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Buyer psychology is a vast and deep topic. There is so much to it that we don’t still understand.
But in the last 11 years that we’ve been A/B testing we’ve seen glimpses of elements that make up buyer psychology. So far we know 9 secrets about the minds of shoppers (overview of 9 buyer psychology copywriting secrets).
This article is about:
- People are skeptical of “too good to be true”
- They find expertise sexy
- They root for people who beat the odds
- They are fascinated by surprising details
- They are visual animals
- They need motivation to break habits
- They love personalized experiences
- They like knowing they’ve stumbled onto something rare
- We must resolve their negative thoughts
Biological basis for “Too good to be true”
For tens of thousands of years humans lived in an unpredictable world. Dangers outnumbered safety. Our brains evolved to be overly cautious. Imagine you are part of a tribe that depends on hunting. Your people are starving, you haven’t eaten in days. You’ve been scouting and haven’t seen a single animal. This is highly unusual. Then, on a desperate hunting trip you spot a dead animal. It’s right there. What are the odds? Normally, even if you spot something, you would have had the impossible task of bringing it down. Most of the time the animal was smart enough to get away.
Anyway, now you are staring at an uneaten animal. This seems too good to be true. Maybe it is. Maybe this animal was sick. If you eat it, your tribe might get sick and die. Why haven’t the hyenas been gnawing on this carcass? That seems very odd.
So while part of you is deliriously happy, it also seems highly unusual; too good to be true!
What would you do?
Those types of life decisions are much rarer now but our brains have not adapted as quickly as our environment. That self projective mechanism is still deeply embedded in our operating mechanism. Now we just use it for online shopping decisions.
“We have become so accustomed to hearing everyone claim that his product is the best in the world, or the cheapest, that we take all such statements with a grain of salt.” – Robert Collier
So this is what’s at stake. For the shopper, a “too good to be true” claim is a very risky proposition. It’s true that the downside of a wrong decision is minimal (they could return the item, cancel the order on their credit card) but the mental conflict is just as intense as it was for our hunting ancestors 50,000 years ago.
The secret super power of a great marketer is massive empathy. A good marketer can feel what the online shopper is feeling. When the online shopper salivates the good marketer senses it; when the shopper struggles the good marketer feels it.
The job of the marketer is to remove every instance of too good to be true from the shopping funnel. Starting from awareness stage to interest stage to desire stage to the action stage.
If the shopper senses too good to be true at any of these points, they will abandon.
To prevent this, the marketer needs to retrace the shopper journey and evaluate every word to see if it could be viewed as too good to be true. If any part of the entire journey can, then the marketer needs to craft a message to allay this feeling.
Making the marketer’s life harder
It’s not easy being a marketer. You have to get into the heads of your visitors and see the world as they see it. Feel the things they feel. Ask the questions they ask. When a shopper encounters something that seems too good to be true, they don’t send you an email to ask for an explanation or call customer service to understand exactly how your motor can be 60% more efficient than the competition. It would be awesome of shoppers did that. You know what they do? They say, “I call BS and leave for your site forever”. This is why solving for this is so important: you’ve already spent a lot of money to get visitors to your site and designed a site to engage them. Don’t lose them at the last step.
Example of too good to be true
We all hate popups. This is a great newsletter signup pitch. It makes a claim (+45% open rate) and backs it up. Also, it’s a clever tactic because they are taking the focus away from the size of their mailing list (which is how most marketers pitch their signup box). They might have a mailing list of 130 people. They’ve cleverly focused on the most impressive metric (open rates):
Now that you understand the mechanics and logic behind the too good to be true buyer psychology copywriting method are you interested in learning about 8 other tactics?
A little about us
Thank you for reading this article about the paradox of choice. We are Frictionless Commerce and over the last 11 years, we’ve thought about just one thing: how do we get online shoppers to convert? We’re fascinated by buyer psychology. And once we understand how your site visitor thinks we use our 9 point copywriting process to convince and convert them.
If you’re on LinkedIn much you
can should definitely connect with me. On LinkedIn, I post ecommerce conversion ideas every day, multiple times a day.