THE WHEEL OF PERSUASION

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Your customer

Your customer

Your customer is a brain. All his behavior is controlled by this 1,5 kilo of cortical proteins and fats. Every decision is made by his 100 billion brain cells and 1.000 billion glial cells that interact via a 1.000 times a 1.000 billion synapses (“It’s quite complicated” ;-).

We start to learn more and more about our brain. Also because of our World Wide Valhalla for scientists. We start to understand how we are influenced by our ‘Needs & Motivations‘, how ‘Attention & Perception‘ works, how we save and use experiences in our ‘Memory‘, and how our decisions are influenced by ‘Ratio’s & Thoughts‘, as well as by ‘Emotions & Irrationalities‘.

Money Omission

“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

“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

Ambiguity Aversion

“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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Belongingness & Conformity

“We prefer to behave in approval with our social groups”
Belongingness is our innate need to form and maintain strong, stable interpersonal relationships. More than we are often consciously aware, we want to be part of a peer group, community, and society.

Once we feel we belong to a group, we will conform to, and internalize the group’s values and norms. In general, we conform to both injunctive norms of our groups (implied approved behavior by the group), and to descriptive norms (common behavior among group members). We may even behave adversely to groups that we do not want to be

Choice paradox

“We love either 3 or 5 options”
If we are offered one option, our choice is to either go for it or… not. However, if we are offered two choices, we automatically start choosing between these two options. Not choosing at all becomes a much less obvious option. Therefore offering more than one option is usually more persuasive.

On the other hand, if we are offered too many choices we tend not to make a choice. Too many choices are simply too difficult for our simple ratio.

That’s the paradox of choice.
Scientific research example:
Imagine that you’re in the business of selling pens,

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Visual cueing

“Our focus of attention is highly influenced by visual cues”
A visual cue is a signal which your brain extracts from what you see. It indicates the state of some property around you that you are interested in perceiving.

Now, only 1% of what you see actually enters through your eyes (the rest is -surprisingly correct – made up by your brain). You can only see really well with your ‘fovea’: an area in the exact center of your retina that is the size of your thumbnail on an arm-length distance).

It is therefore important to direct your customers’ fovea-attention, for example,

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Endowment effect

“When we own goods, we value them higher than when we don’t”
How we value items depends on whether or not it is ours. The effect (also known as ‘divestiture aversion’) is that when there are two identical products, we especially value the one we own.

In other words: we want more money if we sell a product than what we are willing to pay when buying it.
Scientific research example:
The prototypical studies into the endowment effect involve mugs and other equally priced products.

Imagine Nobel-prize winner Daniel Kahneman gives you such a mug. You say “thank you”. Daniel then asks you if

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