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How to use priming on SaaS landing page

Priming is not very easy to use online when you don’t have direct physical access to customers. But here's a great example of how it can be done

I have a personal experience of using priming in retail startups and even in e-comm. But I’ve been thinking for some time now, if it also can be used on landing pages. Unlike framing, which works wonders if you use numbers properly (you can read about Framing on TweetHunter landing page here), priming seems to work best when you have direct access to the customer. In this case, you have a wise choice of tools to use to inspire priming: smells, sounds and even touch (for instance, instead fluffy plush toys are rarely packaged into boxes or bags — and now you know why, touching them feels good).

But there are a number of things that can cause priming online as well. And they fall into 3 categories: visuals, copy (words) and prices.

But there are a number of things that can cause priming online as well. And they fall into 3 categories: visuals, copy (words) and prices.

To get a better grip on it let’s find the examples of priming on landing page and explain how and why they work.


Disclaimer I’m not saying team is using all these “tricks” and “hacks” to “influence” your brain. I am pretty sure they have no idea that what they are doing is called priming. They probably came up with these specific UI and UX elements because their designers and product managers know from the experience that these things work. My goal here is to explain why exactly they work. Not only in the case but in general. Because the reasons why these landing page elements have proven to be efficient have to do with the way the human mind functions. Therefore, you can take these reasons and apply them to your use case. This way, you will be copying the “why” not the “how” part.

Priming with the visuals

It has been proved by numerous experiments that seeing someone using a product makes us want to have this product — especially, when people seem happy by doing it. The reason behind it — mirror neurons (the ones that create resonating experiences). I used this insight by playing short videos in the stores where people were consuming Asian food. I also used the same videos in the online store on product pages. Reports issued by Amazon prove that products that contain videos of people using featured products are sold better than these same products from the pages of other sellers who don’t have videos (even if the price is the same or less). Therefore, using a demo showcasing people using your product, not just the product itself, would be a great way to trigger priming. However, creating those videos might be expensive and — what is also very important — slow down the page loading time considerably. What are the other options?

Priming on landing page Markcopy Ex 1

The Markcopy team has come up with a great way to trigger mirror neurons without slowing down the page load, investing into extensive videos that, honestly, are not very Gen Z-style. They are using animated emoji. It frowns when tasked with the necessity to write a compelling copy. And becomes absolutely happy when Mark — the character that represents shows up.

No, it doesn’t mean that every website visitor associates themselves with this emoji. But our brain is trained by millions of years of evolution to capture emotions in milliseconds and mirror them. When we see a grumpy face we “read” the intent and mirror the experience. When we see a smiling face — we do the same. It creates a priming effect when visitors smile as soon as they see Mark showing up. And smiling means a basic positive attitude. has just boosted its score with a random visitor causing an instant positive reaction.

Priming with the color

Have you ever wondered why “eco-friendly” logos are always green? Why does vegan food sign in a restaurant menu green too? Because there are colors that are associated with certain concepts. And our subconscious brain “reads” this color code before we start even realizing it.

What color is reserved for “tech”? Just type in the word “tech” into Google search bar and hit “search for images” (that’s what I always do to identify the basic color code for any term). You will instantly see that at least 2/3 of the images are blue. Hence, we have association: blue = advanced tech. Would the landing page have worked if the brand color was red or yellow? Probably. But blue instantly creates a priming effect and tells our brain that we’re looking at a great technological solution.

Priming on landing page Markcopy ex 2

Friendly robot Mark that represents AI also creates a priming effect. If you see a robot and not read any text — what would your impression of the product be? Two words: tech and friendly. And this is 100% priming. just got itself another score with a random website visitor.

Priming with the copy

We all know that copy is important but you probably don’t know how important it can be. Here is a fact for you.

In 2005 Brown Vonsing in 2005 quantified the power of a good copy by tweaking names on the restaurant menu. First, he asked visitors to rate meals: how good they tasted from 1 to 5. Then he started the renaming experiment. He printed out a whole new set of menus with new fancy names for the same dishes. For example,

Red beans with rice were renamed into Cajun red beans

Seafood filet turned into “Italian seafood filet”

Chocolate pudding became “Satin chocolate pudding”

Some items remained the same (as a control group). The next week the researcher asked visitors to rate the taste of the food served by the restaurant again. What do you think happened? Even though the food didn’t change, the visitors rated the taste almost 20% higher.

So, theoretically, a proper appealing language can add 20% points to your website visitor’s impression about your product.

On landing page there are several great examples of proper languaging (like “fresh ideas”, “perfect marketing copy”, etc.) but I think this one is one of the most efficient

Priming on landing page Markcopy ex 3

.Priming with questions

Another type of right languaging used for priming is questions. Several years ago a group of researchers approached customers in an electronics store, who’d entered to buy a new laptop. Half of the customers were asked about what memory needs they have, and the other half were asked what processor needs they have.

It was a simple, unrelated question about their needs. But, it had a massive impact on customers. After the customers left the store all their purchases were analyzed. The group with the memory question bought computers with higher memory and the group with the processor question bought computers with higher processor speeds. It was a great example of priming: seemingly unrelated focus of attention made customers subconsciously choose in favor of products that were related to this focus.

An example of priming questions in popular culture would be: — Are there more or less than 10000 countries in the world?

If you don’t know the answer, you would tend to give a higher number because your brain is focused on the number 10000.

Questions-related priming is used by during its onboarding process. Well-crafted questions make customers performance-focused from the get go. More changes for them to get activated, and therefore, realize the value of the service and turn into paying customers.

Priming on landing page Markcopy ex 4

Priming with prices pricing is based on the charm pricing concept that is a variation of priming.Charm pricing is when you end your prices on 9 (it can be $19 or $12,99). You might think that this technique is outdated. Or that it’s used only by old-school retailers like Macy’s. But in 2013 Gumroad ran its own research analyzing conversion rate for all the products under $6 across all categories. They found out that products that used charm pricing showed conversion rate 51% better than those without charm pricing. Reasons why charm pricing still works great are not clear yet but if there is evidence that charm pricing works why not use it?

As you can see, definitely doesn't stay away from it — and this is a smart thing to do.

Priming on landing page Markcopy ex 5

Let’s cap up what aspects of priming can be used on landing pages to improve sales or conversion rate:

— Use visuals and videos that activate mirror neurons

— use colors that are associated with your category

— Might be a great idea to create a character that would send instant emotional signal and get you “bonus scores” within the first milliseconds on the landing page

— Use fancy adjectives and words like “number one”

— Use priming questions that would help to create an impression of a great deal

— Use charm pricing

Priming on landing page


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