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affiliate marketing optimization
Industry, and Tips and Guides

10 psychological principles to improve your affiliate marketing strategy

Andrej Csizmadia

September 22, 2021
Last modified on September 8, 2022 at 6:47 am

Using affiliate marketing as a way to make money online is without a doubt a solid strategy. There is fierce competition, however. Using the best strategies and working hard for every sale will all but ensure that your business grows. 

This may be a challenging task.

It is possible to increase your affiliate marketing results and revenue by applying some… principles from psychology!

In this blog post, we will examine these principles to better understand how they relate to affiliate marketing.

Fasten your seatbelt: we’re starting right now. 

1. Use scarcity in your affiliate marketing strategy

As a result of the scarcity principle, people perceive scarce things as more valuable than plentiful ones. For example, people are more likely to purchase a product if its availability is limited or will run out of stock soon.

Online retailers have been aware of this fact for years, so they often say “only three left” or show an image of someone else looking at the last item on the page. By making their products seem rare, businesses can increase conversions.

As an affiliate, you can use this psychological strategy too! 

End your pitch by saying there are only a few spots left before everything sells out instead of talking about how easy and effective getting a particular product is.

In one of their email marketing campaigns, Google did exactly that. They stressed that the deals they prepared were truly special, yet limited.

scarcity in affiliate marketing

2. Empower your affiliate marketing strategy with reciprocity

We feel obligated to return a favor if someone does something for us. 

This is called the reciprocity principle.

It is for this reason that people say “thank you” so often whenever they receive a gift or assistance from another person. Because of this psychological rule, they feel compelled to give back. You can use this for affiliate marketing as well! You can start out by giving your audience some free information, then at the end offer them an upgrade. 

As an example, if your blog post contains 20 tips on increasing sales conversions but only one will be available after others read it, ensure the buy-button is near those last few points but not before any of them are shared. Due to the reciprocity rule, if readers see what other benefits they could get by interacting with you or your content, they are more likely to purchase the products you share or promote to them. 

3. Make the most of color psychology rules

The use of color psychology has been popular among online retailers for some time now. That’s how they know what color to use on their sites and on their products themselves to make customers more likely to buy them.

If you are interested in applying these rules yourself to affiliate marketing, here are a few hints for you!

When marketing food, warm colors such as orange and red are wise since they evoke hunger pangs in the viewer. Ads with such hues can cause people to feel hungry, which in turn makes them want to buy whatever product is being offered even more than they did before. 

Cool colors such as blue, on the other hand, create a sense of calmness and relaxation.

Nature – ecological products, air, and the environment are intuitively associated with green. It’s interesting to learn that green is both associated with creativity and stimulates it. Green is a good choice if your offer deals with nature in any way.

color scheme for marketing

4. Use authority in your strategy

The authority principle states that we tend to follow those within our same group or locale. This makes marketing easier since it only takes mentioning someone who uses something and asking if they want the same!

Affiliate marketing can take advantage of this as well. Many ads tout how celebrities use one specific brand of makeup products, even though most customers don’t know them personally. 

Although most existing and potential customers are unaware of this information, knowing other famous people already bought those items before they were advertised on social media or discussed during press conferences subconsciously influences their purchasing decisions. 

79% of brands predominantly tap instagram for campaigns

And that, simply, makes people want the exact same thing. 

5. Make the most of loss aversion

Loss aversion occurs when a person does not want to appear inferior to others, and so they remain with what they have rather than take the risk of losing it.

This can affect our decision-making processes in a variety of different ways and is why affiliate marketers must keep it in mind while working on their campaigns. 

Perhaps you could give away something for free (like an ebook) and then offer another bonus or offer if someone purchases through an affiliate link soon after downloading those items. This makes them feel as if they’re missing out on something more valuable, which encourages them to take action right away instead of waiting around before buying anything else from you.

marketing tactic

6. Leverage confirmation bias

According to confirmation bias, we focus on information that confirms our existing belief while ignoring contrary evidence. This makes marketing easier since marketers know that their audiences will only read content that supports the claims they make in their copy or descriptions.

Oftentimes, customers aren’t willing to feel like they’ve done something wrong if someone tells them not to eat junk food, but they still do and continue to do so until something changes. 

If you buck this trend, readers may believe your message more even if it doesn’t match up completely to other sources out there.

marketing beliefs system

And yes, you’re correct – your affiliate marketing offer should appear exactly within the “Evidence we believe” section. 

7. Make the most of the foot-in-door affiliate marketing strategy

Using the foot-in-the-door technique, you get people to agree to a small request in return for them going along with something bigger later on!

Let’s say you want someone to buy a time management tracker but they don’t usually discuss such things or aren’t yet interested in the product (even though they need it).  

As opposed to asking “Would you like to buy this great tracker?” you can ask “Do you want to save as much as an hour per day?”. By discussing the product, you can allow the potential customer to respond to your original question.

Once you have this information from them, you can then bring up what else you wanted in the first place without coming off as pushy or difficult by asking right away!

8. Use FOMO

We experience FOMO, also known as Fear of Missing Out when something important is happening right now that we will not be aware of until later on. 

That’s a huge advantage in affiliate marketing, though.

Imagine, for example, that you offer a free ebook as a bonus gift but only if it is downloaded by midnight that day.

In any other case, they would probably wait, forget, or save your offer for later. The addition of “limited” and the timeframe for when the offer ends, however, encourages them to take action. And take it NOW. 

Your affiliate marketing campaign engages those with FOMO, which makes them more likely to participate when others might not. Don’t be afraid to try such a campaign; you might be surprised at the results!

9. Check Paradox of Choice

A paradox of choice occurs when someone has so many options to choose from that they end up not taking any action at all. 

The psychological principle of this may be tricky for affiliate marketers, but understanding it can help you save valuable time, money, and resources. 

People might get overwhelmed by the sheer number of products offered through affiliate links, so it makes sense to review those pages and remove anything that is not essential. As an affiliate, if you work with several brands and industries, it’s better to create different landing pages for each vertical than to go with a single landing page for everything. 

Marketing efforts can be improved by reducing a consumer’s time to consider their purchase and looking up other stores before making a final decision, resulting in higher conversions overall!

10. Use Social Proof as an integral part of your strategy

There are various niches of marketing where social proof is used and affiliate marketing is one of them. 

Social proof is when other people’s opinions influence our decisions, especially if there are many of them around. 

Suppose a customer is thinking about buying a new laptop because their current one isn’t working too well. If they notice everyone in the store is buying the same item then it makes sense to go along with their choice instead.

Companies and affiliates in affiliate marketing gather and display positive customer reviews and testimonials for the same exact reason – to build trust and encourage sales. Don’t forget to incorporate ratings and reviews when crafting your affiliate offer, then!

Over to you

Do you have to use all these psychological tips and tricks? Not at all. Should you do it, though? Without a doubt. 

You can revamp your affiliate marketing strategy in a flash if you follow some psychological principles. Why not actually test it out and see if it resonates with your product and audience?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are influencers important in affiliate marketing?

    Affiliate marketing accounts for more than 60 percent of global sales. Most companies say the majority of their affiliates are social media influencers.

  • What colors are best for advertising food?

    Warm colors such as orange and red are wise since they evoke hunger pangs in the viewer.

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