How to Use Marketing Psychology to Persuade Buyers with Chatbots

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Below is a transcript of the Chatbot Marketing Training Course by MobileMonkey and Isaac Rudansky, of Adventure Media. Get the full course here and become a messenger marketing master. Leverage the tactics you learn here in MobileMonkey with the free chatbot builder.

Howdy chatbot fans, and welcome back.

In this section we’re going to be talking about psychological principles of persuasion in chatbot design, designing your bots effectively for human beings.

The reason why I’m including this whole section here is because no matter how well you learn how to use MobileMonkey, no matter how well you learn how to build Facebook bots, no matter how many sophisticated use cases you could design

Your bots will not work unless you know a little bit about human psychology, about persuasion, about proven techniques and tactics that have worked for many, many, many years in every single form of salesmanship.

At the end of the day when you really strip it down from all its technological underpinnings, what we’re dealing with here is trying to sell stuff to people, we’re trying to get people to comply with our requests, we’re trying to get people to promote our brand, we’re trying to get people to buy our products and sign up for our services, or read our ebooks.

And knowing some basic principles of how to persuade people effectively to do these things, and to make it more likely that they’ll actually do it, of course, you can’t twist anybody’s arm, but if you use some of these principles well, I promise you it’ll be the most important and effective, and worthwhile thing you ever learn in your life as a digital advertiser.

And I can attest to this firsthand, going back a few years when I started implementing these principles and these concepts of psychological persuasion in my own business at adventure media.

But also in all our clients businesses, we saw an immediate increase in the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns, and it takes time, and it takes practice, and the more you understand, and the more you practice these principles, and the more you implement them in your chatbots, the more effective and more engaging your chatbots are going to be.

And these are principles that you could apply to all channels, to email marketing, to dealing with employees, to signing new clients, to how do you price your services and your products, to organic Facebook posts.

Really, if you think about it, every piece of marketing collateral, and all the marketing efforts that you that you develop are really to get people to do something that you want them to do, that’s at its core, and these are principles that it’s really worth taking time to understand.

So, we’re going to start off with the concept of commitment and consistency, these are some very, very powerful concepts.

People have a huge bias to act in ways that are consistent with their previous behaviors and actions, and it’s very powerful and deep part of the human psyche.

In a study that was done by Knox and Inkster in 1968, they found that race track betters, people who were betting on horses at the racetrack were significantly more confident in their bet the moment after the moment right after placing the bet then they were the very moment before placing the bet.

And nothing else changed, they didn’t get any more information about the horse, or the actual likelihood that the horse would win, but they were much more confident after placing the bet because they took a stand.

Remember we were talking about in the previous lectures, by asking for referrals, making sure your customers take a stand and actually go on record saying that they had a good experience with your brand? this is why that is so important, the principle of consistency.

When a person takes a stand and say they like your product, or that racetrack better actually places the bet and takes an action, they are much more psychologically primed to act now, and to talk in ways, and to behave consistent with that previous action.

It’s very powerful, and as marketers we could tap into that.

We have an obsessive need to act that way, we have an obsessive need to act and appear to other people consistent with our previous choices and actions, and then, when we encounter future choices we will find crazy ways to justify a decision that appears consistent with previous actions.

This happens in relationships, people who invest a lot in relationships, and this is a good thing in relationships, people who invest hard work and effort into a relationship are more motivated to overlook a shortcoming of the other person, and that’s because there’s a lot of different reasons why these things could happen, but a big part of it is because I want to be consistent, I want to be right, I want my previous hard work to be justified.

If you drive further to go see a movie, you’re more likely to like the movie, because otherwise you’re going to have what’s called cognitive dissonance, something disparate between your current behaviors and your previous actions.

So, if I drive and if I expend a lot of effort to go see a movie, and that movie is bad, it’ll make my previous choices, that effort look wrong.

So, I’m going to more likely rationalize that I like that movie, and we could employ this principle in all of our marketing channels.

So, that mechanic part of our of our psyche typically is in our best interest, this is why we use it, it’s usually a good thing to be consistent with our previous actions, and our previous beliefs.

But, what we’ve done is people have become to rely on this automatically, even if it’s not logically in their best interest.

What do I mean by not logically in their best interest? We can get people to promote our brand, we can get people more likely to buy our product just by asking them a question, and having them say something like yes, or agreeing with something.

And then, even if that sense of agreement that they verbalize is not necessarily a rational analysis of whether or not what I’m selling is good for them or better than the competition, we are still going to be able to get them to comply more frequently than if they hadn’t said anything in the past.

Where does commitment come into the picture? commitment is what activates the need to be consistent, once you take a stand, once a customer, or prospect, or leads, or a lead goes on record with an opinion, or what’s anybody goes on record with an opinion.

I as a marketer can exploit your future need to remain consistent with your earlier commitments, that’s how commitment consistency play with each other.

And just a quick example, researchers posing as canvassers collecting charitable donations in the form of buying cookies for the Hunger Relief Committee

This was an incredible study, the first set of researchers went out to the local houses, knocked on the door, the person answered, and they started the conversation by saying “Would you like to buy some cookies for hungry children as part of this campaign for the Hunger Relief Committee?” 18% of people went ahead and bought cookies

But when the researchers in a second group changed the starting question, which was “hello, how are you feeling this evening?” the vast majority of people responded “I’m good, I’m feeling great, I’m happy” and then went off to say “would you like to buy cookies for the Hunger Relief Fund?” 89% of people askes bought cookies.

This was an incredible finding, what they saw was the commitment and consistency principle in action.

Even though the question “how are you feeling?” was totally inconsequential, it wasn’t even related to the cookies itself, but when a person went on record saying and claiming their own favorable circumstances, “I’m feeling good, things are going well for me”

The contrast of now not helping out others in need who are in less favorable circumstances became very awkward, it created this psychological tension

And furthermore, these were the same types of people, so there was no reason to assume that the first set of people that were asked to buy cookies were not feeling good, were not happy

They just didn’t verbalize it, they weren’t asked point blank “how are you feeling?” and I had to respond to your face “I am feeling very good, I’m happy”.

Now you asked me for a favor, you’ve exploited me. I went on record saying, “I’m feeling great”, you were now able to exploit me by making me very uncomfortable saying “no” to helping out hungry children by not buying a box of cookies.

So, the results went from 18% to 89% by employing this commitment and consistency principle.

I personally love this stuff, and I want to quickly read one quick example from a book called “influence” by Robert Cialdini. If you guys haven’t read this book, I highly recommend you reading this book.

I’m just going to read a quick snippet from this book which illustrates this point beautifully of commitment and consistency, so here goes:

“Take as proof what happened when psychologist Thomas Moriarty staged thefts on a New York City Beach to see if onlookers would risk personal harm to halt the crime.

In the study, a research accomplice would put a beach blanket down five feet from the blanket of a randomly chosen individual, the experimental subject.

After a couple of minutes on the blanket spent relaxing and listening to music from a portable radio, the accomplice would stand up and leave the blanket to stroll down the beach, a few minutes later a second researcher pretending to be a thief would approach, grab the radio, and try to hurry away with it.

As you might guess, under normal conditions, subjects were very reluctant to put themselves in harm’s way by challenging the thief.

Only four people did so in the 20 times that the theft was staged, but when the same procedure was tried another 20 times with a slight twist, the results were drastically different. In these incidents, before taking his stroll the accomplice would simply ask the subject to “please, watch my things” which each of them agreed to do.

Now, propelled by the rule for consistency, 19 of the 20 subjects became virtual vigilantes running after and stopping the thief, demanding an explanation, and often restraining the thief physically or snatching the radio away.”

19 out of a 20, once the consistency principle was employed, versus 4 out of the 20 before a single sentence of “Will you please watch my things for me?”

This is pretty wild stuff, this is not a joke, this stuff works, and you could use this in your chat bots, and you must use this in your chat bots.

So, here’s a quick example, what you’re seeing on the right-hand side of the screen is just an actual chat bot that I built, and it’s a screenshot of that, and starts “Hey there Isaac, how are you doing today?” and I reply “I’m feeling great” with a smiley face.

“That’s great to hear, I’m feeling pretty good myself. Quick question, how do you feel in general about brands offering discounts?” and I offer two different choices if you could see that, one is “I love to save money” and one is “I hate discounts”

People are like unlikely to hit “I hate discounts” because, unless you’re really weird, who hates discounts?

You’ve probably have seen these annoying things before and you think “Oh, so stupid” They’re not stupid, they’re brilliant, they’re smart, and they work, and they’re used by the most sophisticated marketers in the world.

If I go on record by A, saying “I’m feeling great” and B, saying “I love to save money, and I love discounts”, I am much more likely now to use the discount code that you provided me in the next step of the chat.

So, this is important stuff. You might go ahead and build your bot by just throwing out a coupon code to your customers, no, mistake.

Prime them to use it by employing these psychological principles of commitment and consistency.

Try and start with a question, prompting the user to confirm something positive, right? and feel free to use only one possible answer, this works better than you’d even care to think.

So, for example, in the chat bot that you’re looking here on the right-hand side of the screen, this little image, when I said, “Hi there Isaac, how are you feeling today?”

I only offer the answer through the chat of “I’m feeling great” and it works, it really works.

Just going on record, we just read two different examples, two different studies that were scientific studies that show that this works.

Confirming preference for discounts will make users discount will make users 20% more likely to actually use a discount you offer them, and again, you’re seeing that in this example here.

Ask users to rate your product compared to a competitive product, they will be more likely to buy from you when the time comes.

We’ve run campaigns for furniture clients of ours, comparing our furniture to Bob’s discount furniture, and I’ve spoken about this example before, but when you do that, and you can actually get a customer to say themselves, or to click a button, that they go on record saying “I like this couch, or I like this recliner better than the other one from the other competitor”

they are now way more likely to actually buy from you when the time comes, even if that’s how they’ve always felt, verbalizing it matters, telling it to you matters a whole lot.

Service businesses as well can get a user to confirm they’ve been having a problem. So, for example, a client of ours that runs negotiating seminars, we would ask through a bot “do you think you can benefit by learning how to negotiate better?”

Don’t just start off by telling people “we have the best negotiating seminar in the world, come and check us out”.

No, what’s your opinion? I want to get you to go on record and say that this is something that would benefit me in my whole life, if I could say that, and then I offer you a way to do that, you’re much more likely to take it out of the desire to avoid psychological tension with current actions and previous actions, it’s an incredibly powerful thing, and this could be applied to all of your businesses.

An e-commerce company can ask “what would make you the most likely to purchase a blank today?” whatever you’re selling, “a Bluetooth headset today”.

Is it free shipping? quality craftsmanship? would it be a cheaper price through a discount code?

Then you could follow up through Facebook chat bots with specific chat funnels for each of those replies confirming and promoting their specific preferences.

So, if you ask somebody “what’s the most important thing for our products?” or “what’s what would make you the most likely to buy our product today?” and they say “if you offered free shipping” and then you could talk about “well we actually offer free shipping”, and that is way more powerful of an approach than just promoting the fact that you offer free shipping.

The point I’m trying to get across here is when you ask the question, you have to get the user to plant his feet in the ground, you have to get the user to offer an opinion, and when you get the user to offer an opinion, as a marketer, you could exploit that quite well.

So, begin thinking about how you’re going to use commitment and consistency in your own chatbots.

As you can see, I’m very animated about this stuff because I use this all day in paid search, in email campaigns, in chat box campaigns.

We use commitment and consistency, we use scarcity, likability, social proof, reciprocity, we’re going to talk about all these things in the coming lectures.

But, commitment and consistency are two of my favorite concepts because they’re so powerful, and they’re so easy to implement, and they’re so subtle, and there’s so much fun to see them in action.