This post is written by the guest author Shreya Sinha.

Shreya Sinha is a full-time content marketer at Outgrow, an interactive content marketing platform. When not writing, she can be seen rocking a road trip or the beachside with her beloved ukulele!

The essence of successful marketing is in understanding how and why consumers think and act the way they do. Unfortunately, human behavior isn’t always that simple or consistent. But fret not; we’re going to reveal 6 psychological tricks which can transform your interactive marketing game!

Source: Outgrow Blog

For decades, psychology has played a vital role in polishing and improving the ways marketers engage their consumers. And when we talk about effective and active customer engagement, two words take lead - interactive marketing! But, how is psychology related to interactive marketing? Think about what types of posts on your Facebook or Twitter feed interest you the most. Is it long posts and ads? Or is it the BuzzFeed quiz like "Which FRIENDS Character are you?" Probably the latter! In case you’re wondering, it is super easy to make these quizzes with the help of a quiz maker. Incorporating these interactive elements into your marketing campaign gets your audience to engage with you actively, rather than observing passively.

Since we are talking about psychology, Dale's Cone of Experience also advocates this theory of active engagement.

So, to help you attract, engage, and convert more customers, let’s take a look at some psychological tricks you need to try for interactive marketing.

1. Use the Theory of Reciprocity

The Theory of Reciprocity is quite a simple principle that almost everyone experiences. According to it, when we recognize that somebody has given us something, we feel obligated to offer something in return or take some action to acknowledge the same.

Have you ever noticed this theory in action when a car salesman gives you a pen before they try to get you to sign a contract? This theory of reciprocity is also well described by the father of influence, Robert Cialdini, as one of the six weapons of influence.

Another great way to induce this psychological mindset is by using an interactive calculator. Calculators are one of the best and quickest ways to provide instant value to customers. Take a look at this “How much can you save by buying a TESLA?” calculator.

Source: Outgrow

Since the company has put a lot of time and effort into creating this value-adding calculator, the urge to reciprocate is created in users. This happens as you establish a sense of trust along with helping them with a valuable solution. As the last page encourages users to enter their email addresses to get results, the theory of reciprocity is realized.

Pro Tip:

The best example of reciprocity is something we see in content marketing itself. So, give away valuable resources like e-books, whitepapers, etc. to put this theory into action. As users recognize the value offered for free, they will willingly provide their information in exchange.

2. Induce the Information Gap Theory

The Information Gap Theory is all about tickling the curiosity of readers. It was developed by George Loewenstein. He said that curiosity is a natural human behavior that is triggered whenever there is a gap between what people know and what they want to know. This gap is what influences people to take certain actions.

Let’s understand this with the help of this personality assessment quiz “Which FRIENDS Character are you?”. People love to know more about themselves. This question leaves a huge gap in terms of how to get from point A to point B. Quizzes give personalized results which makes people all the more curious.

Source: Outgrow

Pro Tip:

Take inspiration from popular quiz makers like BuzzFeed to understand how they target consumers with trending outcome quizzes and personality assessments. Learn how to create BuzzFeed-style quizzes here.

3. Promote the Theory of Exclusivity

Most people want to experience being part of an exclusive club. This is where the Theory of Exclusivity kicks in! In fact, this is one reason why “platinum” credit cards sell so much. A lot of customers take it to be a status symbol that places them in a group of privileged customers.

The Theory of Exclusivity can be put into action with e-commerce recommendation quizzes. This interactive content is specially made for tapping customers with products that suit them exactly. For example, this quiz on “Which sports watch suits you the best?” links users to watch recommendations depending on their preferences. The feeling of exclusivity is what makes them take the quiz.

Source: Outgrow

Pro Tip:

Consumers want to receive recommendations that are personalized to their likings and behaviour patterns. So, don’t be that brand that pushes out a common communication to all of its audiences, thinking it will work. Tailoring messages individually for customers is not feasible. Hence, make use of recommendation quizzes and let it do the magic! It’s not just going to be a fun quiz to take, but also of high value to your customers.

4. Utilize the Theories of FOMO & Scarcity

For some reason, we humans find something way more desirable when they are available in limited quantities. This is because of the Theory of Scarcity. “Only 2 left in stock. Buy now!” - have you observed these catchy phrases while shopping? That’s because e-commerce websites understand the customer’s psyche. They know that people hate missing out on something that they could have owned. This is also popularly known as Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). Did you know - 60% of consumers revealed that they make a reactive purchase because of FOMO, mostly within 24 hours.

Have a look at this “Get a free iPhone Xs” contest. Let’s observe how the CTA is positioned - “ONLY 13 LEFT”. Moreover, the way the deadline is set induces the feeling of FOMO, fetching more registrations.


Scarcity also works best for email marketing. You can send limited time or stock related discounts and offers to the subscribers. Here’s an example from an online book store Open Trolley, inducing the feeling of scarcity for their storewide sale.

Pro Tip:

Make use of interactive content types like giveaways and contests to induce this theory in your marketing efforts. “Enter Now”, “Try it Now”, and “Get it Now” are some of the strongest motivators to use. In fact, according to the latest contest statistics, over 34% of new customers are acquired through contests.

5. Utilize the Theory of Social Proof

Humans are social creatures with a herd mentality. It has been seen time and again that an individual's attitudes, beliefs, or behavior are modified and influenced by the presence or action of others. In fact, 84% of millennials say that user-generated content from other buyers influenced them to purchase.

This originates from the Theory of Social Proof, which is cited by Dr. Robert Cialdini as one of the six principles of persuasion. We talk about it here because once you show your prospects that others approve of your products and like them, it increases your credibility and the chance of people willing to try it out.

Talking about the type of interactive content, social influence is closely related to polls. Hence, Kremp Florist used this poll to increase customer participation and promote their product. In fact, it garnered almost 8k unique interactions from customers within a few hours.

Pro Tip:

The types of content that work the best here are polls & surveys. Create a simple poll on Twitter and Instagram or a personalized one with the help of a poll maker. Furthermore, include User-generated content (UGC) as it works excellently, especially in the social media world. As the name goes, this content is generated by the users themselves on how they are using and liking the product. And, people trust other users’ testimonials more than your brand advertisements.

For example, GoPro does user-generated content really well. Famous for their portable travel cameras, they use their social media channels to regularly feature fan-based content.

6. Harness Theory of Storytelling

As humans, it’s in our DNA to love stories. They are passed down through generations, and we grow up hearing them from a young age. This is why the Theory of Storytelling in marketing works amazingly well.

Using compelling storytelling to help customers get your message across gives a human-like experience to them. This is why real estate agents describe coming home at the end of a busy day to a warm and comforting home, rather than just describing the features of a particular property. If you sell the feeling, you’ve sold your product.

The interactive content we have to encourage this psychological trick is chatbots. A chatbot doesn’t just have to be a customer support tool. Thanks to AI and conversational chatbot builders, you can design chatbots that can build a friendly conversation with your customer.

Take a look at this Lego chatbot ‘Ralph’. It is designed to deliver an amazing storytelling experience; engaging with users and helping them choose the right gift.

Pro Tip:

Chatbots have become the new sales assistants. Utilize this opportunity to grab your customers as soon as they land on your website and impress them with the power of storytelling. Building chatbots can seem intimidating for some. However, it becomes a super easy and fun task by using a no-code chatbot builder.

Psychology really does play a huge role in interactive marketing. Let’s take a final look at the key points that you should keep in mind while playing with these psychological tricks for interactive marketing.

  • The Theory of Reciprocity works best when we offer value for free. It can be induced through free resource giveaways or interactive calculators, attaching a lead generation form at the end.
  • To generate curiosity among customers, use the Theory of Information Gap. Quizzes and personality assessments work best to create this gap and bridge it with personalized results.
  • Promote the Theory of Exclusivity with the help of e-commerce recommendations making your message become exclusive for each customer with minimum effort.
  • FOMO and scarcity are strong motivators. Use it to promote time-bound or limited stock products with the help of contests and offers.
  • Social proof is real. Use this influencing trick to gain a larger audience with the help of polls and UGC.
  • People love stories. Use friendly chatbots to apply the Theory of Storytelling in your interactive marketing.

It’s time to play with these powerful psychological tricks!




Don’t forget to share this post with friends and colleagues!