December 19, 2023

59 Marketing Psychology Tricks

By Charles Miller

I’ve generated over $20,000,000 in sales as a copy and content writer.

That started with being an email copywriter for 2 years, where I worked with eCommerce brands. It continued with my personal brand growth services, which I've been doing for about 2 years now too.

For both offers, the key was understanding psychology.

Now I want you to steal my top marketing psychology tricks.

I'll give a brief overview of each of them.

If one catches your eye, you can research it more.

Here they are...

Cialdini's 7 Principles

These come from Influence, which is one of the most famous marketing books of all time:

  1. Liking - When you like a person or brand, you're more likely to buy.
  2. Unity - Forming a tribe of like-minded people drives conversions.
  3. Scarcity - When you limit supply (e.g. a flash sale), more people buy.
  4. Authority - When authoritative people or organizations endorse something, you're more likely to buy.
  5. Reciprocity - When a brand gives you some kind of value, you instinctively want to give them value back by buying.
  6. Consensus - When a lot of people all agree that something is good or bad, you instinctively want to agree with them.
  7. Consistency - When you act in a certain way, you instinctively want to act consistently (which sometimes means buying).

These are the top persuasive tools in your kit.

Ca$hvertising's Life Force 8

From the Drew Eric Whitman book, Ca$hvertising:

  • Social approval
  • Enjoyment of food
  • To be superior, winning
  • Romantic companionship
  • Survival, enjoyment of life
  • Freedom from fear, pain, etc
  • Comfortable living conditions
  • Care/protection of loved ones

These are what people care about most.

Ca$hvertising's 9 Secondary Wants

From the same book:

  • Bargains
  • Curiosity
  • Efficiency
  • Cleanliness
  • Convenience
  • To be informed
  • Economy/Profit
  • Dependability/Quality
  • Expression of beauty/style

These aren't as powerful as the LF8, but they're worth knowing.

Top Cognitive Biases

Marketing is basically just applied psychology.

So here are some psychological biases to study:

  • Social Proof - People tend to want things that other people endorse. That's why reviews and case studies work well.
  • Bandwagon Effect - This is like social proof, but it's more about quantity. If a lot of people are doing something, others will want to do it too.
  • Loss Aversion - People tend to be more afraid of losing things than they are of gaining things, which is why risk reducers are persuasive.
  • Negativity - Some people are naturally more negative and will respond better to negative persuasive angles.
  • Positivity - Other people are more positive and will respond better to positive persuasive angles.
  • Authority - When perceived experts endorse something, that's even more persuasive than when regular people do.
  • Anchoring - When you present a price or idea first, it acts as an anchor to subsequent prices or ideas you present.
  • Exposure - The more someone is exposed to something, the more likely they are to buy it.
  • Framing - How you frame something changes how people perceive it. For example $100 might seem like a lot, but framing it as one sit-down dinner makes it seems like less.
  • Commitment - When someone does something, they're more likely to do other things like that in the future. For example, if they click a button saying "I want to build muscle," they're slightly more likely to buy a workout supplement.
  • Primacy - People tend to favor the first piece of information they get over most other pieces of information.
  • Recency - People also tend to favor the most recent piece of information they get over most other pieces of information.
  • Reciprocity - When you do something for someone, like give them a free gift, they're more likely to return a favor to you, like buying your product.
  • In-group - People tend to favor their in-group over what they perceive as their out-group. This is why us vs them persuasion works so well.
  • Novelty - Many people prefer something that seems new over things they've seen before. Differentiate your brand and product.
  • Status Quo - Other people prefer things that feel the same. It all depends on what you're selling and who you're selling it to.
  • Zero-Risk - As we already discussed, people have an aversion to loss. When you eliminate risk, they're often more likely to buy.
  • Scarcity - When something is in low supply, people who wanted it already will want it even more.
  • Choice Overload - People often get overwhelmed by having lots of choices and prefer to have fewer.

Use those to cultivate desire and inspire action.

The FOMO Toolkit

"Fear of missing out" is how you get people to buy right now, as opposed to wanting your offer but deciding they'll buy it another time.

There are 2 ways to create it:

  1. Scarcity - Limit the supply of a product, discount, or opportunity.
  2. Persuasion - Create so much desire for an offer that you don’t need scarcity to create FOMO. Social proof, the bandwagon effect, and appealing to deep emotions help a lot with this.

Anyone can use scarcity.

Creating FOMO through pure persuasion is trickier.

The Trust-Building Toolkit

Trust leads to conversion.

Especially if you sell a problem-solving product.

Create it with these:

  • Reviews
  • Case studies
  • Demonstrations
  • Personal results
  • Video testimonials
  • Expert endorsements
  • User generated content
  • Celebrity endorsements
  • Showing your personality
  • Total followers/customers/etc
  • Being honest and transparent


This is a more advanced concept.

It's often the difference between selling and getting passed over, and it's especially importany in crowded markets.

Aspects of positioning:

  1. Audience - Who you sell/write to and how they view the market.
  2. Competition - Who your competitors are and how they position themselves.
  3. Personality - Who you are, what your opinions are, and how you carry yourself.
  4. Differentiation - How you separate from the market and appeal to a portion of the broader audience.

Once you get the basic marketing psychology tricks down, put a lot of thought into positioning.

Content Formula

This is the formula I use for all long-form content:

  1. Hook - Grab attention with results, a list title, a question, etc.
  2. Lead - Add a line that persuades people to read the body.
  3. Deliver - Give the value that you promised in the hook/lead.
  4. Conclude - Finish with impact, maybe call to action.

It works well for blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter/X, and more.

Last Thoughts

Those are my top marketing psychology tricks.

But they're not really tricks.

Instead, they're foundational blocks that you can apply to any type of copywriting and marketing.

I suggest you do.

P.S. Whenever you're ready, I can help you in 3 ways:

1. Copyblogger Academy - This is my content marketing community. It comes with 9 full-length courses, Q&A, and a lot more. Join 1300+ members inside.

2. LinkedIn Growth - Grow your LinkedIn following and earnings services starting at $300 a month. Fill out my form to see if we're a good fit.

3. Personal Brand Audit - If you want personalized advice, I do 4 1-hour sessions per month. Check my calendar to see if I still have availability.