The Confirmation Bias: 7 Ways to Use It to Boost Your Conversions
The term was first coined by English psychologist Peter Wason in 1960, but marketers are still using this phenomenon to drive sales today.
To help illustrate how confirmation bias can boost your conversion rates, we’ve got seven working examples for you.
Reinforce your brand image
In the case of Apple, consumers associate it with the highest premium tech gear. By maintaining this idea that “Anything you can do, you can do better” with Apple products is an incredibly simple, yet powerful use of confirmation bias.
Use stereotypes and cliches to your advantage
The good news is you can use these preconceived ideas to your advantage, thanks to cognitive bias. When a German car manufacturer tells people their cars are reliable, few of them will question it. And people looking for the most reliable car on the market will be drawn to German automobiles regardless of how many reliable manufacturers there are out there.
Show customers their money is safe
With confirmation bias at work, consumers think “if it works for them, then it’ll work for me” and they’re less protective over their money.
Become your target audience
Ever wonder why some people identify so strongly with some brands more than others? It’s because they associate a part of themselves or the person they aspire to be with said brand. If you’ve ever felt yourself saying “This is the company for me!”, there’s every chance your own cognitive bias has been triggered.
Images are incredibly powerful here, literally showing users the kind of person they’ll be with your brand.
Ultra Light Outdoor Gear goes for images that show people making porridge in the wilderness, sleeping outside and mountain climbers in mid-swing. These are real adventure seekers (or people who see themselves/aspire to be) that the brand is targeting.
Meanwhile, Costwold goes for images that look more like a rugged fashion brand. there’s far more emphasis on look and style than pitched tents and outdoor stoves, even though it sells many of the same product categories as Ultra Light Outdoor Gear.
By mirroring your target audience and the person they consider themselves or aspire to be, you’ll confirm that you’re the brand for them.
Know your audience’s pain points
This works in two stages. First confirmation bias tells users that, yes, they do in fact have the problem you’re talking about. And, more importantly, it confirms the news they’re hoping for: that there is a solution and you can provide it.
Retain your existing customers
Which means you need to eradicate the risk of buyer remorse that could result in cancelled orders or unhappy customers. The good news is confirmation bias makes it pretty easy to convince your customers that they made the right choice.
Product/service quality is the first thing you need to establish, which includes a solid customer service system to help ease any issues they might have. You can sweeten the deal further with freebies, add-ons, vouchers and other rewards for their initial purchase. Help them get the best out of your product/service with free guides and tools – eg: free Photoshop plugins for creatives.
Once your customers are fully happy with their initial buying choice, it’s time to turn them into repeat buyers and brand advocates. Call them loyal customers, set milestones and rewards for using your product or service. MailChimp’s famous high five micro-interaction gives users a subtle sense of satisfaction for sending a campaign live. These small touches make a blog difference across the entire platform.
Avoid the confirmation bias trap yourself
The danger is we could end up choosing a test result that isn’t as positive as we like to think or potentially ignore a variation that actually increases conversions.
Remember, we’re all geared towards confirmation bias influencing our choices. Learn how to use it to your advantage with your marketing messages, but also how to stop yourself from getting suckered into it as well.
The power of confirmation bias
It’s an incredibly powerful psychological characteristic we all share. But we have to remember we’re just as susceptible as our target clients – especially when it comes to data and conversion optimisation.