaper.

This creates a dilemma. If a user sees a field for a coupon or discount, but it had nothing to enter in these fields, he will know that other people pay less, and it is unpleasant. So what to do.

You dont need to completely get rid of this field. Just reduce its visibility. Instead of display the form, check the link. “There is a discount coupon?”.

Making field for discounts less noticeable, you can reduce the visibility of the potential difference in price. By making a purchase, customers are less likely to think about social differences. Intention and Self-Regulation ( Shapiro &Schwartz, 2000).

Are you familiar with landing page optimization. Then you are likely faced with a similar problem. If your landing page contains the navigation (or other links), most often it reduces the conversion.

When users click on the link, they leave the page. They fall into a new rabbit hole with new reasons to be distracted. Maybe theyll come back. Much more likely — no.

Use this discovery to increase sales. Each link represents another opportunity to lose the sale. To smooth out the funnel, remove navigation and all links. When you remove the incentives that divert attention from buying, then encourage the intention to make the purchase is a key component in self-regulatory behavior ( Shapiro & Schwartz, 2000).

Visitors focus on the purchase and will likely handle the task. Prospective Memory ( Marsh, Hicks &Cook, 2005).

If you followed the previous advice, have already reduced the number of people who leave the checkout page is the last step of your funnel. But still it is inevitable people will leave. And the reasons for this are many. Maybe they decided not to buy.

Maybe they plan to return. They just need to.. All reasons are fairly logical. Often people leave with a good intention to return. Unfortunately, human memory is poor.

If the visitor left the page with the ordering, he needs to be reminded of the plans to make a purchase ( Marsh, Hicks &Cook, 2005). Well, if your product is unique and irreplaceable, users most likely will not find a viable alternative. This means that you have sunk into the depths of their memory, there is no turning back. Not the most cheerful place.

But it is here that can help retargeting. With resources like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads you can show ads to people who have left page ordering. Or, even better, you can write them a letter.

According to a study by SaleCycle, 44% of emails are opened (and every email brings in an average of $8,21 net profit). In any case, the retargeting on these people — perhaps with the offer of tempting discounts it forces them to remember about the buy and hold still. Extrinsic Motivation ( Ryan & Deci, 2000).

Dropbox for a couple of years became a billion-dollar company. What is their secret. In addition to the key factors, they stimulated the dissemination of information. Offering free space for each user, they increased the increase signups by 60%.

Also you can find research about incentives and extrinsic motivation ( Ryan & Deci, 2000) — this technique is based on common sense. To increase the dissemination of information, offer reward. Here are a couple of examples.

Conformity ( Asch, 1956). Many marketers use testimonials on their products. When you demonstrate that others are happy with their purchases, reduce the risk for other users.

But have you thought about how to spread the reviews screenshots social media. It sounds strange, but every time you share a message in social networks, we face the following issues. I spread a bunch of social risks, so users feel comfortable if the message is already shared other.

Use this to your advantage. Post screenshots of people who shared your message. Thus you get rid of social risks. The ability to share is a social norm. Then people are more likely to do so ( Asch, 1956).

In the book “Contagious” Jonah Berger describes the social significance. We are more likely to share content that allows us to look good.

For example, you open a SaaS company. You plan to encourage new users to share your posts to attract referrals and your business growth. If you have been thinking on a similar strategy, what message would encourage people to spread. Many would not have to think too much.

They likely would have used a standard template. You want to do [XYZ]. Check out [name of app] [link]. In this message, there is nothing wrong — it is simple and straightforward.

So what is the problem. That is the message of advertising is essentially advertising your business. And people dont want to share advertisements. They want to share content that will allow them to look good in the eyes of others.

Lets rework the message and add social value. Creating a message that will allow people to look good, you will increase their natural desire to share. You dont have to convince them.

Here is an example. Officially added to the list of users of the beta version of [app name]. You want to do [XYZ]. Check it out [link].

This message would work better. The words “officially classified” sound like an achievement, if the user has joined an exclusive club — it will allow him to look good. However, you will need to test how effectively the message and will give the increase in percent share among new users.

The main idea. Add your message of social significance, so that people like to share. From this article I recommend you to place one thing. For A/B tests always have specific hypotheses.

Never should be test only to see which option works best. If you have no reason to conduct A/B test, it is likely that he will not give you any valuable information. You can conduct a more effective test that is also based on a specific hypothesis.

Where to find such a hypothesis. You can. If you dont know where to start, use this article. All techniques are based on psychology, so there is already a specific hypothesis.

Id like to finish the call, which often bring in other articles. Always look at everything with skepticism. Of course, these techniques are based on psychology, but they do not work always and without exception. Never assume that your change will improve the performance.

Always test major changes to your site using A/B testing. With such an analytical approach and the above-mentioned techniques for the conversion you will be able to more effectively monitor changes on your site.

Source: google.co.uk/blog/

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