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7 Key Mental Triggers and How to Utilize Them

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Mental triggers are stimuli that help us make quick decisions without thinking too much about it. That’s why they bring excellent results in marketing, writing and sales. Some mental triggers are: scarcity, urgency, social proof, and stories.

Have you heard of mental triggers? Did you know that they can be used as a way to persuade people to choose your product or service instead of opting for competitors? When properly applied, this copywriting feature helps to stimulate the public’s decision to close deals with their brand.

Did you find the subject interesting? So snuggle up, grab a coffee (or tea, if you prefer) and enjoy that’s what this post addresses. Keep reading and stay on topic right now!

What are mental triggers?

Mental triggers are stimuli and impulses that help us make quick decisions without having to think hard about it . That’s why they bring excellent results for marketing, writing and sales.

It is as if the brain works “automatically” to avoid getting exhausted with so many choices that should be made daily.

Thus, we filter resolutions that are really important (and that demand more attention) and use that facilitator for simpler and more mundane issues.

Why you should start using them right now

If you want to engage your audience and attract attention to your products or services (making it easy to convert and sell), mental triggers are an excellent strategy. This is because, before we even define an action, our choices have already been made unconsciously – only then to arrive at consciousness, motivated by a plausible justification.

In this context, putting triggers into practice is synonymous with working the emotions of people who come into contact with your brand . This encourages customers to avoid possible rational inquiries and dispels objections when purchasing a product or contracting a service.

The 7 most important mental triggers and how they can be adopted

Now that you have a better understanding of the concept behind mental triggers and know why they should be put into practice, it is time to get to know the most important and know how they can be adopted in your business.

1. Scarcity

People often give more attention to what is scarce. The idea behind this is that the harder it is to get something, the more valuable it will be (just because it’s rare).

Do you know that saying that “you have to lose to learn to give value”? This logic also applies to consumer relations. But in that case, people prefer not to lose. That’s where the scar of the scarcity comes in, causing the feeling that the purchase needs to be made before the opportunity ends.

How to put it into practice

Scarcity causes some people to have an unconscious fear of losing the opportunity that is being presented (and that it will not happen again). So if a customer does not feel too secure to close the deal, the probability of not being able to do so with the current conditions at another time may give the missing push .

To create the fast and automatic decision trigger , you can offer:

  • a course with limited vacancies;
  • products with few units available in stock;
  • a bonus for the first x people to get in touch;
  • a unique content, restricted to few people.

However, care must be taken. This scarcity must be real, since the public may realize that the trigger is only used to draw attention. In this case, the effect is the opposite and your business may end up losing credibility.

2. Urgency

This trigger closely resembles that of scarcity, since the two are linked to time – the products or services have a limited time to be acquired under special conditions. It is also very effective since it causes people to act more quickly because of the simple fear of running out of the product or service after the deadline has expired.

The fear of not having the object of desire is usually stronger than that of repentance for having acquired it on impulse.

How to put it into practice

When you use the emergency trigger, you trigger impulse behavior in people, which prevents them from procrastinating and delaying the purchase decision . To adopt it, you have to use expressions and words that require instant action, for example:

  • “now”;
  • “immediately”;
  • “Only until today”;
  • “last day”;
  • “Your last chance”.

It should be noted that, just as in the case of scarcity, this resource should only be used when it is really urgent and has a deadline to finish. Another crucial point for success: Be sure to explain why the deadline is limited .

By providing a motive (which is true and justifiable), the story becomes more plausible and contributes to the trigger being more efficient.

3. Anticipation

Already the trigger of anticipation touches our expectations for the future. Want the best practical example for this? A trailer for a certain film that stirred up his emotions and generated anxiety for the opening day to arrive soon.

Within the business context, you need to plan a positive scenario by preparing the customer for a new product or service that will be offered . In this case, one must show the benefits, the functionalities and the value that he will have for the people – solving their pains and satisfying their desires.

When the strategy is well planned and executed, it makes people feel attracted to the offer (even if they do not have to make the acquisition at the moment). One only has to be careful to ensure that what you offer is even enough to meet the expectation that is being created.

How to put it into practice

To adopt it, you need to devise a strategy designed to plan the launch of the novelty and carry out the publicity of the product or service in question. The ideal is to gradually release information and arouse the public’s curiosity about what is to come.

This practice can be called seeding – which means “sowing” in Portuguese – and consists of preparing the ground for your person. And how can this be done? With some actions that involve:

  • conducting webinars ;
  • publishing an article showing the history of your business or product (or service);
  • creating a video to talk about the launch;
  • the establishment of partnerships with influential people , so that they comment on their solutions.

By adopting these measures weeks (or even months) before the official launch, you create a community of people curious and eager for your product or service – especially if there is already considerable demand in the market.

4. Stories

From the earliest times people tell stories to connect to each other, to transmit knowledge, to offer important reports, among other reasons. Nowadays, the narratives have been used by several companies to attract more attention regarding a product or service .

Telling the story of how the business started or how a solution was created, for example, makes it easier for the audience to identify and narrow the relationship – as it often tinkers with our emotions and helps create a differentiated experience. And so we have storytelling .

However, care must be taken. It is not enough to tell good stories, you have to live them . If you create a narrative in which people know that there is not much truth, for example, the effect generated is the opposite.

How to put it into practice

Create narratives that involve people and allow each person to build their own version of the facts, making them take a leading role and initiate the so-called hero journey .

To learn more about Storytelling!
• What is Storytelling? All about the art of telling unforgettable stories
• 5 storytelling techniques: improve your content by telling stories
• Storytelling examples: 7 great brands success stories
• Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell’s 12 Steps to a Good Story
• Storydoing vs. Storytelling: The difference between telling stories and building them
• Storytelling for Sales: Learn to close deals telling good stories
• Storytelling mini-course: Conquer your audience by telling good stories

5. Social proof

In general, we are social beings. This means that, to a greater or lesser extent, we feel the need to belong to groups that bring us identification and also, in a way, to adopt attitudes based on the expectations others have of us.

This means that the trigger of social proof is also very powerful, as many people tend to ask themselves “why is everyone paying attention to this?” And create ways to fit into these groups. In general, the public does not want to feel excluded, generating the need for belonging.

How to put it into practice

To embrace it in your business, you can work with numbers, testimonials, images, engagement in social networks and various other elements. Among the main examples are:

  • number of people who already use your product or service;
  • statements from people who are satisfied with their work;
  • number of shares your article had on social networks.

This trigger also helps to influence and increase your market authority, especially when influential people give positive feedback about your product or service.

It is worth noting that you can not neglect the criticisms and suggestions that the public offers . Do not forget that currently people usually research about a company (or business) on the internet before closing deal.

In such cases, if you do not give enough attention to complaints and continue to have problems (which generate negative ratings), the chances of people fleeing to the competitor are quite large. On the other hand, treating these situations with attention and seeking quick solutions helps to minimize dissatisfaction and makes the client consider his effort as a positive point.

6. Newness

People like news and are attracted to them. Ever notice how that new bar in the area attracts a large audience, especially in the early months? Owners are not always able to maintain this hype, but the first few moments tend to get a lot of attention and become a subject among the public.

This is how the novelty trigger works. He works on the pleasure of using or acquiring something that is on the rise and making people look more modern . In practice, this feature is widely used by smartphone manufacturers.

Soon, new mobile phone models with distinct features appear and, even if the differences are not considerable, many people usually make this exchange and prefer the most current models. Why does it happen? For the pleasure of using something new or innovative, presuming it to be better than the previous options.

How to put it into practice

As in the example quoted above, one of the ways to put this trigger into practice is to make periodic updates to the product or service . However, the ideal is that they are interesting enough to arouse public interest in acquiring the most current version.

As a bonus, you still prevent your solutions from becoming obsolete and keeping you constantly up-to-date, keeping up with the rapid changes happening in the marketplace.

If your releases and upgrades are made at a lower frequency, you also end up activating the trigger for the shortage – which can increase your interest (and your sales) considerably.

7. Reciprocity

This is also one of the most important mental triggers and we see it being used extensively in inbound marketing . The basis of this resource is that of retribution, that is, we want to reward someone for something that has generated us value at some point .

Again, you have to convey the idea that this is done spontaneously, showing that you really want to help, only to be benefited by something. Be careful not to give the idea that you first want to make a profit and only then offer something interesting to your audience – people can see these intentions.

How to put it into practice

Any business can (and should) use the reciprocal trigger, especially those who work with content marketing – even if that is not their core business. In practice, you can offer free content to your persona in order to develop the relationship until it resolves to become your client .

When you do this (offering freebies, free samples or even an e-book), the general public feels that you owe them a favor and need to repay them. How is this done? Registering the e-mail in a list or purchasing one of the products.

The brand of perfumes and cosmetics O Boticário carries out campaigns in which it offers gifts that need to be withdrawn in the store – arriving there, the public can obtain discount to acquire any product of the line in question. Certainly the strategy helps increase sales in the period.

Mental triggers, as you can see, are great strategies to boost your sales and new business ventures. However, they need to be used with caution , as overkill and lack of transparency and truth can have the opposite effect and create a negative image about their work.

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