Get More Clients Part II: More Psychological Triggers to Convert Your Visitors Into Customers

For those of you just tuning in, we recently discussed the conversion power of psychological triggers – subtle, subconscious cues that elicit a human response – and how you can use them to get more clients from your website.

Let’s take a step back and consider external factors that you don’t have control over when it comes to selling a product or touting a service on the web. The level and span of attention you’re receiving, for example, is variable and unknown. If a potential customer is browsing your website and gets an important phone call, that disruption to the sales process is immeasurable. There are also online window shoppers who have no intention of ever buying anything from you; unfortunately they, too, are immeasurable.

All the analytics in the world can’t tell you what’s truly happening on the other side of the computer screen, and that’s why it’s important to use human psychology to create conversion express lanes. The psychological triggers mentioned in our previous post – simplicity, avoidance of pain, attainment of pleasure, curiosity and connection – are all equally powerful tools to employ when building a website for your personal brand or business. Use those as basic building blocks, and then move on to five more triggers that will click with your visitors and turn them into customers:

Social Influence

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More so than ever before, humans are social beings. Much of our behavior is affected by that of others, from buying a brand name in the grocery store to selecting a grocery store to begin with. The Internet itself is built on our readiness to accept information from others, and the explosion of content marketing can be attributed to our desire to share that information with others.

There are quite a few ways to use social influence, also called social proof, to create a sense of comfort among your web visitors. The customer testimonial is a time-tested symbol of a trustworthy product or service, as is a client list with recognizable names or logos. You should also enable (and encourage) customer feedback; a 2010 study by CompUSA and iPerceptions found that 63% of consumers indicated they were more likely to purchase from a site that had product ratings or reviews.

Though not housed on your website, social media is another key factor in harnessing social proof. Here are a few statistics to consider: According to HubSpot, companies that generate more than 1,000 Facebook Likes also receive nearly 1,400 website visits a day, and social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate. Nielsen estimates that 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision. The takeaways here are a) you should be building your social media presence, and b) you should be leveraging it on your website, either with clearly visible social media icons or a feed from your social content.


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Two words: limited edition. Those words together make you feel like it’s now or never, don’t they? Scarcity is an undeniable motivator when it comes to making a purchase. Going back to the example of Amazon from our previous post, think of how often you see messages like “only 12 left in-stock” and “24 hours remaining.” These messages are intended to trigger the response of buying. Scarcity is the driving force behind eBay, Groupon and many other consumer hotspots.

If you’re a photographer or artist, you can sprinkle scarcity into our Sell Media plugin. Offer a “limited edition” print, a “limited time” package, or even a signed one-off if you’re feeling bold. Don’t get too fancy or frequent with it, though; overusing this one can definitely have a negative effect and alienate customers. Use scarcity sparingly and creatively, and be sure to measure the results with each promotion.


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Novelty is an inspiration to us all. Our lives revolve around our continuous search for new experiences, products, entertainment and interaction. Novelty is the reason why the iPhone App Store has grown from offering 800 apps in 2008 to 1,300,000 in 2014.

As consumers, we love new things. So now the question is, how can you create the allure of novelty on your website?

For one, you should always have something new in the pipeline. If you’re a photographer or artist, that comes naturally because you’re always creating new work. For designers and marketers, this is where you do some soul searching to identify what unique value you bring to the table in a highly competitive market, and how best to get your message across.

The wild card to novelty is in the design of your website. According to Ironpaper, a New York City design agency, 48% of people cite a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business. That means your functionality and messaging are crucial to converting visitors into customers. Here on Theme.Works, you can design your website freely without worrying about functionality or coding, which allows you to focus more energy on creating a novel experience. And once you build that website you’ve envisioned, you can easily tweak your imagery, headers and content to keep everything fresh and current.


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Significance is about as subjective of a term as there is, but it’s a consensus craving of humans, whether it’s plain and simple in Tony Robbins’ six human needs or synonymous with esteem in Maslow’s hierarchy.

Everyone likes to feel important from time to time, and your potential customers are no different. At the most basic level, it’s actually pretty easy to fulfill that need; all you have to do is provide responsive, friendly and helpful customer service. But you should also strive to make visitors feel significant before the point of assistance by cultivating a connection to your brand through storytelling, social proof and thanking your customers for their support.


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Reciprocity goes hand in hand with significance. In the same way we like to feel important, we also like to receive, especially when it comes to buying things. Any “Buy One Get One” deal is an act of reciprocity – “Buy one, and we’ll return the favor by giving you one.” Rewards programs serve the same purpose – “Keep coming back, and we’ll keep giving you extra perks.”

Reciprocity isn’t just about giving things away; it’s about building a relationship between the buyer and seller. It’s converting a sale into future sales, and grooming the coveted lifelong customer. With that said, rather than telling you what to do, we’ll instead pose a question: what are you offering your customers besides a transaction?

How to Get Started

Just like we did in the first half of this conversation from the previous post, we’ve given a rapid-fire rundown of ideas and examples to up your online conversion rates through textbook psychological triggers. Theme.Works was built to simplify your web design and maintenance so you can focus more on your marketing and business strategies.

We love seeing our customers use our platform to share and sell their work. Are you the next great designer, marketer, photographer, artist or entrepreneur? Here’s how easy it is to build your WordPress website with Theme.Works:

by Daniel Gordon

Daniel Gordon is a commercial copywriter, editor and content strategist who seeks to engage and inspire through the power of the written word. He enjoys living a creative life.

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