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'Latest online Persuasion Techniques'

Master of Online Persuasion Course

This post was written by Bart Schutz

Become an expert in persuasion and optimization:
Follow the Master of Online Persuasion Course!
An online course by the internationally renowned expert on psychology, Bart Schutz.

This course provides you with key insights into the psychology that will enable you to better understand your customers. Since marketing is defined as ‘communicating the value of a product to customers’, psychology can be seen as the science behind marketing.

How does your customer make decisions? What’s the role of emotion and ratio in decision making? How can you, working in marketing, influence this process of decision-making?

You’ll learn about major psychological models and theories. Also, you’ll

Money Omission

This post was written by Bart Schutz

“Money kills motivation in a social setting”

You want to motivate your customer to buy. Does it help to give a monetary reward? Of course, but… sure not always!

An important aspect of motivation is rooted in the huge difference between so-called monetary markets versus social markets. In a monetary market monetary rewards determine our motivations and behavior, whereas in a social market we are ruled by social rewards (which are way more intrinsic than extrinsic monetary rewards).

So is Money Omission a true persuasion technique? Probably not, but I do hope to prevent some greedy marketers to make the classic

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Hobson’s+1 Choice Effect

This post was written by Bart Schutz

“One option is not really an option”

Customers click and buy more when there’s a link accompanying your big ‘buy now’ button (CTA). I personally call this persuasion technique the “Hobson+1 Effect” and it applies to most (but not all) of your visitors.

At Online Dialogue we’ve run lots of A/B tests proving this persuasion technique (see some examples below): We simply add a second link very near to the ‘big button’ on a page. Links like ‘more information’, ‘add to wishlist, ‘direct checkout’, ‘tweet this’, or simply ‘print this page. They all tend to increase sales (conversion)…

Hereby a psychological explanation

Equivalence Framing

This post was written by Bart Schutz

“The way things are stated or portrayed, highly influences our choices”
Equivalence framing is the purposely stating or portraying – logically equivalent – information in such a way, that it encourages certain interpretations of the meaningful context, and discourages certain others. These “different, but logically equivalent frames” cause us to alter our preferences. Equivalency frames are often worded in opposite terms. Like “gains” versus “losses”, “full” versus “empty”, “fat” versus fat-free”, et cetera.

Unlike emphasis framing (which focuses on different information), equivalence framing focuses on the same information and tries to phrase that information in the most persuasive way.
Scientific research example:


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Ambiguity Aversion

This post was written by Bart Schutz

“We prefer options that are certain”
People tend to select options for which the probability of a favorable outcome is known (over an option for which the probability of a favorable outcome is unknown).

The ambiguity effect is relevant when a decision is affected by a lack of information, or “ambiguity”. The effect implies that we tend to select options for which the probability of a favorable outcome is highest. We simply have a reluctance to accept offers that are risky or uncertain.

Two remarks:

Over an initial range, women require no further compensation for the introduction of ambiguity whereas men do.

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This post was written by Bart Schutz

“We don’t act when we don’t trust you”
We are a suspicious species. Therefore trust is a very important factor when it comes to online persuasion. Corritore et. al (2003) define online trust as follows: “an attitude of confident expectation in an online situation of risk that one’s vulnerabilities will not be exploited”.

So if we’re confident that our vulnerabilities will not be exploited, we’re more likely to act.
Scientific Review:
Beldad, The Young & Steehouder (2010) did a meta-analysis and identified the following key elements that increase online trust:

Perceived ease of use of the website
When a website is easy to use

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This post was written by Bart Schutz

“We prefer to get the conclusion first”
“Reading texts is not a mystery game” (AartJan van Erkel).
Front-loading content means that you first give away the conclusion. Occasionally it can help to arouse one’s curiosity by not revealing the conclusion at first, but most of the time it works better if you start with the clue. So don’t spend time ‘leading up to your point’.

Our brain is processing huge amounts of information every second (and what’s more: reading online takes 20% more time than reading from paper). Therefore, our brain prefers to process as little information as possible. So your customers

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