Using Psychology to Get Conversions - Instapage Guide

Using Psychology to Get Conversions

Last updated on August 5, 2017

Psychology plays an integral role in the success of your marketing materials, which includes your landing pages. This is because your visitors are human beings who make irrational choices based on their cognitive biases and past experiences.

Using the right psychological principles to your advantage in your landing page design convinces your visitors that you, in fact, are the right brand to solve their problem, and this guides their mouse toward the CTA button.

This is also known as conversion psychology.

Using psychology on your landing pages to influence visitors’ decision-making abilities helps you convert them into customers.

The next section of the guide will discuss these psychological principles and explain how you can practically use these principles on your landing pages.

How to Create Persuasive Landing Pages

What’s the one fundamental thing that your landing page needs to do?

Persuade your visitors enough to get them to convert on your form.

Landing page elements should complement each other so they can convince your visitors to fulfill your conversion goal.

Here’s a quick recap of the characteristics your landing page elements must have to be persuasive:

  • The headline must include your UVP, so your visitors know precisely how you’re going to solve their problem.
  • The image must be relevant and empathetic so that it explains what your product does and also connects with your visitors emotionally.
  • Your copy should explain your offers, benefits and features in a comprehensive way.
  • Trust indicators such as customer badges, trust badges, a privacy policy link, and customer testimonials help instill confidence to convert on your form.
  • The lead capture form shouldn’t ask visitors to give information that’s not necessary for the offer. Plus, form fields must be properly arranged.
  • Your CTA button must be clear in delivering value. It should induce a sense of urgency, be designed in a contrasting color, and written with personalized copy.

There are certain psychological principles you can apply to create landing pages that influence your visitors to convert. Two of the basic principles that will be discussed in this chapter are:

  1. Principles of influence
  2. Cognitive biases

Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence

Cialdini’s theory of influence is comprised of the following six fundamental principles you can implement to convince your visitors to convert:

1. The Principle of Liking

Human beings have a tendency to be persuaded by people they like. One way to do this is to design your pages so that you and your team are represented on them. Include custom photography of your team at work, or add a video with a human voice that’s able to connect with your visitors.

Adding real photos alongside customer testimonials also triggers the liking principle and convinces visitors to convert.

To demonstrate, when Signal v. Noise tested a “human” page versus their original design, they saw a 102.5% increase in conversions:

Signal v. Noise Landing Page Example

See how the smiling woman on the landing page draws you in better? Your visitors will likely feel the same emotion and stick around longer to find out more.

Furthermore, including an image of a happy person on your landing page can help with conversion rates because it invokes an emotional response in your visitors.

2. The Principle of Reciprocity

Human beings like to do things for others who do things for them. So, if you’re expecting your visitors to sign-up for your service just because you told them how great it is, expect to be waiting a long time.

Want your visitors’ information? Offer them something in return – this is what a typical squeeze page is created to do.

Copy Hackers’ page asks visitors to enter their email address in exchange for a 100% off coupon code for one of their original books:

CopyHackers eBook Form Example

Another approach is to offer your visitors a small chunk of information first, and then give them the rest in exchange for their contact details. This is what one variation of the Top 10 Landing Page Styles does:

Top 10 Styles Landing Page Example

If you want to increase sign-ups for your service, try offering them a free trial first — that’s what Autopilot does on their landing page:

Autopilot Landing Page Example 2

3. The Principle of Social Proof

The principle of social proof dictates that human beings tend to do things that they see other people (like themselves) doing. This is where the herd mentality comes from. Your landing page should include compelling customer testimonials from previous clients who can vouch for your product/service.

As an alternative, you can also include the number of satisfied customers your service has like Hootsuite does on its landing page:

Hootsuite Landing Page Customer Example

4. The Principle of Consistency

We tend to like people who honor a commitment they have made. In other words, human beings appreciate individuals who remain true to their word.

You can apply this principle to dedicated pages by establishing message match between the ad and the landing page itself.

This is the Facebook ad for Vidyard’s guide on personalizing your marketing with video:

Vidyard Facebook Ad Example

This is the landing page connected to the ad:

Vidyard Landing Page Example

The page and the ad have great message match because:

  • Both the ad and page headlines have the same message.
  • The image in the ad matches the image on the page.
  • The CTA button color is consistent on both the ad and landing page.

To increase your conversion rates, maintain a consistent journey for visitors by making sure there is message match between your ad and landing page.

5. The Principle of Authority

The principle of authority dictates that people tend to obey authoritative figures. One way of establishing authority on your landing page is to include customer badges from reputable companies. Doing this helps your visitors understand that highly credible companies have placed their trust in your product or service.

Crazy Egg follows this principle on its landing page:

Crazy Egg Landing Page Customer Testimonials Example

Authority on landing pages can be showcased by including testimonials from influential people in your industry. Although the example below is from Backlinko’s homepage, which includes navigation bars and a full footer, it demonstrates that testimonials from influencers (such as Neil Patel) help establish credibility:

Backlinko Landing Page Customer Testimonials Example

6. The Principle of Scarcity

People want more of something they can’t have, i.e. perceived scarcity influences your visitors’ decision-making abilities.

You can make your offer more enticing by putting a clock on it (a landing page countdown timer will do the trick).

Here’s how Instapage uses a countdown timer to encourage webinar registrations:

Instapage Countdown Timer Example

You can also add urgency by offering visitors something for a limited time. Free trial offers often use this strategy.

This is what the Animoto landing page does:

Animoto Landing Page Example

You can apply the principle of scarcity on standalone pages in the form of urgency. To do this, craft your copy in such a way that visitors understand they better act now if they want to get what you’re offering.

Merlin’s Pest Control does with their CTA button copy:

Merlin Pest Control CTA Button Copy Example

The CTA button copy adds a sense of urgency to the offer.

Here’s an infographic that sums up Cialdini’s principles of Influence.

Cognitive Biases

Cognitive biases are tendencies human beings have to think in particular ways that lead them to make irrational choices and decisions.

Your visitors are human beings, and they don’t always act rationally. It’s your job as a marketer to understand what these deviating tendencies are and use them to your advantage when designing landing pages.

The Von Restorff Effect

According to the Von Restorff effect, we tend to remember things that stand out. Your visitors will remember your call to action button much more vividly if you design it in a contrasting color and make it stand out.

This is what the AWeber landing page does:

AWeber Landing Page Contrast Button Example

The green color stands out against the gray background, making visitors remember the button before they leave the page.

The Deictic Gaze

When we see someone looking at an object, our brain acts reflexively, and we end up looking at that object as well. This is the Deictic Gaze in action. With regards to landing pages, using directional cues that point to your call-to-action button, you draw more of your visitors’ focus on the button — persuading them to click it.

Postcard Mania uses a directional cue to point toward the CTA button, bringing more of their visitors’ attention to “get started:”

Postcard Mania CTA Button

Picture Superiority Effect

According to the Picture Superiority Effect, people tend to understand concepts and recall them more easily when concepts are in the form of images as compared to copy.

Including relevant images on your landing pages helps visitors understand your offer in a better manner. And when you add images alongside helpful copy, people are more likely to click your CTA button.

The HubSpot landing page doesn’t just showcase benefits of the service with the help of copy, but they also use dashboard screenshots alongside the copy. This gives their visitors the optimal viewing experience:

HubSpot Landing Page Example

Focusing Effect

The focusing effect is the tendency of people to place too much importance on one aspect of an event. You can use this cognitive bias to your advantage on landing pages by having visitors focus on your unique value proposition.

Your product or service has an entire array of benefits and features for your target customers. However, when you highlight your UVP more than any other benefits, customers primarily anchor themselves to that statement — which convinces them to click your call to action button.

This is what Avast does with their landing page by including their UVP in the headline:

Avast Landing Page Example

Granted, there are other benefits mentioned on the page:

Avast Benefits Page Example

But, by focusing the attention on their UVP in the headline, they allow their visitors to anchor themselves and focus on that one particular benefit.

Landing page best practices are only one-half of the conversion equation. To maximize your landing pages, apply conversion psychology to your landing page design process.