The key to selling online is to decide what tactic or a combination of tactics to use.

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but desire is the mother of all online sales.

When you have desire working for you, it’s not a question of “selling” the consumer on your product, it’s simply a matter of satisfying their need.

Creating that desire is what marketing psychology is all about.

You don’t need a degree in psychology or a Master’s in business administration to understand these tactics. They are simple and shockingly effective.

1 – Popularity

A Japanese cream puff chain has taken NYC by storm because of a clever marketing strategy: they paid dozens of people to stand in line and buy cream puffs. When a passerby saw all those people, they didn’t even ask what product was on sale… they just joined the line so that they could “get theirs”.

Most people when making an online buying decision on their own is scary. Some don’t trust their instincts and think they’ll make a bad choice.

Fear is amplified by the worry that it’s harder to correct a problem if anything goes wrong with the purchase.

Some customers worry they’ll be taken advantage of. They may have been burned in the past and don’t want to happen again.

Fear of a bad decision is also common for people who are purchasing a product they’ve never used before or buying from a provider they don’t know.

Solve this problem by mentioning how many customers have chosen to buy from you each week or each month.

Customers listen to what others are saying. They think if so many people like this product then I’ll like it too.

The “safety net” that allows a customer to jump into a purchase without fear is popularity.

2 – Superiority

For the average person, being a billionaire is just a dream. BUT…feeling like a billionaire is made possible by luxury brands. When a consumer buys what “the rich folks” buy — a superior product — it makes them feel like a superior person.

It’s easy to invoke superiority when selling luxury items. But superiority doesn’t necessarily come with a high price tag.

What you’re selling might be superior for a variety of reasons, quality, capabilities, convenience, ease of availability, and value.

All you need to do is emphasize what’s superior about your offer and make it clear that someone who takes advantage of what you’re selling will be
perceived as a superior person by those who weren’t so smart.

For example: “Widget Roofing and Gutters.com will treat you like royalty with superior installation and maintenance services for your home (or castle) at prices other owners will envy.”

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3 – The Age of Reasons

Appealing to a prospect’s “what’s in it for me” self-interest will turn your online sales message into a sales monster.

When you list benefits, offer a no-risk guarantee, throw in bonuses, etc., you’re speaking directly to a consumer’s “basic instinct”– greed.

To be a real powerhouse with the ability to convert even the most hesitant visitor into a ready-to-buy-now customer, you need to tell them what they already know… and then tell them more.

People visit your website for a reason — but it’s for their own reasons, not yours.

So you want to make sure that when they arrive, they are immediately reminded in a clear and compelling way “why” they came… and the reminded of all the other reasons they should buy from you.

The best way to compile a killer list of reasons someone should buy from
you is to ask your customers.

You can also check out the competition and make sure that you’re highlighting all the same benefits…plus a few that “the other guy” forgot.

4 – Teach a Man to Fish…

An important element of every website is giving them useful information to buy. All sites provide basic information: What the product is, what it costs, how to order, etc.

But sites that are active moneymakers that generate lots of traffic and lots of sales are sites that teach as well as sell.

The goal of the articles, features, forums, message boards, and free downloads is to help a consumer use and enjoy the products that the site offers for sale… AND to convert that consumer into a customer for life.

5 – Honesty

Many customers think the message is too good to be true. To deal with this objection admit that your product is not the perfect solution for everyone.

And you increase the chances the prospect will listen to why your product is perfect for THEM.

6 – FAQ

“Questions are just objections in disguise.”

An excellent way to keep objections at bay and keep fear out of the buying equation is with a preemptive attack on questions.

An FAQ is an excellent “double agent” in this endeavor.

Disguised as a “what you want” consumer aid, your FAQ is really a powerful marketing device. With it, you’ll provide reasons why consumers should buy from you.

An FAQ is just one more opportunity to “get the word out” about all of the benefits, features, guarantees, etc. you have to offer.

7 – Curiosity

All creatures are curious…especially humans.

We explore our world rather than just respond to it, looking under rocks, pulling back curtains, and poking sticks into things. Our curiosity is based on our biology.

The immensely powerful basic instincts for self-preservation, reproduction, and greed propel us to explore the unknown.

The desire to know is a compelling force in marketing. When a consumer is curious, then don’t just “want to know”…they NEED to satisfy their curiosity.

That’s why the internet is filled with information products with “curious” titles and sales letters with “curious” headlines like these:
•Secrets of the Diet Industry Uncovered
•What Time Share Companies Don’t Want You To Know
•Mysteries of A Youthful Appearance Revealed
•The Hidden Keys of Car Buying

Curiosity gains and holds the consumer’s attention long enough for the rest of the sales message to be delivered.

8 – Fear

Fear is a fundamental human instinct and “manipulating it” is a fundamental online marketing tactic.

Fear is one of the easiest emotional “hot buttons” to press, as well as one of the most painful for consumers.

And while the pursuit of pleasure appears to drive most buying decisions, it’s actually the avoidance of pain that seals the deal.

The Four Faces of FearConsumer fear can be sub-divided into three “scary” sub-categories:

•Fear of loss
•Fear of making a mistake
•Fear of things getting worse
•Fear of paying too much for too little

People are much more likely to buy if they think they’ll lose out on an opportunity if they don’t.

If your product is perceived as scarce… a limited supply…that perception will generate a powerful fear of loss.

This fear is what generates advertising language like:
•Limited Time Offer
•Only 500 Available
•Will Not Be Repeated
•First 100 Customers
•Today and Tomorrow Only
•Offer Good Until They’re Gone

In a niche where many websites are selling a product or service that is virtually identical, using fear and risk an unsurpassed way to distinguish yourself from the competition. It’s also a way to justify higher prices!

9 – Give Me More…

Potential customers may be swayed with incentives, bonuses, and “value-added” extras.

Most people get the “gotta have it” bug when they think they have a chance at being “one-up” on someone else by getting some more and paying less. I call this variation of “What’s in it for me?” “What’s in it that’s extra and just for me?”

10 – Logic

People make most decisions based on emotions, but they validate their decisions based on logic and reasoning.

You may think that consumers buy what they desire, and that’s true. But the consumer may not want to admit that!

Most of us have been taught that acting logically is good and acting emotionally (which translates as illogically) is bad.

In order to feel good about a purchase, your site visitor wants to feel that he’s making a logical decision — intelligent, well thought out, and supported by evidence that proves it’s the right thing to do.

The facts will serve as the “logical justification” for a purchase.

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