Part [8/12] Review of CXL’s Digital Psychology and Persuasion

During this week’s (week 8) lectures of CXL’s Digital Psychology and Persuasion Mini-degree, we finish learning about building habits and loyalty and touched on designing our digital environments after our physical one. This week was very interesting because we got to open the kimono on how rewards programs work and how to build everlasting love for your brand.

Goal Gradient & Endowed Progress Effect

Loyalty is foundational to building habits. There are different types of loyalty.

There are the Golden Handcuffs and Love Loyalty.

Golden Handcuffs are when you are almost forced to be loyal think rewards plans.

Love Loyalty is true loyalty. This is where people love you and are drawn into you because the service is so good that you’d never imagine leaving them.

The key to the golden handcuffs

Rewards programs should not be used to trap users or customers in order to create loyalty. Instead, rewards programs should be used as a carrot to pull users in.

From here you’ll then be able to use a combination of rewards and incentives to build true loyalty. For this to be effective, rewards need to come often enough so that there is reinforcement, at the same time not being so close to one another that they are meaningless.

You can also have reward programs backfire.

Reward redemption will increase reward-seeking behaviour. For instance, if you give customers a reward every time they sign up, you can have a situation where active users create new (dummy) accounts just so that they’ll be able to cash in a second reward.

If you want to supercharge your rewards, you can make the rewards variable so that when they are awarded, users are surprised and delighted.

Three Ways to Ramp Up Motivation In Rewards Programs

Remember when you called a taxi and you had no idea when it was going to show up or not? It wasn’t a nice feeling being left in taxi cab limbo. When Uber came along and introduced their map equipped with driver tracking, it was an incredible feeling to have full information. The more visual you can make progress the more motivating it is. With digital design, there are 3 primary ways that you can ramp up motivation.

You can exploit goal gradients

This is when you have dashboards displaying how close you are to your goals or with progress bars on forms and quizzes.

You can give them a head start

If you have a rewards program where you need to purchase 10 coffee’s in order to get one free and give the customer one ‘free’ sticker then they are more likely to buy their remaining 9 coffees at a high frequency than if they had to start from 0.

You need to be fair with the rules.

If the rules aren’t fair or even worse you change the rules midway through the program you risk irritating some of your best users/customers

Counterfactual Reflection & Slip-ups

There is a phenomenon in psychology called the George Bailey effect. Named after the main character in It’s a Wonderful Life. The effect states that when we mentally undo all the positive aspects of our life, we realize how good we actually have it. This is also referred to as counterfactual reflection.

We can use this technique to show our customers or prospects that “if it wasn’t for us, this is where you would be” causing a pause in their minds and a feeling of gratitude.

This can also backfire, because if you piss a customer off, then it can provoke them to take revenge on you and your brand. The last thing that you would want is a bad review or to show up on the first page of your search results.

Closing Sales and Closing Thoughts

If you were to scan the information online regarding marketing, it seems that Digital Marketing is the future, and if you aren’t implementing a digital marketing campaign you’re a Luddite. The majority of people make it appear that it is marketing that is changing and ‘traditionalists’ need to get with the times.

However, our brains. You know that mass in our heads that supposedly operates off free will, well it hasn’t changed in 50,000 years. The channels in which we communicate our messaging though will continuously adapt to society and technology, but the principals will remain constant because the functionality of our brains remains so.

Digital Product Places

Are you familiar with the concept of the memory palace? If not, this is a device that is used to help aid your memory. Essentially you take the list of items that you want to remember and associate them with a location that you know well, such as your home. For each item on the list, you’d assign it a room in your house. Then when you want to recall that information all you’d have to do is take a mental walk through your home and associate it with the assigned list item.

Now the reason that this works is that we are highly attuned to landmarks, and over thousands of years we’ve developed this sense in order to build our understanding of the environment. With this space and time metaphor, we can think of our digital products as interactive environments. Your website, it’s an interactive environment, you’re software, it’s an interactive environment. In order to create the best, user-centred products we need to put ourselves in the place of our customers and design in a way where everything serves a purpose, and that purpose is to help our customers better understand what we do, how we do it, and how we provide them value.

When you design the environment to have a clean structure and cluster each design element so that they’re aimed at directing your users towards one goal, you’ll be able to attain very high levels of engagement.

Final thoughts

Great lessons this week. I really appreciated how we went back and repurposed some of our previous learnings. It made the theory mixed with the practical applications taught this week that made it easier to grasp and gave me new perspectives on old ideas. I rate this weeks content a 4.5/5! I found that I learned the most this session and know that my foundational knowledge will contribute to my learning for the weeks ahead.

See you next week!



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