The Science Behind Social Shopping: Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

Korean moisturizer.

An acupuncture mat.

These are just a few of the objects I’ve purchased on Instagram over the past couple months – mainly because an influencer told me to.

I’m not alone. Today’s shopper doesn’t head to the mall when she’s bored; she opens her phone.

In fact, according to HubSpot’s 2024 Consumer Trends survey, 25% of social media users have bought a product from directly within a social media app in the past three months.

As Adam Ortman, Founder and President of Kinetic319, puts it, “Each scroll and swipe is a potential opportunity, offering a dopamine-driven delight that our brains are hardwired to chase.”

Here, let’s jump into the psychology behind why social shopping is rising steadily in popularity in 2024.

1. It taps into our inherent desire for instant gratification.

As humans, we live for the short-term dopamine fix. When we’re bored, stressed, or tired, it’s all-too easy to give in to the urge for a little “boost” in our day – be it new sunglasses, a new top, or that fancy face wash influencers’ have been boasting about for weeks.

As Ortman told me, “It’s all about the thrill of the find and the joy of the ‘buy now’ buzz. This clever algorithmic design keeps consumers coming back for more, eager for that next like, comment, or, in this case, purchase opportunity.”

Consumer Psychologist Shilpa Madan agrees with Ortman that the short-term gratification we receive from purchasing on social media is partially what keeps us coming back.

As she puts it, “The ease with which transactions can be completed on these platforms caters to the consumer’s desire for instant gratification—a key factor in impulse buying. This seamless experience, coupled with the rich media and entertainment value of social shopping, increases the willingness to ‘click-to-buy’.”

2. It elicits a sense of connection.

While I still occasionally enjoy scrolling through a brand’s website to shop, these days, I primarily find my next purchases on social platforms.

Consumer Psychologist Kate Odegard believes this is because I’m able to find a stronger sense of connection on social media compared to a brand’s website.

She told me, “Consumers are drawn to social commerce because it’s more like the digital version of a shopping mall than scrolling through products on a brand website. One is about connection and curation, and the other is transactional and over-optimized.”

She adds, “In the research I’ve seen, consumers who are most receptive to social commerce turn to creators and influencers for guidance. They don’t scroll through posts, but instead, purposefully look to be inspired, to interact, and to participate in creator content.”

Consider this fun, light-hearted Instagram from one of my favorite influencers, Jen Reed:

The purpose of the video is to showcase affordable outfits for springtime. But I wasn’t in the market for affordable spring-time outfits – and yet, I still watched the video, because I feel a sense of connection to Jen and want to hear what she has to say.

Additionally, Jen has cultivated a sense of community on her platform. I like the people who follow Jen; I enjoy reading their comments and responding. And that’s the connection you just can’t find on a branded website.

3. It leverages social proof – and “FOMO”.

Ah, FOMO – the feeling most of us get everytime we log onto social media and see that, while we’re re-watching Lord of the Rings, our friends are out at lavish restaurants or enjoying tropical vacations.

That same sense of FOMO can come in the form of product endorsements, as it turns out.

As Ortman puts it, “Social proof isn’t just influential; it’s amazingly motivational. It leverages trust and the ‘fear of missing out’ psychology (yes, FOMO is real) to nudge us from mere interest to ‘must have now’. It’s a potent reminder that we might be missing out on something wonderful, which fuels our desire to act immediately.”

While I didn’t realize there was real science behind this phenomenon, I’ve certainly felt its affect. Recently, I found myself purchasing an Anthropology dress because I saw three of my friends wearing it on Instagram.

And it’s not always a poor investment, either. I love the dress I bought. And I’m not alone: ​​43% of users who’ve purchased a product directly within social media in the past three months are very satisfied with their purchase.

Madan agrees. She told me, “A product-endorsing TikTok video or Instagram post, especially from one’s social circle, serves as a potent endorsement. This visibility of peer interactions and approvals taps into social influences and peer pressure, making social media an arena where shopping decisions are publicly informed and endorsed.”

4. It demonstrates the power of relatability.

Finally, social shopping hits at our desire to see our own traits mirrored back at us in the people who sell us products.

In other words: I want to buy something from someone who looks, acts, or thinks like me.

Madan says, “When shoppers see someone who mirrors their own physical attributes (or what they aspire to) — be it height, weight, or skin tone — endorsing a product, it not only validates the product’s appeal but significantly boosts their confidence in the decision to purchase.”

She adds, “Research shows that this increased confidence increases willingness to buy, reduces procrastination, and even increases the amount consumers are willing to pay. Not surprising, then, that social platforms witness such enthusiastic purchasing behaviors.”

As a Marketer, Understanding Consumer Psychology Is Key

There are aspects of marketing, like social shopping, that can be confounding to some marketers. What types of social content will convince the most number of users to click ‘buy’? And from whom?

As Ortman says, “Social media shopping thrives in its ability to weave consumer psychology with strategic marketing stages. It’s a tactical coordination of desire and decision-making, where each step is designed to lead us to purchase, proving just how intertwined consumer psychology and marketing strategy really are in the social shopping medium.”

Ultimately, understanding your target audience is the first step to cultivating strong sales on social platforms. But knowing the psychology behind it doesn’t hurt, either.

How to Level Up as a Marketer in the AI Era (The Right Way)

I can’t lie — I’ve been feeling a little AI-fatigued lately. But the reason everyone’s still talking about AI is because it’s not going away anytime soon.

The reality is it’s changing the way we work as marketers. Our State of AI report shows that more than half of marketers (60%) are using AI tools in their role.

If you’re looking to grow your career, chances are you’ll have to lean into the AI hype. That’s a good thing, though, because there are smart ways you can use AI to become a better marketer.

What’s trending in AI for marketers?

Whenever I’m thinking about career growth, it’s helpful for me to know what’s hot (and what’s not) in the marketing world.

I mentioned earlier that more and more marketers are incorporating AI into their workflows. Here are a few additional insights from our report:

The most common AI tools for marketers include chatbots (e.g., ChatGPT), AI-enhanced CRM and marketing tools (e.g., HubSpot, of course), and AI-enhanced productivity tools (e.g., G-Suite AI suggestions).
The top three use cases for AI are content creation, learning how to do things (e.g., Excel functions), and data analysis/reporting. The majority of marketers who use AI for these tasks find it very effective.
55% of marketers are using educational resources to improve their AI knowledge and skills. The top learning method is educational videos.

Let’s unpack how you can use these AI tools and strategies to your benefit.

5 Ways to Use AI for Career Development

1. Uplevel your AI skills.

I chatted with Martina Bretous, editor of our Next in AI blog, and she shared her thoughts on AI and career growth.

“People often think growing your career with AI means becoming an AI expert but that’s not the case,” says Bretous.

She continues, “If you‘re in a technical or data-driven role like data science or software engineering, there’s so much demand for machine learning and deep learning skills. AI isn’t going away any time soon, so finding ways to incorporate it into your toolbox will be incredibly valuable in the long term.”

I 100% agree with this take. While you don’t have to become an expert in all things AI, there are benefits to building your AI toolbox. An increasing number of companies are looking for marketers with AI knowledge and experience.

Educational videos (e.g., on YouTube/TikTok) and online courses are great places to start. My recommendation? Check out HubSpot Academy’s AI for Marketing course for the basics.

2. Let AI help you polish your resume.

Your resume is arguably the most important part of your job search process.

While it’s possible to create an entire resume with AI, I wouldn’t suggest doing so. Instead, I’d recommend using it more strategically to:

Clean up specific sections of your resume.
Run grammatical checks before you submit.
Fine-tune the tone based on your industry or the role.

Take this example. Here, I asked ChatGPT for help with my executive summary.

I used this prompt: “Write an executive summary for a resume that describes a marketer with 8 years of experience in content strategy, writing, and editing.”

This is the output I received:

This is pretty solid. I like how it includes specific areas of expertise, highlights related accomplishments, and notes related skills. However, I’m looking for something shorter and a little more personable.

So, I followed up with this prompt: “Please shorten the summary and make the tone more conversational.”

This is the output I received:

In terms of tone, this is definitely more in line with what I’m going for. But it did cut out many of the elements I liked about the first one — like accomplishments and skills.

Realistically, I’d probably use a combination of these outputs as inspiration and tailor the language to my own background. But this is a helpful guiding point.

3. Use AI to become better (and faster).

“One of the best ways to use AI for career development is by using it as an assistant to streamline your processes,” says Bretous.

“Have you identified tedious tasks that you could automate with AI? Whether it’s data analysis, writing, research, creating reports, doing so could save you hours that you can now use to work on exciting, high-impact projects.”

She’s right — our data says that the majority of marketers who use AI for tasks like content creation and data analysis find it very effective. And improved efficiencies are a big selling point to potential employers.

When you’re ready to optimize your marketing workflow with AI, HubSpot Academy has another great course for you.

4. Make AI prompts do the heavy lifting.

In the spirit of efficiency, my colleague Erica Santiago compiled over 200 ChatGPT prompts that you should be using as a marketer (so you don’t have to).

There are endless ways to use prompts like these in your role.

Need to come up with some blog post ideas quickly? Ask ChatGPT this: List [number] ideas for blog posts about [topic].

Or maybe you’d like to get to know your audience a little better. In that case, try this one: What are the biggest pain points of [audience] in [industry]?

Using AI for support can help free you up to focus on other areas of career growth. And you get the most out of AI when you use the right inputs.

5. Brainstorm new ideas with AI.

As a writer, there’s nothing worse than hitting a creative slump. And during our busiest seasons, it can be hard to carve out time strictly for brainstorming.

Bretous says, “One of the biggest roadblocks to growth is feeling like you don’t have enough hours in the week to brainstorm, develop and execute on ideas that will get leadership’s attention. AI comes in by giving you back valuable time so you can focus on them.”

I used a “blog post ideas” prompt as an example in the tip #4. But you can use AI as inspiration for your email campaigns, social media strategies, and more.

Who knows, maybe your next big idea will be powered by AI. (And you’ll have a little more time to execute on it.)

Career Growth, Brought to You by AI

AI offers a lot of potential for your professional development. Remember, you don’t have to be an AI expert to grow your marketing career. You just have to be an expert in using it to your advantage.

50 Marketing Buzzwords to Know and Some to Avoid

At the beginning of my marketing career, I was hit with a bunch of acronyms that sounded more like dog names than business terms: ROI, ROA, ROAS… 🥲I could even imagine fluffy Chow Chow named “ROAS” chasing after a Shih Tzu named “ROI.”

Years later, I catch myself using those terms even in everyday life. “Expensive climbing shoe? Well, they would probably be good for my cliff climbing season, so the ROI is worth it.”

If you’re planning to start with marketing and have no idea what these people are talking about, I’m bringing you the list of 50 marketing buzzwords you simply need to know. And those you need to avoid if you don’t want to sound, well… “cringe” (am I supposed to use that word? 😏) Anyways, let’s get started.

What is a marketing buzzword?

A marketing buzzword is a catchy word or phrase that is often used in marketing. It can be technical or describe strategies, tactics, or consumer behaviors.

Marketers love using them because:

Buzzwords catch people’s attention.
They make things sound new and cool.
They simplify complex stuff.
Using them shows you know your stuff.
They make people feel something.
Helps brands be different.
They can go viral online.
Buzzwords stick in your mind.
They encourage discussion.
Helps with search engines.

Buzzwords can pop up anywhere marketing is discussed — presentations, meetings, articles, social media. They might seem complex, but understanding the basic idea behind them is usually easy.

Example

“Brand loyalty” means customers consistently prefer and trust one brand over others. For instance, I always buy Sea to Summit down sleeping bags because I trust its second-to-none quality in ultralight equipment — that’s brand loyalty in action.

50 Marketing Buzzwords to Know

Brand Awareness & Identity 

Brand Awareness: Making sure people know your brand → Ex: Seeing your logo and instantly recognizing it.
Brand Identity: The special look and feel that makes your brand different → Ex: The unique design of your product packaging.
Brand Storytelling: Connecting with customers through stories about your brand → Ex: Sharing real-life experiences of your previous customers on SM.
Brand Personality: The human-like qualities people see in your brand → Ex: Being seen as trustworthy and reliable.
Brand Positioning: Figuring out where your brand fits in the market compared to others → Ex: Emphasize the best customer service you have.
Brand Advocacy: Happy customers who tell others about your brand → Ex: Someone buys your product thanks to the recommendation of your loyal customer.
Brand Voice: The personality your brand always uses in communication with the audience → Ex: Friendly tone and humor in all social media posts

Customer Focus

Customer Experience (CX): Every interaction with your brand → Ex: A website visit, a phone call, or a store visit.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): How much money a customer spends with you over time → Ex: If a loyal customer consistently spends $100 every month for five years, their CLV would be $6,000
Frictionless Experience: Making things easy for customers → Ex: One-click checkout on a website.
Personalization: Treating customers like individuals → Ex: Product recommendations based on browsing history.
Customer Effort Score (CES): How hard customers work to get your help → Ex: Use surveys after service interactions to calculate it.
Voice of the Customer (VOC): Listening to what customers say → Ex: Google reviews and social media comments.
Customer Journey: The path a customer takes to buy your stuff → Ex: A customer sees an ad online, visits your website, adds items to their cart, and then buys them.

Image Source

Marketing Channels

Direct Marketing: Sending messages straight to people who might want to buy from you → Ex: Reach out via email or social media to connect directly.
Social Media Marketing (SMM): All social media-related things you do to show off your brand and speak to your audience → Ex: Run contests on Facebook. share what happy customers say, chat with them through the comments, etc.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Getting your website to the top of search engine results → Ex: Use online ads (PPC) and SEO to make your website easy to find.
Email Marketing: Sending emails to potential and current customers → Ex: Share news, deals, or helpful info to keep people interested in your offer.
Mobile Marketing: Making your marketing work great on phones and tablets → Ex: Send text message offers or create a mobile app to reach people more easily.
Content Marketing: Making cool stuff to share online that gets people interested in you → Ex: Create blog posts, infographics, or SM content to grab attention.

Image Source

Engagement & Acquisition

Call to Action (CTA): Inspiring people to take action → Ex: “Book your free spot now!”
Lead Generation: Attracting, identifying & nurturing customers → Ex: Offer a free guide in exchange for an email address.
Demand Generation: Getting people excited about what you offer → Ex: Run online ads to show off your new product.
Conversion Rate: How many people actually convert → Ex: Track how many website visitors become paying customers.

Image Source

Measurement

Attribution Modeling: Figuring out what made someone buy something → Ex: Check if a customer bought something because of your SM ad or your website.
Sentiment Analysis: Knowing if your customers are satisfied → Ex: Analyze the feeling behind customer reviews.
A/B Testing: Trying two options to see which one wins → Ex: Send two different email titles to see which one gets more people to open it.
Actionable Analytics: Turning data into the right ways to improve your strategy → Ex: Use website info to see which blog posts are most popular, then write more like them.
Metrics: Numbers that track how well your marketing is doing → Ex: Track how many people click on your ads or like your social media posts.
Return on Investment (ROI): Money you make back vs. money you spend → Ex: Track how much money a campaign brings in to see if it’s worth it.

Image Source

Marketing Techniques

Influencer Marketing: Partnering with SM influencers to promote your brand → Ex: Fitness instructor wearing your new gym collection.
Cause Marketing: Partnering with a social cause to promote your brand → Ex: Donate a portion of proceeds to charity.
Growth Hacking: Using creative marketing methods for quick expansion → Ex: Launch a viral TikTok campaign and start some new trend there.
User-Generated Content (UGC): Content made by creators rather than by the brand itself → Ex: You can pay UGC creators to create content for your site or use real customers’ videos which is always the best option.

Image Source

Advanced Marketing Concepts

Artificial Intelligence (AI): Machines handling tasks and giving marketing insights → Ex: Use AI to help you write interesting emails and offers for higher engagement.
Big Data: Huge datasets studied to find marketing trends → Ex: Analyze customer purchase data to identify popular product combinations for upselling opportunities.
Cloud Marketing: Using cloud software for marketing and data storage → Ex: Use HubSpot for easier campaign management and team collaboration.
Conversational Marketing: Talking with customers through chat → Ex: Implement a chatbot on your site to answer common customer questions and qualify leads 24/7.
Disruptive Marketing: Bold ads that break norms and get people talking → Ex: Launch an SM campaign with a surprising video ad to grab attention and increase brand awareness.
Earned Media: Free positive press coverage → Ex: Partner with relevant magazines and portals to generate positive reviews.
Employee Advocacy: Staff promoting your brand → Ex: Encourage your employees to share company news on their SM.
Freemium: Offering a free basic service with paid upgrades → Ex: Give your software a free trial to show its value and convert users to paying customers.

Image Source

Competitive Analysis

Competitive Analysis: Knowing your competition and market → Ex: Identify main competitors and their strengths/weaknesses.
Competitive Landscape: The market with all players → Ex: Identify main competitors and their attributes.
Competitive Advantage: Standing out from competitors → Ex: Emphasize superior customer service.
Competitive Benchmarking: Comparing your brand to competitors → Ex: Track market share and brand awareness.

Image Source

Marketing Attribution

Multi-Touch Attribution: Recognizing customers interact with various channels before buying → Ex: Use software to track customer journeys and channel influence.
First Touch Attribution: Crediting the initial channel a customer engaged with → Ex: Give credit to the first social media ad that caught attention.
Last Touch Attribution: Giving all credit to the final touchpoint before purchase → Ex: Credit the email with the discount code that sealed the deal.
Position-Based Attribution: Splitting credit between first and last touchpoints, weighting closer to purchase → Ex: Divide credit between the initial product introduction and reminder email.
Data-Driven Attribution: Using data to find the best attribution model. → Ex: Analyze which channels consistently drive conversions.

Image Source

15 Marketing Buzzwords to Avoid

Disruptive: Vague and doesn‘t tell customers what’s actually new or better.
Best-in-class: Subjective and doesn’t tell why your product is the best choice.
Paradigm shift: Overused and doesn’t explain how your product changes things.
Actionable insights: It’s corporate jargon and doesn’t tell customers what kind of useful information you have.
Thought leader: Sounds arrogant and doesn’t let your accomplishments speak for themselves.
Low-hanging fruit: Downplays the value you deliver and might not be easy to achieve anyway.
Growth hacking: It can imply unethical tactics and doesn’t focus on building trust with customers.
Agile: It’s meaningless without explaining how you actually adapt to customer needs.
Synergy: It‘s fluffy and doesn’t tell customers the specific benefits of a partnership.
Guru: It sounds self-important and doesn’t position you as a helpful resource.
Game-changer: It’s overhyped.
Dominate (the market): It sounds aggressive and pushy.
Futureproof Your Business: It uses fear tactics and doesn’t highlight how your product helps businesses thrive.
Content is King: It’s an exaggeration and too overused. Only high-quality content that resonates with customers is king–not any type of content.
Innovative: No one trusts this word anymore. Everyone calls themselves “innovative” nowadays.

Image Source

16 ChatGPT-ish words & Phrases to Avoid

The special category goes to ChatGPT-ish words that every single marketer needs to avoid because they scream AI😱:

Explore
Captivate
Tapestry
Leverage
Resonate
Dynamic
Testament
Delve
Elevate
Embrace
Navigate
Realm
Transformation
Unlock
Uncover
And the Oscar goes to“In today’s fast-paced digital world” 🤡

Image Source

After going through this list, you might feel there are a lot of “restricted” words to use but worry not. If you know how to incorporate the word properly, it’s okay to slip in some of the prohibited words in your copy.

Just remember to be human and yourself in writing. Don’t be a robotic, boring machine that won’t sell anything to anyone. And that’s it. That’s how you’ll be a good marketer.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2012 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

How Clickbait Works: The Psychology Behind Clickbait

In this online era, it’s hard — if not impossible — to surf the web without coming across clickbait. I remember an era when all I could find were clickbait titles that lured me, such as “10 Tips to Help You Lose Weight in a Week.” What I’d find in these articles was little to no information about the topic; rather, the page would be filled with ads.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get people to pay attention in the age of social media, especially with the amount of online content. Thus, content writers increasingly turn to clickbait to stand out and achieve those valuable clicks.

Although some titles might surprise you, it’s gotten easier to identify what clickbait is and isn’t. But have you ever wondered why/how the clickbait works? What’s the psychology behind it that makes it nearly impossible to resist the click?

Let’s look at the science behind clickbait and how you can understand the common tricks used.

What’s considered clickbait?

To define the term, clickbait is content that “draws in interest and drives visitors to click a link that leads to a particular web page,” which all content marketers hope to achieve with their work.

The promise of amazing, thought-provoking, or startling information lies in clickbait, enticing us to click on the link. This includes every kind of content on the web, such as blogs, videos, infographics, news stories, interviews, etc., with a dramatic headline.

It’s important to remember that the key difference between clickbait and engaging material is that the former is typically low-quality. Thus, clickbait has a bad reputation in the world of content marketing. That explains why it’s now more important to focus on content that your readers want.

Looking for more guidance on building great content? You can check out our blog post templates to help elevate your content.

Common Clickbait Techniques

One of the more popular clickbait strategies is using controversial headlines. These attention-grabbing headlines frequently use dramatic language or exaggerated claims to encourage readers to click the link. Here are some examples:

“X Things You Won’t Believe About…”
“X Beauty Secrets that’ll Change Your Life”
“Ultimate Guide to Ranking Your Article in a Week”

Image Source

Apart from these sensationalized headlines, other clickbait tactics include emotive language and imagery. Also, clickbait headlines frequently include strong emotional terms like “shocking,” “amazing,” and “heartbreaking” to pique the user’s interest. Additionally, you can expect the header images to be visually appealing and emotionally engaging.

Let’s check out a few common samples:

“Shocking Things You Didn’t Know About X Celebrity”
“X Heartbreaking Stories About These Disney Stars You Should Know About”
“You’ll Never Guess These Amazing Techniques for Getting Clearer Skin”

Image Source

Another popular clickbait strategy is instilling a sense of urgency in us, making us want to click the link immediately to avoid missing out on something significant. Headlines with a sense of urgency, such as “Breaking news” or “You won’t believe what happened next,” intrigue readers to learn more.

Such headlines frequently take advantage of our anxiety over missing something significant, such as:

“You Won’t Believe How You Can Double Your Income in X Days”
“Breaking News: Why Were These Celebrities Shunned from the Oscars”
“The Secret to Understanding Your Sleeping Habits”

Considering these tactics, it’s easy to understand why clickbait content successfully grabs readers’ attention and encourages interaction. In fact, having a deeper understanding of these clickbait methods allows you to use clickbait responsibly to produce interesting content that genuinely informs and educates the user rather than deceives them.

Why Clickbait Works

A recent BuzzSumo study on the most shared headlines examined over 100 million stories and found that the phrases that generated the most engagement were “for the first time!” “you need to,” and “…of all time.”

Now, let’s come to why clickbait still grabs readers’ attention. How a headline is worded or presented can significantly impact how readers view the story. If it is made more memorable and engaging, the reader is more likely to notice, process, retain, and interact with certain information.

According to that theory, clickbait titles are effective because they appeal to our curiosity and need for immediate satisfaction. This brings us to our next point, which better explains the theory.

The Curiosity Gap

Although the idea behind the curiosity gap has existed for centuries, it wasn’t until recently that it was given a formal introduction/definition and name. The curiosity gap has gained popularity in the marketing and advertising industries to attract more customers and boost engagement.

Here’s where your content strategy can truly benefit from the psychology of curiosity gaps. If you have something that prompts readers to wonder about something they don’t know or seek more information about, they’ll click immediately to find the answers.

People succumb to clickbait for the same reason — curiosity. One could find it alluring to adopt a more sinister and deceitful strategy to capitalize on curiosity.

However, the curiosity gap works differently.

When creating content, it’s necessary to keep things open-ended since this provides you with a wonderful opportunity to employ creativity to satisfy your audience’s curiosity.

If you give them an unknown and then withhold the answer, you will lose their trust completely, eventually leading to lost followers.

Example of the Curiosity Gap

Here’s an example headline: “The ‘March Madness’ Effect on Company Culture — Win or Bust?” Now, let’s consider how this will pique readers’ interest.

Every American has at least heard of March Madness. My knowledge of the term piques my interest. How does basketball apply to business? Have I seen this at my workplace? I want to know more so I can understand the connection.

Numbers & Lists

Organization appeals to people, so numbers and lists are useful icons for quickly classifying information.

One simple and efficient technique to play the numbers game is to use headlines with numerals and list items. Generally, you must always use precise numbers to look confident and present yourself as an authority to users, leads, and clients.

Example of Using Numbers in the Headline

Let’s take this article, “5 Steps to Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan [Free Templates]” as an example. Notice how the headline clearly states the number and shows the readers a step-by-step process, which plays well into the psychology of organizing with numbers.

My Chrome browser is almost always a mess. I have so many tabs open with tasks to do and articles to read. Seeing a number helps me make a guess of how long it’ll take me to read the piece. Beyond that, I’ll be able to see how far along I am in the article as I read.

Finding How to Use ClickBait Best

A catchy and clickbaity headline may intrigue readers to visit a website. Nevertheless, clickbait typically does very little to encourage conversions and only succeeds in increasing visitors.

When a user clicks on a headline and believes that the content doesn’t provide the answer they want, they will quickly leave the website — increasing the website’s bounce rate.

You can guarantee more genuine engagement by understanding how to leverage curiosity better and understand unique concerns. Clickbait serves the same purpose by generating a psychological gap in curiosity or the urge to learn more.

So, without question, clickbait headlines are effective in drawing readers in and encouraging clicks when used correctly. Ultimately, providing true value in your content is more ethical and provides more significant results for your business than merely employing a misleading headline to drive traffic to your website.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.