Marketing Psychology + 10 Psychological Tricks & Tactics

Omer Lewinsohn

Omer Lewinsohn

Digital marketing psychology

Many business-savvy persons use the concept of marketing psychology on their customers to get them to buy more products. Have you ever wondered why you keep going back to the same store even when there are many others? Why are you never satisfied with the same product from another store apart from the one you are used to? 

It is because you have become loyal to that store because of the steps the store has taken to satisfy you. The store has played its marketing strategy well, making you believe that it is the best option for you.

What is Marketing Psychology?

Marketing psychology is a concept that seeks to predict a buyer’s behavior based on some factors or traits shown by the buyer. It utilizes the understanding of the buyer’s cognitive biases to effect a reasonable and logical strategy for sales.

How Does Marketing Psychology Improve Online Marketing?

Psychology in marketing predicts the buyer’s behavior. It achieves this by amassing a thorough knowledge of the buyer’s cognitive biases. Online marketing utilizes this concept in its advertisement methods. By applying online marketing strategies, digital marketers can optimize their ads and campaigns to influence purchasing behavior.

Why Is It Important to Understand Online Consumer Psychology?

When you invest in online consumer marketing, you make things easy for your customer. You understand consumer behavior and can help them find what they want, thereby minimizing the stress of shopping and improving their experiences. Therefore, it is crucial to understand online marketing psychology to bring in more customers, retain customers, and boost sales.

Heuristics & Cognitive Biases – What Are They?

Heuristics is a cognitive phenomenon that enables human beings to solve problems quickly and effortlessly.  While they are helpful in many situations, they lead to cognitive biases. Cognitive biases are systematic errors in thoughts. 

They occur when people process and interpret information, thereby affecting their judgments and decisions. Psychological advertising uses the information from this bias to encourage people to buy as much as possible.

Top 10 Psychological Tactics In Online Marketing

Digital salespeople utilize the following psychological marketing tricks to encourage prospective clients to shop from their stores. While you can use some of these tactics, it is possible to use all of them simultaneously. When you utilize these psychological tactics in marketing, you tend to bring in more customers and retain the present ones you have. 

The Obvious Ones

These neuromarketing tactics are used more often than not such that a customer can recognize them a mile away. This is not to say that they do not work, but they are overused.

Social Proof

It is one tactic that permeates every stratum of online marketing. You can find it in B2B client testimonials, freelance portfolios, et cetera. The basis of this tactic is that people will do something as long as other people are doing it. 

Therefore, stores prove that so many people love their product, thereby encouraging others to buy it. Social media hashtags are a beautiful example. Once several people use a hashtag, others want to know what it is about and then tweet about it as well. Primarily, clients will make buying decisions based on the positive actions of other clients.


Use this scenario as an example. You find someone attractive and want to invite them out for a drink. They will most likely accept your invite when you use something else to break the ice than asking them out in the first place. It could be a compliment for them or something they are putting on or asking for directions. 

This tactic requires you to get people to buy into your idea by asking for something else to help break the ice. People will listen to what you have to say when you divert their attention to something else at first. 

For online business applications, the foot-in-the-door technique works when you create an email list when you want to get testimonials, and you need them to subscribe to your blog. You get your potential clients to respond to a small request with yes and then proceed to ask them what you want to ask them.


Anchoring is used to psychologically convince a client that a service or product is a better deal in comparison to possibly a similar but more compelling product or service. By using a flaw within the human mind that compels consumers to not consider the intrinsic value of a product or service, you are using the anchoring effect.

As an example, let’s say we have a monthly club membership versus an annual club membership. A monthly membership could cost $50, while an annual membership could cost $600. With a monthly membership, the client can cancel at any time, and the price point seems like less of a commitment, so typically they’d make this selection. However, we want to convince them that the annual membership is worth it, though they aren’t saving any money by signing up for it.

By adding a third category, say, “Annual Gold Membership” you can outline the terms by including the anytime cancellation, a free sign-up gift, and a digital newsletter for the same price of $600. Suddenly, this seems like a more compelling deal, and the client is more likely to consider it.  

The Overrated Ones

These tactics are also overused and are overrated. Every business uses it nowadays, and many customers do not buy into them anymore. Apart from relevance, online marketers must understand that people are more aware of things and do not like any form of manipulation. 

These tactics include:

Reciprocity Principle

The concept of this tactic is simple: buy something from me and get something in return. However, many online businesses use this tactic, rendering it almost useless. 

If twenty stores are selling the same thing and are also utilizing the reciprocity principle, there will be no chance for uniqueness in this case of common universality. 

The fact that it is common, however, does not render it useless. It still works in a small way, but you should not depend on it.

Scarcity and Urgency

Are you familiar with these phrases: “only 2 slots left or this product is the last of its kind”? Marketers use this strategy to buoy customers to buy. They imbue the process with a sense of urgency. 

You begin to believe that so many people are rushing to buy the product, and if you do not get it at that moment, you will have to get on the waiting train. However, it does not always work. Therefore, as a digital marketer, you must make sure to word your lines well not to scare customers away.

The Important Ones

These are the strategies that you should focus on as a digital marketer. They are authentic and can bring in the most gains. They include:

Loss Aversion

People do not want to lose, and they make decisions on this principle. Most customers are more committed to not losing than making a profit. This concept is what is called loss aversion. 

Digital marketers imbue the process with a sense of fear, such that customers feel that if they do not get the product, they have missed out on something big and have lost a big opportunity. And these tactics work, regardless of where or how you use them.

Decoy Effect

This strategy is a very effective one. It is similar to the anchoring strategy. The seller offers several different products to a customer, all priced differently, hoping to sell only one. 

A digital marketer can offer three products of different sizes to a customer. The smallest can be priced at $10, the medium product at $15, and the largest at $17. A customer will more likely go for the largest because it is large and is just $2 higher than the medium. However, the marketer planned to sell the largest at $17. The trick was to make the customer feel like they had made a good bargain.

Nudge Theory

A nudge is a gentle push, and when you apply it to digital marketing, you guide your clients gently to make a purchase. It is a theory that is popular in politics and economics. 

Essentially, you manipulate the information you present to customers, controlling how and when they get information. By doing this, you drive them to make the decision you want without them noticing. 

You can apply this theory in your business by easing your customers through the problematic areas of your purchasing process, embedding your desired action into the user’s flow, or using subtle methods to remind them of the urgency of purchasing from you. Each of these strategies will work if you use them right.


Digital marketers use this strategy to present information to clients as a loss or a gain, thereby gaining the desired response. When you understand the context of your customer, you can frame content to suit them better. In this method, you should not worry about the content of your text as much as how you present it.

Emotional Marketing

Many potential customers will purchase based on how they feel. Therefore, a digital marketer who can reach people at a personal level will be successful with this strategy. Essentially, you strive to remind your customers of life memories and inspire them to create more, thereby creating your desired result.


Digital marketers will have more success if they guide customers to make purchasing decisions using psychology in marketing. Subtle approaches work better than an upfront manner which can scare away the customer. You have to make them see why they should do what you want them to do.

Omer Lewinsohn

Omer Lewinsohn

online entrepreneur with a passion for understanding the why behind human behavior in the digital world.