Using Marketing Psychology to Influence App Engagement

Using Marketing Psychology to Influence App Engagement

Each November, my mother-in-law will get an envelope from a charity group full with a bunch of tackle label stickers or generic Christmas playing cards, plus the perfunctory request for a donation.


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She sometimes complains that she’s fed up receiving the identical request 12 months after 12 months… however then she reaches for her checkbook.

Once I inform her she will be able to merely ignore the request, she shakes her head: “However they already gave it to me!” A day later, her examine shall be on its method to the charity.

Chalk it as much as the profitable use of advertising psychology!

To elucidate what compels her to donate to a charity she isn’t actually captivated with – and to reveal the way it can successfully make it easier to drive consumer engagement inside your app – we’ll check with the six ideas in Robert B. Cialdini’s seminal work Affect: The Psychology of Persuasion. Since its preliminary publish date in 1984, the ebook has turn out to be the usual place to begin for these enterprise homeowners and entrepreneurs who need to higher perceive shopper psychology.

The 6 Ideas That Affect Shopper Behaviour

In his landmark ebook, Cialdini put forth six ideas about how all of us make choices based mostly on generalizations. And he exhibits how these generalizations might be exploited so that folks might be influenced to take particular actions.

In a nutshell, the six ideas are:

  1. Reciprocity: “I’ll do it since you already gave me one thing.”
  2. Social proof: “I’ll do it as a result of everybody appears to be doing it too.”
  3. Dedication and consistency: “That’s so me, I’ll do it!”
  4. Authority: “I’ll do it as a result of an knowledgeable stated so.”
  5. Liking: “I’ll do it as a result of I such as you.”
  6. Shortage: “I’ll do it as a result of it’s my final probability.”
Uncover the highly effective psychological methods utilized by in the present day’s most addictive apps.

1. Reciprocity – We Give Tit for Tat

The thought: “I’ll do it since you gave me one thing already.”

Clearly, my mother-in-law fell for this technique. She bought free stickers or Christmas playing cards (though she didn’t ask for them), so she felt she needed to donate again to the charity that spent cash sending her these items.

See how Cialdini himself explains the precept on this 2-minute video:

We’re naturally wired to need to return favors. For those who do one thing good for somebody, or give them one thing as a present, they may really feel indebted to you for it. And that indebtedness can be utilized to your benefit as a cell marketer.

Engagement Tip: Supply One thing For Free

The only method to get individuals interacting together with your app is to offer them one thing that pertains to your model or your vertical.

  • Give them free content material: It is a tried-and-tested method to get individuals again into your app. Ship them a push notification, e mail, or SMS message to offer them a free e book or a useful resource obtain that may reply a particular want of theirs. Supply them in-app freebies similar to aptitude or themes for his or her profiles, or stickers. In return, you may ask customers to charge or overview your app. (Which properly results in precept quantity 2.)
  • Give them a free improve: Supply them a free trial of your premium service and upsell them afterward. Or give them a free improve in trade for referring different customers.

2. Social Proof – We Must Belong to a Tribe  

The thought: “I’ll do it as a result of everybody appears to be doing it too.”

Social proof is a type of ideas that’s frequent sufficient in advertising that we want not go into element right here. Suffice to say: seeing proof that others are doing an motion is sufficient for us to need to do it as properly.

For instance: if we see individuals on Fb raving in regards to the newest selfie digicam app, we could also be extra inclined to test it out. Or if we learn glowing ebook opinions on Amazon, we would order the e book. There’s a built-in mechanism in our brains that makes us social animals craving to belong to a tribe. Doing what others are doing solutions that craving.

One other curious undeniable fact that underscores the social proof in consumer opinions: the upper the scores your app will get, the extra individuals will obtain and set up your app. Take a look at this graph from a 2016 Google I/O occasion:

In case your app’s rating is above 3.0, it would garner 9x extra downloads than if it falls under that rating. And in case your app’s rating is 4 or 5, you then get 4x extra downloads than if it have been at 3.0 to three.9.

Watch an animated rationalization of the precept on this 2-minute video:

Engagement Tip: Share What Others Are Saying

If you wish to use social proof to maintain customers engaged, then it’s so simple as taking each alternative to point out them what different prospects are saying.

  • Show consumer testimonials: Spotlight these glowing 5-star opinions in your advertising supplies. Showcase testimonials not simply in your app retailer itemizing, but in addition in your web site, social media channels, and extra.
  • Present social engagement: If in case you have a large following on social media channels, show these follower numbers! This will affect new customers to hitch the tribe.
  • Show variety of prospects: It’s a typical function on each web site: exhibiting off your variety of prospects/customers/followers. Showcase their logos! McDonald’s famously tells you they’ve served “billions and billions” of hamburgers. What number of has your app served?
  • What do consultants say?: Showcase any awards or honors your app has earned. Show statistics and analysis from credible sources similar to analyst corporations, scientific our bodies, or skilled associations. (This ties into precept 4: authority.)

3. Dedication and Consistency: We Determine Based mostly on Self-Picture  

The thought: “That’s so me, I’ll do it!”  

We routinely commit to creating choices that match our self-image. Moreover, as soon as we make a small dedication, we are inclined to observe by means of and enlarge commitments with a purpose to be in step with that self-image.

Right here’s an instance of how our self-image leads us to make choices in step with that picture:

  • “I’m chubby.” (self-image) –>
  • “I’ll take that free spin session on the health club.” (small dedication) –>
  • “I’ve taken the free session, now I ought to join an annual membership.” (bigger dedication)

Which begs the query: are you aware how your customers view themselves? If not, you could spend the effort and time to search out out. This self-image is essential to understanding how your viewers thinks and shall be helpful in main them to their first conversion.

Engagement Tip: Reinforce Customers’ Self-Picture

If you wish to use advertising psychology to get customers to behave, it’s good to know them inside out. What are their pains and what are their issues? How does your app remedy their ache?

  • Study the personas: Consumer personas make it easier to craft messaging that’s each related and constant (there’s that phrase once more). Now you may write e mail topic strains, push notifications, or in-app messages that resonate with their expertise, reinforce their self-image, and affect their shopper behaviour.

Engagement Tip: Begin Small & Ramp Up  

One small dedication from a consumer might be the stepping stone to greater commitments down the highway. Right here’s extra shopper psychology to hurry up that course of:

  • Ask for one small motion: Whether or not it’s a easy “Observe us on Twitter” or “Create a profile”, ask customers to finish one easy motion up entrance.
  • Construct a multi-channel nurture marketing campaign: Lead customers from the preliminary dedication right down to an actual conversion over a number of steps. Subsequent actions could possibly be: full your profile, fill out your preferences, and many others.

4. Authority: We Do What We’re Informed

The thought: “I’ll do it as a result of an knowledgeable stated so.”

It’s human nature to need to observe, particularly if a frontrunner or authority determine has a message or an agenda we respect. Cialdini cites examples from historical past of authority figures who’ve made individuals do horrible acts, exploiting this follower tendency.

Authority figures, due to this fact have the facility to affect individuals towards motion, whether or not good or dangerous. And since your model is the one authority inside your app, you ought to be telling them what to do.

Engagement Tip: Train New Customers the Ropes   

It’s a must to onboard your customers correctly. Train them start utilizing the app, and finest make use of it.

  • Present solely the best operate first: Introduce your customers step by step. Don’t give them each single function up entrance!
  • Use notifications to show them the remaining: The second time a brand new consumer launches your app, present them some notifications. Once they click on on it to clear the alerts, present them extra about use the assorted app functionalities.
  • Make issues straightforward: If, for instance, you’re going to point out customers share a file in your messaging app, it’d be simpler if you happen to’ve already pre-created a fictitious consumer for them.


5. Liking: Who We Like Influences Us

The thought: “I’ll do it as a result of I such as you.”

It’s human to be influenced by these individuals we’re interested in, or in a advertising sense, these manufacturers we really feel loyalty in the direction of.

An actual instance: my spouse’s household are all diehard Honda followers who’ve purchased or leased nothing however Hondas previously 20 years. So once they obtain the annual brochure asserting new fashions, they at all times look by means of it to find out whether or not they want (or need) to improve.

Engagement Tip: Be Pleasant, Be Likable!  

There are lots of methods to turn out to be a extra likable model. It may be so simple as altering the tone of your communication, or it may be as sophisticated as giving your model a complete design makeover. Some suggestions:

  • Make your app enjoyable: There are such a lot of methods to make issues enjoyable it doesn’t matter what trade you’re in. One suggestion: use sport mechanics to spur engagement! Point out progress (“Your profile completion: 85%”), or create ranges of utilization (“You’re now a productiveness ninja!”). Disguise easter eggs or particular prizes inside your app that may shock and delight your most hardcore customers.
  • Search for low factors within the buyer journey: Use a software like CleverTap’s Flows to search out out the place your customers are inclined to drop off. What set of actions do they take earlier than they uninstall? When you understand what these actions are, sequence a optimistic expertise instead of the low factors. (Assume Lodge apps exhibiting customers a coupon for a free breakfast, as an alternative of exhibiting them the invoice for his or her reserved reserving.)
  • Lower the jargon: Whether or not you’re sending an e mail or a push notification, let your tone be conversational. Lower down on enterprise jargon which may alienate you out of your prospects. Write such as you’re assembly a buddy over espresso.
  • Present the world you’re useful: Be pleasant and useful in all of your communications and present individuals that you just need to assist your customers out, whether or not that’s on Twitter or within the feedback part of your app retailer itemizing.
  • Be human: It’s possible you’ll be a model with hundreds of thousands of followers, however that doesn’t imply you may’t join on a human stage together with your customers. You might be humorous and sympathetic as properly. Create campaigns round particular holidays, use humorous GIFs, and use emojis to spice up engagement!
  • Redesign your visuals: Go over each design aspect in your app – from UI and UX to your app brand, e mail headers, social media profile photos, right down to app retailer screenshots. Would *you* be attracted to put in your personal app? The thought is to let each visible asset give the consumer a sense of pleasure, pleasure, friendliness, heat, and humanity.

6. Shortage: We React to Pressing Deadlines & Dwindling Provides

The thought: “I’ll do it as a result of it’s my final probability.”

What number of occasions have you ever clicked on a web based deal due to the phrase “whereas provides final” or “restricted time solely?”

I’m betting we’ve all fallen prey to this perceived shortage creating a way of urgency inside us. The restricted availability of one thing we would like generates an elevated demand. Even the slightest notion that one thing is scarce will transfer us to behave instantly or face the consequence of lacking out on an incredible deal.

Engagement Tip: Present Timers & Deadlines

In the identical method, we are able to use shortage to propel our customers to perform an motion that results in conversion or on the very least, engagement. Some examples:

  • Reductions: Create worth offers that final for a restricted time, whether or not this implies making a purchase order in your app, or signing up for a promotion.
  • Use countdown timers: We’ve all seen the countdown timers on Amazon ticking away the seconds earlier than the deal disappears. Show it and place that urgency proper in your customers’ faces.
  • Show models remaining: For occasions or bodily items, you may show a particular variety of models or reserved seats remaining. That is one motive why journey apps at all times present “Solely X seats left” if you’re attempting to ebook an airline ticket.

Use These Advertising Psychology Ideas Responsibly

Now that you understand Robert Cialdini’s six ideas of affect, you could have an arsenal of techniques you should use to influence customers to interact. Simply do not forget that it’s your obligation as an moral cell marketer to make use of these ideas responsibly.

Don’t exploit them within the brief run for revenue and dispense them if you’re finished. Play the lengthy sport and persuade your customers towards motion whereas constructing true loyalty for – and engagement with – your model.