Hello everybody and welcome back once again to our blog section!
We are ready to introduce a BRAND NEW TOPIC: Conversion Rate Optimisation (also know to the most as CRO) with a UNIQUE CRO Course - How to create more enquires, leads and sales - by Andrew Lloyd Gordon who will give you some FRESH TIPS on how to sell more of your products and services!
- see a brief course outline (so that you will have a better idea of what you are going to learn);
- check your marketing plan so that we can make sure you are 100% ready to experiment with the new tips;
- the science of Social Psychology (or how we can be influenced by other and how others can influence us).
So, if you are ready to start, let's go!
Would you like to convert more of your web visitors into more
enquiries that will eventually lead to selling? If your answer is
then you are reading the right page!
Conversion Rate Optimisation is the science of persuasion. Science knows and can prove how we can be persuaded. Therefore can teach us, through its research, how to persuade other people. This particular science can give us some practical insights on how customers think and behave.
In every single setting of our life, on a daily basis, and whether we like it or not, we are been persuaded. This happens at home, at work, when we are out with our friends, when we go shopping... When it comes to marketing or selling, there is always somebody around us that will try to entice us into buying or doing something. It is actually quite normal... think about it...isn't it true? When we go to the supermarket (that is something we do at least once a week) we go round and round like headless chickens to find all we need. Sometimes we have to run through every single aisle before we can find something basic like eggs, salt or sugar.
Have you ever wondered why those products are always hidden in the craziest places? The answer is quite simple: the more you walk around, the greatest are the chances of buying something that you probably don' really need. The same thing happens when goods are placed on shelves. The best selling ones, will be right there in front of you, at your eye level so that you will see them and put them in your trolley!
See how easy is to persuade people to buy things
The UK has been one of the first countries to employ psychologists to set up a unit ( the Nudge Unit) in their Government to bring the science of CRO in what they do. After the UK the idea has been shared and copied by many other countries around the world! So the concept of persuading can be easily applied to every aspect of our life!
Let's see more!
The apps on our mobiles are designed to "seduce" us. Most of us are addicted to certain apps on our phones and that is because they are made to be persuasive.
Can we use this tip for your websites?
Of course, you can! You can set up triggers and encourage people to take action. After that, you can give them a reward so that they invest in your platform.
As mentioned before, most people think they can persuade others and that they are immune to persuasion! They think only foolish people can be persuaded. How wrong they are!!! This "problem" that makes us believe we are better than we truly are is called OVERCONFIDENCE ILLUSION. Most of us have the tendency of rating ourselves better than average in many areas. You may think at a certain point that what we show you is too easy or obvious. You may have the feeling your customers may see through this...but hey... they will not! And guess why: they also suffer from the overconfidence illusion!
We often think we understand our clients but this interesting case
study by Lloyd Gordon shows the opposite. We think that by doing
market research and focus groups we can understand our customers. It
is, of course, a very important part of our marketing campaign.
However, science shows that what people say to us face to face and
what they actually do, is different in terms of buying products and
There are some interesting books that show that some products failed
even after and very careful market research!
GROUP THINKING too can sometimes be the cause of a market failure, believe it or not! This is because the more you work with the same people the more you will start thinking the same. People in the same team will see things from their point of view rather than from the customers'. They are far too close to see their marketing...they would not even see their website the same way customer would and this is because they built it! This personal subjectivity goes hand in hand with the CURSE OF KNOWLEDGE i.e. knowing something and not knowing what it means not to know it at all.
What we are here to teach you, is how to step away from that group thinking, get into the science and psychology of your customers and gain a competitive edge.
Those who have been with us for a while know that the starting point is pretty obvious: CLARITY OF OBJECTIVES!
Clarity of objectives is when you know what to do and where to go with your product:
- Who are you trying to persuade?
- What are your key objectives?
To start with, you MUST have a deep understanding of your audience. You also need to be good at SEGMENTATION . This means that you cannot sell your product or the same product (if you have more than one) to everybody. Your CRO would be much better if you are targeted in terms of audience.
You also need to have a SOSTAC plan before you start your Conversion Rate Optimisation.
If building a SOSTAC plan takes too much of your time you can also choose its short version called GET-TO-BUY. This will help you think about many different things in a very short amount of time.
Let's have now a brief overview of the science of Conversion Rate Optimisation.
The science of persuasion was not born yesterday, it is actually quite old and goes back many years. Aristotle used to say that man is the only rational creature. Later on, Descartes added: “I think therefore I am" . In the European culture men went around the world, took as much information as they could and made rational choices. Despite this, sometimes we do things without truly understanding why we do them... so what is rational about it?
Science started to change its view about thinking with Darwin's Theory of Evolution. It states that the species that adapt to the environment are those who survive, which does not necessarily mean that they are the strongest. They are those who evolve the better. The way human beings think makes sense in terms of an evolutionary perspective. The “Out of Africa Theory” teaches us how our ancestors started to move from Africa all over the planet and how the Homo Sapiens became the dominant spices. Why? Simply because he was the better one to adapt to different environments! If we all lived in the Savannah it would have been important for us to live in a group. It would also be important to understand hierarchy and the leaders to follow. Persuasion makes now a lot of sense.
When we suggest you to do certain things, you understand that this works because it would have worked in an evolutionary setting...
Let's see now some practical examples for your website and for your digital marketing.
Social Psychology deals a lot with people as individuals and as people part of a group. There is always a conflict between the two. We live in a society which is very group orientated. There is always tension when it comes to doing things by ourselves. Understanding people as individuals as well understanding them when they are part of a group, is at the base of our influence on them. One of the greatest psychologists who looked deeply into this scheme is Maslow. He put together his famous HIERARCHY OF NEEDSwhich describes the range of needs of individuals.
At the bottom of the pyramid, we can see the basic needs of every individual, like food and shelter. As we climb up we can take the information that applies to individuals and turn it into the customers' experienc.
When the customers' needs are met, we go higher and higher in the pyramid in terms of how we meet customers' expectations. We create customers that become your fans! Think about the clients you are trying to reach and the needs they have: persuade them to buy your product because it makes them feel good.
The other side of Social Psychology is explained in a book by Professor Robert Cialdini called “The Science of Influence and Persuasion” . He did a lot of research in the field using persuasion for a living.
Check his video here if you want to learn more:
Researchers have been studying those factors that influence us to say
to the request of others for the last 60 years. Cialdini
6 KEY TOOLS OF INFLUENCE that are at the base of his
The first point of his theory is RECIPROCATION i.e. we tend to do things for other people because we expect them to do something for us in return. If you can give people something they can value first, they will return the favour. By doing this we create bonds. Think for a second about a simple Christmas card: if you receive one, you usually send one back... In the same way, you can give your customers a free bonus, a free gift or a free trial, something THEY DO NOT EXPECT and secure their loyalty.
Another point in Cialdini's theory is SCARCITY i.e. when things become rare they are more valuable. See this little example to better understand what I am saying:
If we fill two jars with the same cookies but one is totally full and the other is half empty, people will go and get the cookies from the half empty one. This is because they will think that the cookies from the half-empty jar are better than the others. But there is more: if you ask them to rate the flavour, they will tell you that the first was better than the second!
In the marketing business, Amazon often advertises product saying “only 2 left”. We automatically think that since there is only a limited number of items they are good and therefore we MUST have them. People are more likely to want things that they perceive as scarce! The same happens if you sell information. You can make certain information available only to those customers that subscribe your newsletter or that log-in onto your website.
Third is the POWER OF AUTHORITY also discussed by Stanley Milgram in the '50s. He did an “obedience study” to see how people responded to orders when under pressure. The majority of people obeyed without realising what they were really doing. To learn more check the full story in our CRO course.
How can we use authority to persuade people to sell and buy more?
In the example here you can see that simply changing a little label on their page these people improved their sales of 107%!!!!
Could you add some sort of badge onto your website?
If the answer is YES, then do it and see how things can start to change!!!
The fourth topic of Cialdini's theory is COMMITMENT. If you persuade your customers to take a small step towards what you want them to do, they will most probably complete an action for you. This is, for example, at the base of charities. If you can get people to make a public commitment they will not go back to that commitment.
Why are people persuaded that way?
From the Social Psychology point of view, in small communities, you needed to rely on the people in your group. So commitment is really important in these situations. Try to encourage your customers to take tiny steps to try your product out. It is very likely that step by step they will eventually take your product home!
CONSISTENCY and COMMITMENT walk together hand in hand. Take Linked.In i.e. It encourages you to complete your profile every time you log-in. They take you through your profile step by step and until you have completed filling it in, they will not leave you alone. You could do the same asking your audience to create an account and add a bit to their profile every time they log-in.
Cialdini underlines that we like people and are persuaded by those who like us or who look and feel like us. When for examples charities talk about people affected by disasters, we cannot relate to them. If on the other hand, they talk about one specific person, we tend to feel closer to him. We can imagine ourselves or somebody we know, in the same situation. Make your customer feel like they are part of a group and therefore not alone.
The last concept we are going to discuss this week is what Cialdini calls “Social Proof”. He found out Social Proof is extremely powerful.
He made a very interesting experiment in Manhattan. He had a small group of people looking up at skyscrapers. After a while more people were looking up... the funny thing is that there was absolutely nothing going on. More and more people were though looking in the same direction, so many that the traffic had to stop... The bottom line is: why do we care so much about what other people think or do? That is because a group has more information than a single person...Social proof can, therefore, be used to adjust people's opinion and persuade them on what they should do!
We are talking ethically and honestly here, we are not manipulating anybody You are just showing them what other people think!
For an in-depth CRO strategy check our Conversion Rate Optimization Course : How to create more enquires, leads and sales
You can find Other blog posts about CRO here: