In my last #FridayFinds post, we took a look at neuromarketing and how big companies use it to influence buyers. For those of you who may have missed that article, in neuromarketing, companies use medical technologies such as fMRIs (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and EEGs (electroencephalography) to study how our brains respond to marketing stimuli. In that article, I shared a bit of the history behind this field of marketing . (Remember the 2004 Pepsi Challenge?) We also took a look at how digital marketers are applying behavioral psychology into website design and how neuroscience can be used to increase conversion rates on our web pages. This week, let’s recap what we learned in my previous post, take a look at a SlideShare presentation by neuromarketer Jeph Maystruck and take a look at how conversion experts are using website forms to entice visitors to subscribe for email updates.
When I began my research for that article, the term neuromarketing was new to me. As I read through several articles on the subject, I recognized that many of the principles that they were referring to are evident on many websites, advertising materials, movies, video and television. For example:
- Leveraging Scarcity: Have you ever hesitated buying something online and been influenced by seeing “only 3 available”?
- Product Decoys: When presented with three product options, how often do you purchase the middle priced version? Neuroscience has proven that a more expensive “Cadillac” version makes a more affordable middle option more desirable.
- Anchoring: How often have you purchased an accessory when you’re checking out online and you’re presented with suggestions under “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”? A $50 case for your smartphone may seem indulgent by itself but when it’s presented as a suggested purchase when you’re paying $200 for the phone, it appears more reasonable.
- Free Stuff: How often have you shared an article or signed up for emails in exchange for a free download? Marketers give things away based on the proven fact that when we receive something that’s free, we’re more apt to reciprocate.
- Unreasonable Options: Studies have shown that website visitors are more likely to choose an option if they’re first presented with an offer that they immediately reject. For example, non-profit organizations soliciting donations may first ask for a large donation, followed by smaller denominations.
- Hurt & Rescue: Have you ever taken an online quiz and then after you completed it been offered a solution? For example, after taking a health quiz, you may be offered a disease prevention program. It’s emotion based selling.
If you read my previous post, you may have followed the link to Tim Ash’s article on designing persuasive websites using neuromarketing principles. If you haven’t read it, the screenshots that Tim included (on leveraging scarcity, product decoys and anchoring) will bring home what I highlighted in the bullet points above.
Lessons Learned from Neuromarketing Professionals:
In this SlideShare presentation, “33 Lessons in Neuromarketing”, on StrategyLab.ca (uploaded October 2012), Jeph Maystruck shares his insight on what we can learn from the following four books:
- “Brandwashed” by Martin Lindstrom
- “Brainfluence” by Roger Dooley
- “buy.ology” by Martin Lindstrom
- “How We Decide” by Jonah Lehrer
Some of the key points made in this presentation include:
- A study involving an energy drink (regular price compared to a discounted version)
- Insight into problem solving (happy people versus unhappy people)
- The influence consumers have on each other
- Joe Camel and six-year olds
- The most powerful advertising tactic used
- Some tricks that supermarkets use
- The influence of music on shoppers
- An experiment involving toothpaste
- A study of restaurant prices
- How scents affect consumer behavior and perception
- A promotional experiment involving coffee
- An experiment involving lost wallets
- The reciprocity effect
- The use of numbers versus percentages
- A tip on handling negative reviews
- And a few more studies and examples that should pique your interest
Note: You can find a transcript of Jeph Maystruck’s SlideShare presentation, here.
Connecting With Influencers:
Speaking of Roger Dooley, (the author of “Brainfluence” that was cited in the presentation above), one of the benefits of writing this series is that I meet some very interesting people and many of them are influencers in their fields. My previous post, Big Companies Use Neuromarketing to Influence Buyers. Can You?, was picked up by many bloggers who write (and tweet) about #neuromarketing.
Up until I wrote that post, I wasn’t following any of those bloggers (other than the ones that I featured in my article). Once that post was shared, I noticed that Roger Dooley and many others shared my post. I immediately followed them and many of them have since followed me. (This is a really nice benefit to me. In addition to connecting with influential bloggers, it is also providing me with more great content to share.)
List Building Secrets:
Since Roger Dooley is a respected resource in his industry, I visited his blog looking for an article that cast insight into a topic that most (if not all) bloggers are interested in. So, let’s take a look at How Top Conversion Experts Seduce You Into Giving Up Your Email. In his article, Roger takes a close look at how three conversion experts incorporate email subscription forms into their websites. The websites that he features are:
- Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg (there are 2 examples, a box below the header and an exit driven lightbox popup)
- Crazy Egg (a simple sign-up at the top of the page, a sidebar form that leads to a sales page and a timed lightbox popup )
- Conversion XL (a subscription form prominently displayed on the home page, a sidebar form, a sliding popup box at the bottom of the sidebar and a popup form that’s triggered by time or intent to exit)
These sites are great examples of email marketing strategies that convert. You should find the Crazy Egg subscription strategy especially interesting. It’s more complex than the others and (as Roger points out)
“having a list of opt-in daily subscribers is a big advantage for Crazy Egg. They can promote their own products, of course, but also have plenty of opportunities for advertising and affiliate offers.”
Note: If you read Roger’s article, you’ll notice that he has a free offer of his own. Simply sign up for his email updates and you can download his 40-page ebook “List Building Secrets of the World’s Top Conversion Experts”. I already have my copy and I recommend it.
Over To You
What are your thoughts? Do you recognize some of the techniques that Internet markets use to subconsciously influence consumers to buy? Are you incorporating any of these ideas into your website(s)?
How do you get email subscribers? Are you offering a free download or service? Do you use lightbox pop-ups? (I for one need to create an enticing offer and revamp my signup form.) Feel free to share your ideas and recommendations in the comments.