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Conversion Triggers (3 of 4): How To Sell More, Get More Opt-ins, Get More Email Opens (Episode #146)

In the third installment of what will be a 4-part series, we will discuss conversion triggers. In other words, we will talk about the psychological principles behind much of the marketing you see today and why they work.

In the third installment of what will be a 4-part series, again we will discuss conversion triggers. In other words, we will talk about the psychological principles behind much of the marketing you see today and why they work.

Today we discuss:

  • Anticipation
  • Status
  • Social Proof
  • Reference Points

Understanding these “triggers” will allow you to move people into action…. whether that be to buy something, to opt into your email list, to open an email, to click on an email, to post a comment, to click on a tweet…. whatever it may be.

Moving people into action is the name of the game, and these conversion triggers are a very important part of doing it.

In this series, we will discuss many different conversion triggers, why they work, and examples of using them. And perhaps you’ll even learn something about yourself. 😉


Conversion Triggers – Part 3

 We are now going to move on to Part 3 of our overall conversation on what we are calling Conversion Triggers. These are things that you can incorporate into how you present your offer in order to get people to take action. And these things about taking action, it is not just about buying things. It is also a matter of opting in to a list, opening an email, clicking on something, posting a comment… Really anything that you want them to do; these Conversion Triggers come into play in getting them to do it.

Now we have already talked about several different Conversion Triggers and you can go back and listen to the last 2 episodes if you want to play catch up with us. But we are going to go and move on right into the next one here, on Part 3.


1. Anticipation

Building the anticipation is definitely a strong conversion trigger. It is the idea of having something to look forward to and building-in what in many ways is really a potential energy. If you go back to the old physics education like back in high school or wherever you may have covered physics; you learned about a thing called potential energy. You learned how if you hold an object up in the air with your hand and keep it from falling, it has a potential energy because it wants to fall to the floor and you keep it from happening. The moment you let go, it is going to fall to the floor and it is allowing that energy to discharge.

Well, on a very similar way, you could do the same thing with your marketing because you are building; in a mental basis, really, but you are building this potential energy by building up participation. And the whole idea then is that you build up that anticipation up to a point where it wants to discharge itself. And it will discharge the moment that you allow that energy to dissipate. It is almost like you are closing the circuit and allowing this potential energy that you built up with your audience to discharge.

Now the other thing, too, is that when it comes to our desire for pleasure and avoidance of pain; this is something that we talked about at the very beginning in Part 1 of this Conversion Triggers series… We talked about how everybody is trying to enhance their quality of survival by moving toward pleasure in whatever context that they can. Well, one of the key sources of pleasure and happiness is the anticipation of that happiness. It is the idea of something to look forward to. It reminds me of kids on Christmas morning. Well, obviously they look forward to Christmas morning, but the build up to Christmas morning is in many ways half the fun. And then it discharges itself on Christmas morning. And if you are anything like a lot of kids, you are kind of get a little bored within the first few days because that energy has discharged.

The big part of it is the buildup; it is the anticipation. Kind of like when a new movie that everybody is excited about, comes out. Half the fun is all the anticipation that goes before the movie is released. And then of course, it is released and you go in to see it and it’s kind of “Ah, cool… I saw it now.” And so, that anticipation of pleasure is an important part of the overall happiness that we seek.

And so how do you build this anticipation into your marketing? Well, the most obvious way to do that is using the “Launch Process”… Orchestrating a product launch. You see this all the time when people are putting together a pre-launch campaign for something; either brand new product or maybe it is something that they re-open periodically, maybe once a year and they will do a pre-launch campaign that can last a week or two weeks or what have you, with videos and emails and all these stuff. And the whole purpose of that is to build up anticipation. It is the idea of generating as much publicity as you can, as much word of mouth as you can, for what you are about to release before you actually release it. And it is all because you are building up the anticipation; this potential pleasure, so to speak, that when you then open it, it is going to help motivate people to take action on that in order to discharge this potential energy that you created.

So that is the anticipation conversion trigger. Something that you see lots of times out there with regard to product launches.


2. Status

This is the idea of feeling like you are significant when compared to those around you. We all have, and admit it… Even if you do not want to admit it publicly; we all have this personal innate desire to “one-up” those around us, to have them be impressed by us to think that we are better, to think that we have better stuff… We want to impress other people, we want to have their respect and there is an element we want to show up. And it is just built-in to most of us, with rare exception. I mean, if you are saying that is not even a remote part of you, you are probably fibbing yourself. So it is this idea of status. And you see it in play all over the place, if you actually know what you are looking for.

The fashion industry has this in a big way to the point where if you don’t dress like the other person you feel as if you are inferior. They were able to afford that item of clothing and you were not. What do you think the purpose of a Rolex is? It is to impress other people. That is the only purpose of a Rolex because it does not tell time any better than anything else. I don’t care what they say! It is a status symbol.

Look at Apple products… It is a status symbol. Sure it is a good phone; I happen to have an iPhone myself. But is it going to blow the socks off of an Android device? Most likely not! And in fact, most Android devices will do more things than an iPhone. But it is a status symbol. And there is a lot of Conversion Triggers in play with an Apple product. It is the reason why we mention Apple many times during this Conversion Trigger series, but you know, status is definitely an element of it. When they release that new iPhone, one of the underlying reasons why you want that phone right off the bat is so that other people notice that you have got it! That is an element of status.

If we go on to the toys space; that’s kind of funny… And I have got 2 young kids that is why I see this… It reminds me back when I was in high school; the Beanie Baby thing was like a big deal. Well, I was personally never into it at all but I had a guy that I knew who wanted it (for some reason I don’t know) He wanted to go out and collect Beanie Babies. And there were people who thought they were worth something and will go and post them on eBay with these high depth prices because they were positioned as collectibles, like there was some economy behind them. Now the funny thing is that the reason I remember this now is because my 2 kids are into Shopkins. I don’t know if you have seen these things; I don’t even know what a Shopkins was until recently. Apparently it is a stupid little plastic thing that it is like a piece of item that would be in a store and they painted a couple of eyeballs on it… I don’t really get it whatsoever. 😀 But apparently, these Shopkins are a big deal. Kids are trading them at school or something. And there is actually these piece of paper that come with the Shopkins with this grid of all the available Shopkins and they do actually tell you if they are rare, if they are common, if they are “very rare”… I mean, get that! The company that makes it and tries to sell it to you is telling whether it is very rare or not… And of course, these kids, because that is now a status symbol for them are now going out there and trading Shopkins trying to get the very rare ones that they don’t already have… It is a funny, funny thing.

Go even into the airline industry… What are the Rewards Points other than a sign of status? True you get free flights and all that but then they always give these tiered awards and these names like, “Gold” members or something like that. You got the different levels of an American Express Card… All they are, are status symbols. It is a very important part of overall marketing.

So you need to look at what you are doing. How can you give Status to your offer? How could you build some element of status into what it is that you are delivering? Now when it comes to even getting into the product to begin with… How can you set status up with regard to the actual act of them buying? Well, can you provide an element of exclusivity to the product by limiting the amount of quantity, limiting the number of spots available? What about costs? Could you price the thing high so that those who get into it have some kind of a status over the people who didn’t? And the people out there on the outside are going to be like, “Wow, what is it about that thing? Why are they paying so much?” There is also stuff that can go after the sale in terms of things that you can do in terms of customer service to really make your customers feel special.

If you are running a membership site, you can actually do things on your onboarding process that are designed to provide STATUS to your members and that can help keep them in the program. And so, these are things that you want to think about with regard to your own offers and how you set things up. How can you build-in a sense of STATUS because it is a Conversion Trigger?


3. Social Proof

Now this one, most likely is not new to you. It is the idea of providing testimonials and things like that, that show that others have gone before your prospects made that decision and were happy with it. See, at the end of the day, human beings are social animals. And with rare exception, we tend to operate in packs. There are those people out there who are natural born leaders but they are a minority. Most human beings are followers by nature. And so we have the “safety in numbers” mentality. Many of us.

So with that in mind, if you can show that other people had made the decision that you want your prospect to make, and they are happy with it; they are glad that they did it, then that is very influential on your prospect. And third party social proof is even better. You know, it is one thing for you to come out there and say how great something is or even to take a testimonial and put it on your site to where you can provide the true appearance of it through third party endorsement. Using Social Media platforms is a great way to do that. I’ve seen people who take a screenshot of a Tweet and they use that as a form of testimonial. It is a very easy thing to do, but also having that screenshot that clearly is Twitter or a Facebook post provides an element of Third Party endorsement to the product. Because generally, you probably didn’t ask those people to go out on Social Media and say that. They just said it, and you saw it and you took a screenshot. So those kinds of things are a way to make the believability of a testimonial a lot more real.

And the other thing is to go to the opinion leaders; the people whom your audience respects and see if you can line up some… it may not be a testimonial, it might just be a testament to you and your character. Something like that… but the key there is to have people whom your audience will recognize and will respect what they say. And so this really goes to the heart of really knowing your audience, knowing who they pay attention to, other than you. Because if those people are seen saying good things about you, then that brings up your element of believability and trust with your prospects. So that is the element of Social Proof; a very simple and common Conversion Trigger.


4. Reference Points

It comes down to this: People do not make a decision in a vacuum. They are going to make that decision framed around things that they are already familiar with. We tend to make decisions on an unknown by comparing it to the things that we do know. This is the way that human beings tick. It is kind of like our logical process.

Now, you can use this in your marketing because we do judge the relative value or advantage of something by comparing to other things that we do have certainty on. And so, when you are judging the value of an offer you are going to be thinking in terms of the other things that you have seen, maybe from competitors or what have you. These are the things that you know, coming in. And you, as the marketer can use those things to provide branch off points to give like a frame of reference to your offer. And you could do this with pricing very easily. An example would be how you might equate your price to the price of a McDonald’s Happy Meal or the price of a fancy Starbuck’s Coffee. These are common everyday things that your audience would know what they generally cost, perhaps it is something that they buy on a regular basis; and you just framed your offer in that context. You know, if you say “You can get all these for the cost of a fancy Starbuck’s Coffee” you know, if you are selling some little front-end offer or something like that… Then they’re like “Hell, I buy a coffee like every morning, maybe this is not that big of a deal.” You know, you are kind of putting it in that kind of perspective.

I have also seen it many times with recurring monthly membership type programs where they will have a silver membership that costs some amount of money and then they have a gold membership that has a lot more benefits but the price is only incrementally higher than silver. And you are providing that frame of reference and your prospects might look at that and go like, “Well, hell… just for a few bucks more I get all that!” And then guess what? They are going to upsell themselves into the gold membership.

So this is the idea providing those Reference Points. It works in a lot of different ways. It also works in branding. If you are finding a hard time to finding exactly what it is that you need to do, in a lot of times you can frame it by comparing it to a brand that your prospects are probably familiar with. So in many different ways, this idea of providing reference points is a way that you can move people along and move people into a new territory for them by constantly pointing at territories they are familiar with and providing that comparison to that point of reference.


So those are the 4 Conversion Triggers that we talked about today.

In Review:

  • Anticipation which is something that you see very often in product launches
  • The idea of Status and feeling significant compared to those around you
  • The idea of Social Proof, which is the idea that we operate in packs, where you can show what other people have done, what you want your prospect to do; they are more likely to make that move
  • And then lastly is the Reference Point which is the idea that you can make the unknown much more desirable to people by comparing it to the things that they do know.

So with that in mind, we will probably wrap up this series in the next episode; that will be Part 4 of this whole Conversion Triggers series.


In the meantime, I want to let you know about another feature that I have just put together inside the Blog Monetization Lab; it is still a work in progress, but it is kind of like what I am doing with the brand new Roadmap 2.0, I am releasing it and I am going to be working on it in public… But this is the GLOSSARY.

See, what I know from teaching for many, many years now, is that one of the things that really often get in the way of progress is the simple terminology that we use. Words that people just throw out there assuming that you already know, and you are like… “I don’t even know what they are talking about.” And the result of that is typically going to be that you kind of alienate yourself from the topic and you ride it off and you take off! Because we do not like to deal with the unknown. And so, for that reason, I am creating a brand new Glossary inside the Blog Monetization Lab where I am throwing different technical and marketing terminologies that you see out there. And I am giving a plain English definition to them because I do not want anybody to be in the dark, with not only my Training but anybody else’s training because nobody is defining the words properly. I am putting an end to that with the new Lab Glossary.


I’ll see you next time on Part 4 of our Conversion Triggers series. See you then! 😉


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