11 psychological hacks that make sales page selling super simple

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Lewis Folkard

Suffolk-based conversion copywriter.

11 psychological hacks for your sales page

Friction stalls sales. In-person and on sales pages. So, as a sales page copywriter, you need to remove friction to maximise your conversions. The most reliable way of doing that is to work with the way your prospect’s mind thinks. It helps you bypass their sales defences when they sniff a sales message. And how do you do that? By using psychological biases and heuristics.

You’ve got the more obvious biases like scarcity and urgency, which you should be using (and I won’t cover here). But there are many, many more that you can. 

Choosing your sales page psychological hack

Below are 11 psychological hacks – a mix of biases and heuristics – you can use to make selling easier. Which one you choose will depend on a few factors, mainly their funnel position and awareness level. So, because your sales page will move your potential customer through the stages of awareness, the most suitable hacks will change as you move through.

And before we dig in, remember: using psychological biases and heuristics isn’t “magic”. They’re nudges. And they only increase the probability of action. They don’t guarantee it.

Hack 1: Credibility osmosis

There are multiple ways to build trust and establish credibility on a sales page. One of the more subtle and implicit is to borrow credibility from authoritative figures/organisations. Their authority rubs off onto your product, minimising doubts and squashing some objections. Because they then feel more at ease, they feel more comfortable taking the ‘risk’ of buying.

How to use: You can use credibility osmosis throughout your sales page. Establishing credibility is always necessary. You could use it in your backstory (e.g. authoritative figures who helped design your product) or later when you’ve introduced your offer (e.g. credible customers/features/organisations). You can use their names, titles or logos.

Hack 2: Distinctiveness

Not only does this aid memorability (it plants seeds for the future), but having a distinctive offer helps eliminate the competition. When you’re easily comparable, you often end up competing on price… and the lower price often wins. So, when there’s nobody else offering what you are, you help position yourself as the only option – and with that comes a certain level of freedom to charge more.

How to use: Your distinctiveness must come within your offer but can also be effective in your sales page lead and pre-sales page traffic source. Focus on unique mechanisms or features. Or view this article.

Hack 3: Price anchoring

The first price (or number) mentioned in your sales page becomes a reference point for future prices or numbers. Our minds use that number to help determine value, especially in a unique offer (because there’s nothing else directly comparable). As an example, let’s consider two scenarios: 

Scenario 1: You find a site that compares sales funnel software. The sales funnel software A costs £340 a month, but software B costs £60. Software B seems like a good deal.

Scenario 2: You visit a different sales funnel software site. Software C is top of the list and costs £14 per month. Software B comes next and is still priced at £60 per month. But this time, software B seems a little steep.

In different contexts, the same price can be perceived very differently.

How to use: You need to control the context and comparison set of your offer. And you do that by introducing other higher prices to frame yours as better value. To take this further, you can use a higher price to highlight the cost of other alternative methods of achieving the same result or the cost of not taking action. You push them away from other options and pull them onto yours. For example, writing a one-off sales page vs paying the salary and commission of a salesperson. 

You can use this early in your sales page but reiterate it when you introduce your offer (but before you mention your price!)

Hack 4: Social proof

We follow the behaviour of others and trust what other people trust. It’s less mental effort than figuring it out for ourselves. So, on your sales page, you must show that others already trust you. Show its popularity. You can do this in a number of ways (e.g. state the number of customers, show transformations, share reviews and testimonials).

How to use: Best used once you’ve introduced your offer, although, you can integrate it into your sales story. Story proof should be in addition to the other forms – not by itself. Use your proof to let others help sell your offer for you.

Hack 5: Negative social proof

This is actually one to avoid rather than to include… it’s like the opposite of the above. By this I mean, that negative social proof highlights the popularity of an unfavourable behaviour. An example could be a business coaching service sharing the number of people who try to grow their business alone. Whereas, instead, they should focus on the number of people who take on the service. The former example gives your reader an out… “If XYZ people aren’t doing it, why should I?”. Remember, we follow the behaviour of others, so make sure you highlight the right one. 

How to use: Don’t. Ever. Always highlight the popularity of your product or services. If you’re new and have no reviews yet, you’ll have to think outside the box and find favourable behaviours that complement your offering (e.g. look for studies or news reports). A negative behaviour is a reason to say no – and we want to eliminate them.

Hack 6: Mere exposure effect

The more we see something, the more we begin to like and trust it. This is why (and how) a lot of brand-building advertising works. But on a sales page, you don’t have the benefit of time. So you have to frequently expose your product but in different (and non-boring) ways.

How to use: Once you’ve introduced your product, show it in different ways to build familiarity and trust. You can use professional shots with your offer, more authentic images and videos in testimonials and even different product environments if you have them. Exposure your prospect to your product.

Hack 7: Loss aversion

We, humans, are more motivated to avoid losing something than gaining something of equal value. This doesn’t necessarily mean owning the product. It can mean an opportunity too. This helps you elevate the impact of pre-existing urgency and scarcity.

How to use: Highlight what’s at stake. Help them envision life with your product (so it’s harder to let go of) and the magnitude of your offer (and everything they’ll miss if they don’t take action now). Generally, this is better used around asking for the sale. But you can sometimes integrate it into your story if your product suits.

Hack 8: Peak-end rule

Focus on how you finish. We judge an experience by its “peak moment”, which, in the case of your sales page, will likely be your ending. But your selling doesn’t finish on the sales page – you have to deliver your product/service, and you might want to upsell. So, to increase your chances of upsell sales, you could offer an unexpected surprise in between sales page and delivery (maybe an extra bonus). This will also help with word-of-mouth marketing and improve reviews.

How to use: Finish with a pleasant surprise. Make the peak moment something brilliant.

Hack 9: Exclusivity

The more you can’t have something, the more you want it. By making your offer seem more exclusive, and in particular, who your offer isn’t for, you make it seem more special. You make those who are a good fit (which should be most people on your sales page at this stage in your funnel) want your offer more. They also feel reassured (and trust you more) if you push away people and show ‘protectiveness’ over your business.

How to use: Integrate exclusivity subtly throughout your page, but after introducing your offer, you can state it more directly. 

Hack 10: Means-end chain

Think of this as the benefit of the benefit. Your reader wants to satisfy immediate needs, but the thought of also simultaneously satisfying potential future needs is very enticing. An example might be buying a business book for its immediate knowledge but then being able to impress others in future meetings.

How to use: This hack is best used when you want to escalate the impact of your offer. Your product always has immediate value (and benefits), but show how these benefits have a knock-on effect. Introduce and sell the immediate benefits first, then widen their effect.

Hack 11: Length-implies-strength

This final hack is like a mental shortcut. We deem a message more credible when it’s longer. We assume it takes more thought and effort to create and organise, so it must then be more reliable. On the one hand, this is permission to write a long long-form sales page. But more tactfully, you can use long bullet point lists to “overwhelm” your reader so its points carry more impact. 

How to use: You can use this at a macro level (e.g. a long sales page) or at a micro level and embed it into sections of your sales page. You might want to exaggerate the pain (e.g. a longer list of problems) or emphasise the benefits (e.g. a long list of all the perks of your offer and bonuses). 

Before you put them on your sales page

Remember, these psychological hacks are only nudges to increase the probability of action. They aren’t magic. They just work with the way we think so you can bypass sales defences and make getting the important “yes” all the easier. 

For help integrating them into your sales page, my inbox is always open. Or, if you want help writing a sales page from scratch, info on my sales page copywriting services is here.

Recommended further reading

How to write a long-form sales page

How to write an effective sales lead

Sales page mistakes you must avoid (and how)

How to make irresistible sales page offers

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