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Conversion Triggers (4 of 4): How To Sell More, Get More Opt-ins, Get More Email Opens (Episode #147)

In the 4th (and last) installment of this 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 4th (and last) installment of this 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.

Today we discuss:

  • Sense of Belonging / Community
  • Current Events
  • Scarcity
  • Controversy

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. 😉


So like I said, what we are about to do is Part 4 of our Conversion Triggers series where we have been talking about various psychological components that you could build into your offers, your emails, even your blog post in order to move people into action.

Now if you want to catch up with us, it is the last 3 Episodes here of the podcast where we have been talking all about these various Conversion Triggers.

What we are going to do in this one is quickly wrap up 4 more; and this will actually wrap up this particular series on Conversion Triggers.


Types Of Conversion Triggers – Part 4


1. Sense Of Belonging/Sense Of Community

Now, I talked in the last episode about Social Proof and how we use social proof in order to make it safe for our prospects to make a particular decision that we want them to make. Community… and that sense of community is another very tightly related aspect of social proof.

People like to feel like they belong to something great. Perhaps even bigger than themselves. It makes them feel safe. It makes the things that they do have meaning. And these things are important. This is something that is built in to most of us.

As an example of this; in terms of sales, and you see this a lot when it comes to “after the sale”, but I just recently bought a new RV, a new motor home. Well, not literally brand new because that would be a colossal waste of money, but it is new to us. And we bought it at a well-known RV dealership called “Lazy Days”, perhaps you have heard of it. Well, when I bought this RV at Lazy Days, the sales process had all these “feel good” stuff built in to it at the end, after we have already signed the paperwork and we were going to the process of closing on the new motor home. But even during it, there’s like you get to know your sales guy and there’s this inside jokes with the sales team and you kind of feel the sense of community with the guys at the Lazy Days… Another part of the process after you bought the RV was that they have this section called the “benefits”, you know… after you closed on the RV and you go and talk to the insurance guy to get the new RV insured and all that, you get this basically, bag of swag and all these different bonuses. They even handed out free t-shirts to my kids and my wife and I; quite frankly, a shirt that I probably won’t even wear. But the whole idea of it is to make you feel good about the transaction… To make you feel like you are kind of an insider of Lazy Days. And make you feel like a part of the Lazy Days family. And it is kind of like an onboarding process. They are kind of creating a customer for life, so next time I want an RV, I come back to Lazy Days, okay?

So how can you build that type of community, that SENSE OF BELONGING, into what it is that you are doing in your business? How can you build that sense of loyalty by treating people like a million bucks, giving them that inside scoop so it makes them feel like an insider into your community? These things are important. A lot of it is going to come after the sale. It comes in as very important if you are running a membership program. A part of the onboarding process…

But even part of your content marketing itself might be to let in a little inside jokes and things like, for example… Pat Flynn with the SPI podcast comes to mind… If you listen to Pat’s podcast, every single episode of his show begins with some little nugget about him and his personality. And you get to where you know these little things like he is in the back of the future and that type of thing. These are things that bring that sense of community to his community and it works out really well. And it is definitely a Conversion Trigger and I guarantee you, he knows that. Another thing that comes to mind off of Pat is how he built a school over in Africa and he mobilized the SPI Community to raise funds for that. And I think he also doubled it… I don’t remember if he built one school or two schools. But this goes to another very important point of building a sense of community and that is… What do you stand for? What is your WHY? And when you can orient people behind these common goals, these things that show what it is that you stand for that make you feel good about being part of that community, it really does help a lot. And Pat Flynn definitely did that when it came to building the schools over in Africa.

So that is the idea of SENSE OF COMMUNITY, a SENSE OF BELONGING to something greater than yourself.


2. Current Events

You see this and use quite often. But it comes on a very obvious fact and that is that; we human beings tend to have pretty short memory. We tend to focus on what is right in front of us and we tend not to see the long game in a lot of cases. We tend to act to what is most immediate versus those longer term trends. For example, if you are in the environmental movement you probably get kind of frustrated that enough is happening with the global warming movement like if you would all think it is as if a big deal! And it is because, you look and there’s not really any difference. So how are you going to convince people that that is a real thing? So that is a pretty prime example of how people do concentrate on what is most immediate. I mean, if all of a sudden it became 130° outside, all of a sudden everybody will be demanding action. So what should become fairly obvious about that is that the media is very much what defines what the current events are. And so, you can actually tie your offer into current events. Like just by relating them or even just taking something you observed about a current event and moving that somehow to your offer or your product. A really prime, obvious example of that of this would simply be a holiday sale or a Black Friday offer. Around Black Friday, there is a lot of people out there thinking about “How can I spend my money today?” And you’ll see pretty much every business on the earth doing Black Friday Sales. That is the idea of having your marketing cover a Conversion Trigger which in that case would be Current Events… And you will probably also couple that with the next one which is…


3. Scarcity

Scarcity… very, very obvious, very common, you see this… This is probably not new to you. It is the idea of using the fear of loss as a way to move people into action; the fear of losing out on something. Other people are going to get it and you are not going to get it if you do not take action right now… That is the idea of scarcity and bringing urgency to the table. Going back all the way to the beginning about how we want to move toward pleasure and avoid pain. Well, if you then pointed at that pain and say “By the way it isn’t going to remain” or “It is even going to be worse if you miss out on this. And this is going away by such and such a time.” they are going to want to avoid that pain. And their way of avoiding that pain is to then take the action that you want them to take. So the most obvious way of employing scarcity is the good ol’ fashion deadline. Deadline base marketing works really well. And quite frankly, I would not recommend that you put ANY offer out there without some form of scarcity on it. Because without scarcity, the offer just kind of sits there and there is no real push for them to actually make that decision. At the end of the day, you want people to make a YES or NO decision. Preferably, they would make the YES. But the important thing is that they make the decision and do not get stuck on a MAYBE. And sometimes, you got to kick them on the butt a little bit to get them to make that decision even if the answer is no, it is better that they made that decision. And so, deadlines is one of the most obvious and common ways of employing scarcity.

Now for a deadline or scarcity offer to work, it must be TRUE scarcity. This cannot be something that seems all exclusive now and then later you kind of open it up to the world. That kind of crap is not going to work very well because people are going to see right through it. It needs to be real scarcity that when you say it is scarce or there is a limited quantity, you mean it. And you back it up with actually doing that. I mean, just saying “I only have 100 copies of this eBook” that would not be very believable; it is a freaking computer file! So when you employ scarcity, give a reason WHY… that goes back to one of the other Conversion Trigger we talked about… And back up what that scarcity is and why there is a limited quantity or why there is a deadline on that. Now, you either maintain that scarcity by keeping it like consistent and not ever changing the terms or another way that you can do it is if you intend for it to become more publicly available in the future, that you do it in phases instead of saying “Okay, it’s now an exclusive” and then in a few weeks you open it up to the world… instead of doing that, you do it in little phases and then do not make a public spectacle out of it. And then it can work.

Countdown timers are a really popular way to do this. I love countdown timers. You just kind of make sure they are real countdown timers. If it is just some visual timer but then it is still sitting there available to buy afterward, then you just lied to your audience and they are not ever going to believe you ever again. Okay? So you need to have countdown timers that are actually real. Not where they just clear their cookies in their browsers and all of the sudden they just re-set the timer!

Another thing that you could do is having “Quantity Remaining”… where if you are going to sell a certain number of copies of something then you can say how many are still available to be sold.

Another form of scarcity I have used in the past is where it is an incremental price increase; so every time somebody buys it, the price goes up just a little bit, automatically. And this can drive a lot of fast action on it. But there is a number of creative ways that you can employ scarcity and I definitely recommend that you do.


4. Controversy

Now, you know what a controversy is. It is used a lot these days, especially in politics and all those stuff. And quite frankly, it is so much so that you can write it off, it is just more bull crap noise. But that being said, when it comes to getting attention to your content, a little controversy can actually help sometimes. Now, too much controversy can actually alienate people, but just the right amount of controversy can actually draw people in. It kind of creates that information gap that we talked about earlier where people want to just satisfy that curiosity, they are like… “Did he really just say that?” or “What???” and they kind of want to like to satisfy that curiosity.

Giving an example off from the top of my head… What if I, as the Blog Marketing Academy guy, came out and told you why having a blog is a stupid idea? If I had that as a headline… “Why having blogs is a stupid idea?” Do you think that that would might cause a little controversy in my space and get some people to click on that headline in order to satisfy their curiosity as to what I am saying? You bet! They would. So that would be the idea of using Controversy to drive that. You create that sense of curiosity; that information gap. It can also drive “word of mouth” promotion because sometimes you get that emotional reaction out of people and they will share that thing virally.

For example… If you actually managed to anger a few people, which might go against your grain; but I have done that before… I did that in the technology market a few times where I deliberately stepped in some like Mac versus PC thing. And I would just totally piss off the PC crowd by saying all stuff about how PC suck and Mac is so much better. I did that for the sole purpose of controversy. I mean, I’ll admit that straight up. And it worked! I got a lot of commentary, a lot of people calling me names, it was good time! But this goes to that thing about having that right amount of controversy on the right topics can actually draw some viral activity and accelerate the effect of a piece of content.

What it comes down to is the old thing about challenging what is called the 3 B’s…

Challenge their Behavior, challenge their Beliefs and challenge their Belongings.

If you take those things that they just think, “Okay, well, that is just true” like one of their beliefs and then you come out with a blog post or something that totally disabuses them of that, then that would be the idea of challenging one of the 3 B’s.

When you are doing Controversy, I would avoid the big sensitive topics. Like, I wouldn’t get into politics unless that happens to be your market, I probably wouldn’t get into race and I wouldn’t get into religion. I would just kind of leave those 3 alone. You don’t want to bring too much bad controversy. We are talking about stuff that is kind of designed to make a point, it is kind of like Derek Halpern with Social Triggers and he came out and had a blog post, I think; about “Content Isn’t King” because everybody says content is king… That kind of controversy can work. It is a matter of how far you take it and what you do with it. Now this does work best for content marketing. It is a great way to get content noticed, to get your free content out in the front of a whole new set of eyeballs, but the whole idea there would be that you have a call to action on that blog post. And then that moves them into the next phase.

So that kind of wraps up all of our Conversion Triggers. It does not mean that these are the only things that matter. But what I have given you in this last 4 podcast represents a lot of what sales people and copywriters and that type of stuff have in their mind and they build in to how they orchestrate the sales message. But it even goes in to getting people open emails, to click on emails, to do pretty much anything that you want them to do. And so when we look at what our purpose is here with content marketing, the purpose is to drive people to take action. Now when you can do that with our content and do it with these Conversion Triggers in mind, you are going to get higher conversion rates. You are going to get more people to open your emails. You are going to get more people to click. You are going to get people to opt-in and yes… you are going to get more people to buy things from you. That is why these Conversion Triggers are so important. You really need to understand how the human mind ticks and what makes people do what they do.

So those are the Conversion Triggers…

In Review:

  1. Sense of Belonging and Community
  2. The use of Current Events
  3. The use of Scarcity
  4. And lastly, the proper use of Controversy

With that being said, hopefully you found this episode and the last three in this 4 Part series of Conversion Triggers useful. Hopefully, (maybe if you want to) grab the transcripts, print them out and make a little list of these things if that helps you out as far as future reference; and I would highly encourage you to do so.

And of course, you can head on over to Coffee Break to view the archives. But of course, every single episode of this podcast; if you are not already aware, is transcribed. So you can go to any episode of the show over at which will simply forward over to Blog Marketing Academy, and you can grab the transcript of any of these episodes and have that available to you.


Thank you!… I will see you on the next episode! 😉


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