How To Get More Customers To Choose You

By: Melina Palmer


Do you ever find yourself confused by the actions of your customers (or would be customers)?

Have you ever found yourself asking, “Why would they possibly do that?” or “Why didn’t more people get a card?” or “Why didn’t we get more clicks?” or “How can I get more people to sign up for (and then open) my emails?”

If you answered yes to any of those questions above…you’re normal!

And, I am happy to say that reading this post will help you.

Most people have not heard the term “behavioral economics” – yet. I know it sounds kinda boring, but I promise you it is beyond fascinating.

When I am speaking on the topic, I like to say, “If traditional economics and psychology had a baby… you would have behavioral economics.”

In a nutshell: BE is the study of why people buy. (and why they don’t)

The field came about because traditional economics had a problem…it assumed rational people making logical decisions. Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in, and so economic models are generally bad at predicting behavior.

While people are not logical, they are predictable. Understanding those concepts and trends of how the brain works (and how people will make decisions) is the study of behavioral economics.

In my business and on my podcast, I get to dig into research studies about the brain and behavior, which I absolutely love. And, because it is a really new field, I also get to design studies (I currently have one running with a financial institution in Oregon which is attempting to help people to save without the use of matching funds).

Subconscious Rules

Did you know that 99% of buying behavior is done on a subconscious level? Yes, you read that right. 99%. (I have seen a study as high as 99.999% and the lowest I have seen is 95%, which I can provide to you if you interested in digging into the research.)

So, what does that mean for you and your bank?

A lot.

If you were going to sit down and plan a promotion, or product, or your brand, or branch goal, or advertising campaign, or (you get the picture) what part of your brain do you think you are using?

That’s right: your conscious brain.

But that is not how people work.

If you find yourself saying “should” a lot (i.e. “people should do this!” or “everyone should want to download this…” (and were then surprised when they didn’t) this is why:

People do not do what they “should” do. Instead, they listen to their subconscious brain (which is driven by visuals and strange rules of thumb that often seem to make no sense).

You may find yourself thinking, “How much difference could it really make? They will get to logic eventually, right?” or “Our customers will find us…anyone who doesn’t get the logic just isn’t right for our bank.” I have news for you.

There are many (many) studies which show the differences a small tweak can make. For example, in one study (which I will talk about in my presentation at the MEGA Conference), the change of one word (yes, one) resulted in a 38% increase in sales.

And the word is not what you would think. (But, it is something that is easy to replicate and test in your bank.)

What would you do if overnight your conversions increased by 38%? I know I would be pretty darn excited!

That is where I come in. I help banks to incorporate the nuance of BE into their messaging (so you don’t have to spend years of your life studying it) to increase conversions and encourage people to get loans, checking accounts, engage, etc. You can get regular tips on making your bank more “brain friendly” via my podcast, The Brainy Business, which is now available on iTunes, Android, and other players. And, we can talk about it at the MEGA Conference if you attend my sessions on September 26 – I look forward to meeting you!

Melina Palmer is the founder of The Brainy Business and host of The Brainy Business podcast. She loves to bring innovative practices to organizations and help bring Behavioral Economics concepts from academia into application.

Hear more from Melina during the Mega Conference Marketing Track on Wednesday, September 26.