5 Psychological Marketing Principles to Engage Customers

While every buyer is unique, there are certain principles about human behavior that marketers should know. Implementing these principles in their direct mail and digital marketing strategies has helped countless marketers sell more products. Ross Kimbarovsky, founder and CEO at crowdspring, an online marketplace for crowdsourced creative services, has developed five psychological marketing principles that can transform your offers from “I’ll get to it later” to “I need to act on this right now!” Which ones can you use in your next marketing campaign?

1. Priming

Priming is just what it sounds like: Using a word, a phrase, or an image that prepares people to be more receptive to your message. For example, a humane society might send fundraising letters addressed to “compassionate animal lovers like you.” Framing the recipient as a compassionate animal lover automatically puts them in a state of mind to help.

2. Reciprocity

If someone does something nice for you, most people will feel an obligation to do something nice back. That’s why nonprofits put pennies and dimes into their fundraising letters. It makes recipients feel obligated to return the favor by making a donation. Free gifts and samples are another great strategy, tapping into reciprocity.

3. Social Proof

Buyers like to be part of a crowd. They want be “in” on the next great thing. This is what makes social proof so powerful. Customer testimonials and reviews, social media comments, and case studies boost the credibility and desirability of your product. You can also use customer counts: “Over 100,000 units sold!”

4. Scarcity

The more scarce something is, the more buyers tend to want it. It’s why Amazon puts alerts on many products saying, “Only 3 left in stock!” Of course, there will probably be more in stock tomorrow, but the fact that there are only three left in stock right now suggests that the product is desirable and buyers should snatch it up right away. The same principle applies to deadlines to respond to offers.

5. Anchoring

The first fact people hear about your product often becomes the most important fact they hear. Put your most compelling fact, statistic, or testimonial right up front. Let it frame the rest of your message. “Simply the best solution out there!” Psychology is a critical element in any marketing campaign. When crafting your next direct mail and digital marketing strategy, use it to your advantage.

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