Nudge marketing is a selling technique that implies manipulating customer behavior to close more deals. Marketers use psychological insights to speed up the decision-making process.

In this article, we'll explain the way nudge marketing works, share some effective techniques, and provide inspiring examples. Stay tuned!

How does nudge marketing work?

Nudge marketing is about discovering psychological mechanisms that influence customers' purchasing decisions. Nudge is a kind of motivator that makes people buy. So, nudge marketing aims to transform this stressful decision-making process into a pleasant customer experience. Since leads often feel uncomfortable during the decision process, hesitate and look for more reasons to buy, marketers use this approach to provide them with these reasons at the right time and place.

To understand the way nudge marketing works, remember the last time you bought fries in McDonald's or a cup of coffee. In both situations, clients choose whether to buy a small, medium, or large portion. This is a win-win for both parties because customers have a choice and often prefer the large portion since the difference in price between medium and large variants is not that tangible. As a result, they seem to make independent decisions, spend more money, and both parties are satisfied.

Nudge marketing technique

Some people consider nudge marketing manipulative, but this fact is controversial. Nudges are not clickbait and spam in essence. They appeal to consumers’ psychology, deal with their interests, preferences, motivators, buying habits, and values. So, when implementing nudge marketing, brands consider previous customers’ experiences and needs, which lets us call this approach personalized. Brands using nudges manage to make the buying process less stressful for clients, create personalized and targeted offers, improve their sales funnel.

To make this strategy work for your business, we’ll share some practical ideas that will help you increase sales.

Nudge Marketing Techniques

Some of the ideas will be familiar for you since these are well-known tips that help convert more site visitors into customers. So, you can analyze your sales, think of the strategies that helped you convert more leads, and implement them in your nudge marketing campaign.


Each of us has once missed some profitable opportunity; whether it was a missed 50% discount on a sweater or lack of seats for the performance, it sticks in our mind. The next time we meet a time-limited offer, our subconscious reminds us about this painful experience. This phenomenon is called fear of missing out. As a result, a person is afraid of missing another valuable deal, makes impulse purchases.

Marketers are familiar with this phenomenon and use it quite effectively to drive more sales. You can see an example of an email campaign promoting a hot deal with the help of FOMO.

Nudge marketing

Social Proof

This is another powerful marketing technique that encourages people to take action. Let’s say you are hesitating about which restaurant to visit. You see that one of them has a long queue. Suppose, that will make you consider it the best choice since people have already been there and trust it.

Social proof means that people look at the behavior of large groups of clients or opinion leaders and make a decision accordingly. They trust the choice of authoritative people. Marketers use this strategy to drive the attention of leads and convert them into clients. Below you can see how a company encourages users to use their services with the help of social proof.

Nudge marketing

Product Labels

Placing a functional product label is a new black today. Brands follow the most popular trends and use them in their selling techniques to increase their revenue. They enhance product characterizes with some unique features which people can’t ignore. Eco-awareness and recycling are gaining momentum today, so brands don’t miss their opportunities to take advantage of these facts. Besides, people buying eco products and recycled items feel that they care about our planet.

The North Face knows something about nudge marketing and uses this technique to promote their clothes from recycled materials. This way, the brand positions itself as eco-aware and helps customers feel that they bring value by buying their goods.

Nudge marketing

Decoy Effect

This marketing technique is used by companies that provide several options for the same product or several pricing plans. The goal is to persuade a customer to buy the most expensive product by demonstrating the features of others on its background less valuable. This way, customers are sure that this most expensive item is the best choice. An example of this phenomenon includes selling small, medium, and large portions of coffee or fries, where the difference between medium and large options is insignificant.

Spotify provides a comparison table for users to choose the best fit for them. The most expensive option strikes an eye immediately with its bunch of features while the price difference is not that big.

Nudge marketing

Now that you know the most effective techniques, we’ll share some more inspiring examples of nudge marketing that stand out from the crowd.

Examples of Nudge Marketing

We’ll provide online and offline examples of nudge marketing for you to see that this technique can be used in different industries and formats.

Misguided encourages users to buy this super-hot dress with a discount by informing them that several clients have purchased it during the last 48 hours. This way, a brand creates scarcity and fear of missing out.

Nudge marketing

Volkswagen ran an experiment in 2009. The brand was looking for a way to make more people choose the stairs instead of the elevator. They created a piano staircase which people found fun. Besides, 66% more people than normally preferred stairs.

The environmental organization Hubbub used a nudge marketing approach to reduce cigarette litter. It placed the Ballot Bins to ask people about trendy events and encourage them to keep the streets clean. This marketing campaign offered people to choose the best football player in the world.


Congrats, now you know how nudge marketing works, have some effective techniques at hand and can grab the inspiration from the examples above, so create your perfect campaign and blow up sales!

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