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A big mistake I’ve seen businesses make is writing about their products while using their competitors’ copy as inspiration.
So aside from sounding exactly like their competition, they’re also offering a very similar service. Which begs the question: How is the customer supposed to decide whom they’re going with?
Sure, having different price points might be a great selling point, but what if they’re not strategically and psychologically placed in front of your prospects’ eyes? Most importantly, how do you know if what they wrote and how they wrote it is bringing in the conversions they need?
On that note, I’ll go ahead and get into the five proven psychology tips that I always follow when writing copy for my clients, which will help you optimize your copy so you can stop leaving money on the table.
These tips can help you whether your business is service-based, product-based or software as a service (SaaS).
1. Anchoring bias
One huge mistake businesses make when showing their pricing options is show their lower-priced, or even free option first.
I get it. They believe that by showing their lowest offer first, they’ll position themselves as market leaders who serve everyone with competitive price points. This is, however, not the case.
Studies show that people’s decisions are heavily influenced by the first of anything they see. So, in this case, their decisions will be affected by the first pricing option they see, which will become a subconscious reference point for the other pricing options.
Of course, anchoring bias can be applied in numerous ways in marketing and copywriting. In fact, I can write a whole article just on anchoring bias. But right now, I’m only sharing one action item.
What you do: Show your most expensive pricing option first. This will become the reference point (your decoy) and get them to choose another plan.
Related: 4 Psychological Techniques That Can Improve Your Product Pricing
2. Serial positioning and primacy effect
Now that you know which pricing option goes first, how do you organize the benefits of each offer? Welcome to serial positioning and primacy effect.
As I said earlier, studies show that people tend to remember the first and last few items in a list. This is known as the serial positioning effect; the first few get stored in their long-term memory, and the last few get stored in their short-term memory.
However, the last few items diminish with time, leaving them with just the first few items. This is known as the primacy effect.
What you do: Now that you know the proper order (most important first), you need to do voice of customer research and figure out what benefits your customers want the most. Once you do that, you’ll be one step closer to optimizing your offer’s positioning for more conversions.
3. Loss aversion (FOMO)
Modern-day’s “FOMO” (fear of missing out) is actually loss aversion. However, it’s deeper than just having a fear of missing out. The feelings involved with losing something are twice as strong as those involved with gaining something.
Our desire to avoid pain is more vital than our desire to seek enjoyment and fulfillment. Avoiding the negative feelings that come with loss is a strong motivator for us to act on something.
We can also be very irrational when we make decisions based on the fear of losing whatever we want at the moment. It’s effortless for marketers and business owners to add scarcity to their offers without understanding its meaning, but now you know.
What you do: Offer limited-time pricing. Present a competitive pricing deal that is going away soon, or decide to raise your pricing and get them to lock in on today’s current pricing.
Related: The Role of Memory in Customer Support
4. Time versus money effect
What do you value most: time or money?
A study shows that people have a more positive reaction to sales pitches that reference time rather than money.
My theory is that time is finite, while money is quite the opposite. So business owners value time more than money. Plus, I firmly believe that time has a more emotional connotation than money. When it comes to positioning your product, you want to consider this.
What you do: Instead of focusing your copy on how much money they’ll save, focus on how much time they’ll save. How many hours of their day will they get back? How many days of the week will they get back so they can spend more time with their families?
5. Center stage effect
This psychology tip complements anchoring bias, the first one on this list.
Research shows that we often go with the middle option when we are presented with multiple choices, especially when the choices are not significantly different, and the benefits of each are clear to the person making the decision.
What you do: Let’s say you have three pricing tiers. The first one will be your highest-priced one, possibly a decoy. The middle one will be the one you truly want them to choose, a.k.a your money-maker. The last one will be a lower-priced offer with basic benefits that will only work for a small number of individuals.
Related: How to Choose a Pricing Strategy for Your SaaS Business
Now go look at your current copy and see where you can implement the psychology tips I mentioned above. Easy!
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