What Are Cognitive Biases and Why Do They Matter in Copywriting?
This list of cognitive biases was originally compiled by Chase Dimond, a renowned e-commerce strategist and digital marketer (follow him on Twitter @ecomchasedimond). By understanding these cognitive biases and how to use them in your copywriting, you can create messaging that speaks directly to your audience’s subconscious mind, making it more engaging, persuasive, and effective. In this article we’ll also go over Cognitive Biases Marketing Examples so you can best apply these to your marketing.
The Role of Cognitive Biases in Consumer Decision Making
In this article, we’ll dive deep into each cognitive bias and provide examples of how different companies and brands have used them to their advantage. Whether you’re in direct response, brand building, e-commerce, or consulting, these biases can help you create copy that stands out and drives more results.
Examples of Cognitive Biases in Copywriting
Let’s take a look at some of the most common cognitive biases and how you can use them in your copywriting:
This is the tendency to avoid decisions due to a lack of information. To use it in your copy, give people all the information they need about your product, including price, offer, benefits, features, and advantages. By doing so, you can help alleviate any concerns they may have and make it easier for them to make a decision.
This is the belief in something just because other people believe it. To use it in your copy, gather testimonials, case studies, shout-outs, and reviews, and spread them throughout your copy. By doing so, you can help build social proof and make it easier for people to trust your product.
This is the tendency to use pre-existing data as a reference point for all subsequent data. To use it in your copy, before presenting your product’s price, mention how expensive the other alternatives are. This will make your product appear cheaper in comparison and make it more likely that people will buy from you.
This is our tendency to select information that confirms our beliefs. To use it in your copy, empathize with your readers and let them know you understand their perspectives. By doing so, you can build trust and make it easier for them to relate to your product.
This is the belief in information because it is part of a story, even if the facts don’t support it. To use it in your copy, use a unique and engaging story to captivate your readers. By doing so, you can create an emotional connection with your audience and make it more likely that they’ll remember your product.
This is the tendency to remember funny information better. To use it in your copy, write in a playful, conversational tone, and feel free to add jokes. By doing so, you can make your copy more engaging and memorable.
This is the tendency to remember unfinished tasks better than completed tasks. To use it in your copy, use open loops in your copy, where you start a story, tell it without revealing all the details, and then conclude it in the body copy. By doing so, you can create a sense of curiosity and make it more likely that people will keep reading.
Examples of Using Each Cognitive Bias
By using these cognitive biases effectively, companies and brands can create copy that is more engaging, persuasive, and memorable. Here are some examples:
Consider a consulting company that offers a range of services. To overcome ambiguity bias, the company can provide detailed information about each service, including what it involves, how it can benefit the client, and what kind of results they can expect. By doing so, they can help potential clients feel more informed and confident in their decision to work with them.
A direct response company that sells weight loss products can use bandwagon bias by featuring testimonials from happy customers on their website and in their marketing materials. By doing so, they can create a sense of social proof and make it more likely that people will trust their product.
An ecommerce company that sells luxury goods can use anchoring bias by presenting their products alongside similar, but much more expensive, products. By doing so, they can make their products appear more affordable and appealing to potential customers.
A branding agency can use confirmation bias by highlighting the values and beliefs that their ideal client shares. By doing so, they can make it easier for potential clients to identify with them and feel more confident in their ability to help them achieve their goals.
A nonprofit organization that focuses on animal welfare can use story bias by sharing the stories of animals they have helped and the impact their organization has had. By doing so, they can create an emotional connection with potential donors and make it more likely that they will donate to their cause.
A direct response company that sells kitchen gadgets can use humor effect by creating playful and fun advertisements that show off the unique features and benefits of their products. By doing so, they can make their product more memorable and entertaining.
An e-commerce company that sells products targeted towards a younger demographic can use the speakeasy effect by using colloquial language and slang in their messaging, considering that Generation X outspends other generational consumers .
A branding agency can use primacy effect by placing their most important value proposition at the beginning of their messaging, such as “We help companies build powerful brands that connect with their audience.” By doing so, they can ensure that potential clients remember the most important details about their agency.
Speak Easy Effect
An e-commerce company that sells products targeted towards a younger demographic can use speak easy effect by using colloquial language and slang in their messaging. By doing so, they can make their brand more relatable and appealing to their target audience.
A direct response company that sells emergency preparedness products can use action bias by highlighting the potential risks of not being prepared for a disaster. By doing so, they can create a sense of urgency and make it more likely that people will take action and purchase their products.
An e-commerce company that sells home decor items can use Zeigarnik Effect by using open loops in their product descriptions, such as “Imagine the possibilities with this stunning decorative vase – perfect for any room in your home. Find out more by clicking here.” By doing so, they can create a sense of curiosity and make it more likely that potential customers will click through to learn more about their products.
Final Thoughts About Cognitive Biases In Marketing
Companies and brands can use these cognitive biases effectively to create more engaging, persuasive, and memorable copy.
In conclusion, cognitive biases can be incredibly powerful tools in copywriting. By understanding how they work and how to use them effectively, you can create more engaging, persuasive, and memorable copy.
But it’s important to remember that these biases should be used ethically and responsibly. Your goal should always be to provide value to your readers and create a sense of trust and connection with them. By doing so, you can build a loyal following and create copy that truly resonates with your audience.
Thanks for reading, and happy copywriting!