In the world of marketing and sales, we know that some actions, strategies and calls to action (Call to action) bring better results when promoting a product or service.

Usually, this type of action is directly linked to a way to engage and activate some type of consumer mental trigger.

Do you also want to know how to do this to improve the results of your marketing campaigns and sales processes?

In this article we present what mental triggers are and how you can employ them in your business. Check out!

What are mental triggers?

Mental triggers are essentially cognitive stimuli, related to your senses and that can be activated to arouse emotions, start a decision-making process and attract customers.

Why does this work? The human brain makes more than 30,000 decisions daily and most of these decisions are related to emotions.

This is exactly where the potential of this persuasion technique lies: arousing emotions in people so that they make a decision you want.

However, it is important to inform that this type of technique it’s not a magic formula to get people to do whatever you want – even if they are sold that way by professionals, teachers or courses available online.

In addition, it is important to differentiate persuasion from manipulation. Use mental triggers for action calls and in your marketing campaigns to make people make a decision that is beneficial to themselves as well as to your business.

You are bombarded by mental triggers often

If you are the target of digital or traditional marketing campaigns, via billboards, TV or radio advertising, is certainly being hit by strategies that aim to activate these triggers.

To exemplify, try to remember how many advertisements you have seen that use the following phrases or calls:

  • “Attention, limited stock – hurry to get yours.”

  • “This special discount will only last until tomorrow.”

  • “The best dentists in London recommend it.”

  • “This technology is already widely used abroad.”

  • “More than 100,000 businesses rely on this tool.”

  • “Our app has more than 1 million positive reviews.”

  • “We have a surprise for you, check it out!”

Do you recognize any of those calls? All of them are related to different types of mental triggers designed to persuade you to take the desired action, such as purchasing a product or service, registering with a free tool, among others.

A nice exercise for you who are learning about mental triggers is to try to identify different types of calls based on their categorization, check below.

Mental triggers for sales

Main mental triggers for sales

There are several types of triggers you can use to persuade people, but some of them stand out for marketing and sales strategies.

We have separated the main ones so that you can recognize them and understand how to start using mental triggers in your own business.

1. Shortage

We already gave an example of this trigger in this content when we talk about campaigns that highlight the inventory limit.

As the name implies, the idea of ​​drawing attention to the possibility of a product shortage or availability is a powerful mental trigger for sales.

This is because part of consumers do not want to wait for an unavailable product to be back in stock.

How to use the scarcity trigger in your business

The use of this trigger is usually related to the need to expedite a negotiation. Often, sellers can report on the stock limit or the possibility of shortages when they notice that the buyer is uncertain or “on the fence”.

2. Urgency

Urgency is a sensation that is really close to scarcity, but it affects consumers in a different way: presenting that the product or service in question will be unavailable if it is not purchased immediately.

This trigger is often used to sell special or exclusive editions of physical or digital products – making the consumer make a purchase decision immediately or the same “never again” will have the opportunity to purchase the exclusive product.

The power of this trigger is linked to the feeling of lack of choice: the consumer must make the decision to purchase the product urgently or he will not be able to obtain it in the future through the same channels.

How to use the urgency trigger in your business

In general, use this mental trigger when the product offered has really limited availability. As we already mentioned, this can happen in exclusive and limited versions or editions.

3. Social proof

Social proof is a trigger related to human behavior of following trends and taking actions similar to what other people are also doing.

This does not necessarily mean blindly following an influencer or something like that, it is actually a really natural cognitive sensation to human beings.

Essentially, the idea here is to present how several people or entities already trust and use a particular product or service.

In fact, this mental trigger was put into practice in an experiment carried out by Stanley Milgram – a famous psychologist who also studied other mental triggers in 1963, such as that of Authority.

The study presented three scenarios. In one, a person was positioned on the sidewalk looking up. 40% of the people who passed by looked in the same direction. In the second experiment, two people looked up and 60% of pedestrians also stopped to check what they were looking at. In the last experiment, four people looked up and 80% of the citizens who passed by stopped to look.

How to use the social proof trigger in your business

Social proof is usually most effective when presented in the early stages of the client’s journey, as well as at the beginning of an approach. This is because it makes the consumer feel more secure and consequently has more interest in knowing more about the product or service in question.

4. Authority

The mental trigger of authority is widely used by companies, especially in advertisements and commercials shown on traditional channels, such as billboards or even on television.

It consists of introducing people who have a certain degree of importance or relevance to a specific audience, recommending certain products or services.

Have you ever wondered why so many companies pay to have actors and other famous figures in their commercials? The idea is exactly to leverage the sense of authority generated by that figure and awaken thoughts like “ours, if such a person recommends it, it must be really good”, for example.

In fact, much of the base of influencer marketing revolves around this mental trigger, as well as that of social proof.

How to use the authority trigger in your business

Just like the social proof trigger, this type of strategy serves to make the consumer feel more comfortable and have more interest in knowing more about the product or service. Therefore, use it in the early stages of the customer journey.

5. Anticipation

The anticipation trigger is associated with anxiety and expectation. Essentially, to arouse this type of emotion in consumers, it is necessary to present projections of the future so that they can begin to internalize the idea that they want to purchase or consume a certain product.

The film industry, for example, often works with the anticipation trigger – that’s exactly what trailers are for. Other entertainment-related industries also do the same with their launches.

How to use the anticipation trigger in your business

From the examples cited, it is easy to see how anticipation is one of the mental triggers related to launches and news. This means that it must be used in advance, to generate expectation.

6. Exclusivity

Exclusivity is linked to the feeling of feeling recognized, for example through VIP status or through products or services offered only to a certain class.

Companies like Ferrari itself have used this trigger to sell their cars for years, for example. This difference in treatment towards their clients, linked to the fact that few people in their cycle will have access to the same benefit, is what makes this trigger something powerful.

How to use the exclusivity trigger in your business

Essentially, when you are interested in segmenting your consumers and offering differentiated treatment to valuable customers. The exclusivity trigger is also directly linked to your chances of retention and is actually a powerful strategy to retain customers.

7. Reciprocity

This is one of the basic triggers for Inbound Marketing, as it aims exactly at the idea of ​​offering materials, products, content, services and other elements that can really benefit its consumers – generating their approximation with the brand from that.

Essentially, the idea of ​​reciprocity is to make consumers realize the value and benefits in the work done by your business, as well as in your own products.

From there, they will be happy to buy from you, as well as refer your company to your own friends, acquaintances and family.

This trigger can also be triggered through beneficial actions that are not just for profit, such as campaigns and donations to entities or causes that resonate with the profile of your target audience.

How to use the reciprocity trigger in your business

Essentially, here you must show that the ultimate goal of your offers is not just your own profit. Rather than simply trying to sell more expensive products or improving your profitability, you take actions that are really beneficial to consumers or to entities other than your own business.

8. New

Naturally, people tend to like news – as long as they are pleasant according to the consumer’s profile. Especially when we talk about mental triggers, the novelties are new products or services introduced in the market, as well as new technologies.

The mobile device industry, such as smartphones and other devices, uses this trigger frequently.

It is exactly from the idea of ​​offering a new product and (not necessarily) better than the existing one that companies such as Apple, Samsung and other competitors launch devices more frequently and sell both of their new models.

How to use the novelty trigger in your business

Well, as the name suggests, this trigger can be triggered whenever you bring new products or services. Highlight them and be sure to show how they differ from what consumers already use.

Use mental triggers in care

In addition to working on this strategy in your marketing campaigns, be sure to incorporate the use of calls designed to trigger triggers during customer service.

However, it is important to remember that this is a strategy of persuasion and no manipulation. So, employ them in a way that really benefits your customers and not just your business – the latter is a misuse of mental triggers and also responsible for generating a bad reputation for the term itself.

And if you are in doubt about how you can start using them in customer service in your Ecommerce, the solution is quite simple. Just install a free online chat, like Websites Are Us and start chatting with customers in real time.

Good sales!

(function(d, s, id) {
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); = id;
js.src = “”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));