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How to use mirror neurons to drive sales?

Mirror neurons control our lives. You can achieve much more than you expected by controlling mirror neurons.

In 1992 Giacomo Rizzolatti and his team were studying macaque monkeys. Poor things had electrodes connected to their heads 24/7 as they were registering all monkeys reactions to the environment. One hot summer day a student brought an ice-cream in the lab. Monkeys stared longingly at the delicious-looking cone. And when a student licked the ice-cream, monkeys’ neurons associated with eating fired up. Blip-blip-blip went computers. The creatures did not even move but their brains were emitting signals that mirrored the actions of the student they were observing. This is how scientists discovered mirror neurons — and it changed the course of behavioural science completely.

What does it mean in practice: our brain sends the same signals when we act and when we observe someone performing the same action. But not all actions. Monkeys brains did not send any mirroring signals when student was crossing the room or when they were working with the computer.

Multiple experiments proved 3 things:

  1. Mirror neurons fire up only when observe targeted actions (actions involving objects). Moreover, mirror neurons can fire not only when we see someone in cation but even when we read about it.

  2. They fire up only when someone has our full attention (or at least, more attention than anything else in this particular moment)

  3. People’s brains are no different from macaques’ brains as far as mirror neurons go.

So, now you know the secret: You watch a soccer game, your favourite team scores a goal and you pump your arm in the air — mirror neurons.

You’re at the movies, the heroine starts weeping because of the lost puppy and you feel tears welling up in your eyes — right, mirror neurons are to blame again.

You watch the blockbuster and notice that you have that alpha-male stride in your step even 30 minutes after you left the cinema — them again.

Accent we pick after sticking around a group of people with a specific accent. Babies sticking out their tongs when they see an adult doing so. You wincing when you see someone in physical pain. On an on it goes. There’s no way to overestimate the effect of mirror neurons play in your life.

How to use mirror neurons to drive SaaS sales

That’s all nice but what does it have to do with startups and marketing? How can you use this knowledge to drive your sales? In a plenty of ways. Because the main thing you should remember about mirror neurons is the following: mirror neurons ensure that if we see others showing signs of pleasure when they use certain objects our brain prompts us to get access to the same objects. The “link” between seeing someone doing or experiencing something and our own experience that our brain builds might seem totally unreasonable, if not outright foolish. But it is what it is. Here are some examples on how it works.

How mirror neurons work (effect in marketing)

And here is what you can do to use mirror neurons in a less cynical but effective way.

1. Record a demo showcasing people using your product, not just the product itself.

Almost a must if you sell physical goods. If you can’t go with a video pictures will do but they are not so efficient because video gets more of your attention (see finding No 2 above). page with picture and videos of the product
Goods with video demos are sold better on Amazon than items without videos


2. Use emojis to mimic the emotional state of the user who’s using your product if you can’t or won’t use demo.

See how amazingly simple it’s done on landing page (full case study on MarkCopy and how they use priming you can read here, and here’s an article on what conventional marketing strategies they used to grow from 0 to $10K MRR).

Mirror neurons in marketing: MarkCopy uses emojis to drive emotional response


3. Use video testimonials

There’s a great tool for that —

For the reasons mentioned above video testimonials get much more attention and therefore trigger a stronger mirroring effect than pics and text.

Mirror neurons in marketing: use video testimonials to enhance the effect


4. If you use text testimonials use screenshots of them, not just texts.

Ask users to describe their experience with using your tool and what were their outcomes. This will trigger mirror neurons much better than just nice words like “it is a great tool, simply love it”. Those are mostly useless.

Mirror neurons in marketing: use pictures of testimonials

Check out how it is done on Taplio landing page. Again, there are several tools available that helps with presenting testimonials in a form of “screenshots” (the most popular being and . But you can obviously do it manually as well by embedding screenshots of the text your users have written statically on your website.


5. Ask your users to share their experience publicly

The framework should be the same as with the testimonial:

Personal experience — result — emotional state

Just stating “hey, it was a good one” will not bring the same effect.

Mirror neurons in marketing: ask users to share experience publicly


6. Share real-life stories

If you want to use text at least make it a story worth reading. ConvertKid does an amazing job with collecting a publishing success stories of their users. Very efficient for B2B SaaS as well — very few things can drive sales better than stories of your customers who admit that using your product helped them boost their revenue or solve a specific problem.

Mirror neurons in marketing: share real users stories


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