4 Psychological Effects and Their Impact on Conversions

4 Psychological Effects and Their Impact on Conversions

Last updated on July 5, 2016 by Fahad Muhammad in Conversion Rate Optimization

Ever heard of the mobile app Flappy Bird? Of course you have, I’m sure you’ve wasted a good portion of many days tapping away at your phone screen dreading the “thud” noise of your bird being hit by the pillars or the ground.

Tell me something though; what was so special about the game that made you spend so much of your time engrossed in it?

It wasn’t exactly something cutting edge, it had a very oldy Nintendo type feel to it. The game was simple and unbelievably frustrating- yet people across the globe went crazy playing it night and day. The game got downloaded 50 million times and amassed almost 16 million tweets. It became such a huge global phenomenon that the creator of the game got tired of all the unwanted media attention and finally decided to take the game down.

So, why do you think the game became so popular?

Was it because it was such an interesting game, or was it because when you knew that everyone else was playing it, putting up their scores on their social media profiles and tweeting like crazy about it you simply couldn’t resist doing so yourself.

Flappy Bird is an excellent example of human psychological effects at play; the game went viral because it gathered a lot of word of mouth and social media attention. It was the “it” thing to be doing, being talked about and shared and so everyone put their foot to the pedal and started downloading it like crazy.

If you’re thinking that what happened with Flappy Bird can’t happen with your product, well, you’re mistaken. There wasn’t anything really special about Flappy Bird all that happened was human psychology at work.

The art of persuasion

Conversions are all about persuasion, and persuasion is all about working the human psyche to your advantage. Why should your customers select your product and not your competitors’? How are you going to convince your visitors to click on your call to action button and not someone else’s?

Simple, work your customer’s psychology to your benefit.

Understand what makes your visitors tick and then use this information to your advantage. There are various psychological principles that play an integral role in persuasion, once you understand them and start using them in your landing pages and marketing campaigns you’ll automatically gain an edge over others in the field.

What will follow in the post are 4 powerful psychological effects that dictate customer behavior and help you gain conversions. The post will detail each psychological principle separately and give you real world landing page applications for each.

School is in session people; take out your note pads.

The pratfall effect


The pratfall effect dictates that mistakes attract charm and make you more likable to other people, when you show off your humanness to other people they’re actually intrigued by it. So, if you have a habit of falling down clumsily in front of your boyfriend don’t fret it, he probably finds it endearing.

Use the pratfall effect in your landing pages by making them appear more human. This doesn’t mean start making mistakes on them, it just means that you need to create landing pages that your visitors can easily identify with.

Stay far away from cheesy stock photos and robotic copy- create a landing page with conversational copy and an image that has the power to melt your visitors’ hearts.

dog image

Speaks to you doesn’t it?

The paradox of choice


The paradox of choice explains that when human beings are faced with having too many choices they are less likely to be happy with what they’ve chosen.

This principle is what causes you to feel buyer’s remorse.

Psychologists like Barry Schwartz have stressed a lot on the paradox of choice and Mr. Schwartz and many others in his field believe that human beings make much better decisions when given fewer choices.

An experiment conducted by Lepper and Iyengar on supermarket jams at a gourmet food store revealed that when customers were given 6 different varieties of high quality jams as free samples instead of 24 different varieties, 30% of the people ended up buying a jar, out of those that got the 24 different jams only 3% bought a jar.

So, the next time you sit to create your landing page, be sure to remove all things that don’t forward your conversion goal. Don’t have an image on your landing page that’s only going to derail your visitors, don’t add such a long lead capture form that they get distracted from your call to action button.

Give your visitors fewer choices and they are sure to click where you want them to.

Social influence


Social influence or social proof details that people tend to go for the choices that others make. So, basically monkey see monkey do.

The human brain has a tendency to follow others and simply consider behavior adopted by a large number of people to be correct.

You can make social proof work for your landing pages by adding social media buttons on them; if your social media likes increase to a certain number chances are they’ll keep on increasing beyond that too. Another way to include social proof on your landing pages is to use the power of authentic customer testimonials. Adding customer testimonials not only make for an attractive landing page but they also help your future customers see exactly what your existing customers think about your product.


Color psychology

Color has a powerful influence on the human psyche, every color has its own varying impact on the human brain; this impact can either be positive or negative. Colors can either help soothe your customers or irritate them, the latter will obviously cause you to lose your sale.

You can use color psychology to your benefit on your landing pages by designing your pages in the colors that you know appeal to your target audience. Take the example of the landing page below, the colors attract the target audience of the service; women.


Psychology isn’t just stuff for books and research journals, it’s a very practical science which when used on your landing page in the right way has the power to yield lots of conversions for you.

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