When people talk about using psychology to get more sales it can sound like manipulation or mind control, but it’s not that extreme.

It just means using basic principles of psychology to your advantage, something that marketers and advertisers have done for years.

These tips will help you stand out based on what gets people’s attention and makes them feel like you have something that is worth spending their money on.

Here are 6 ways to use psychology to get more crowdfunding pledges:

1. People buy based on emotions, but facts help too

Most buying decisions are emotional – you want something, or need something. When forced to choose between similar products and services, people usually go with the one that makes them feel good. The one with the most appealing packaging or memorable ads.

Who has the most appealing packaging or memorable ads?

Buying starts with your emotions and then you use the facts. Facts help you to rationalize and convince yourself that your decision was a good one. That’s why it’s good to appeal to people’s emotions but they also need to be able to find more information to back it up.

2. Most of us are at least a little narcissistic

I mean that when faced with the decision to back your campaign, people need to know what’s in it for them. Creators of crowdfunding campaigns that constantly repeat things like, “I need to raise money for” or “Help me launch my business/product/idea” but never talk about the benefits to backers are missing the point.

The idea is to get your potential backers hooked on your idea. Whatever you are selling, you need to convince them that they need it and explain how you will improve their lives on some level.

It’s still important to tell your story and show who you are during a crowdfunding campaign, but make sure that you balance it out. Communicate the benefits to your backers and why you are passionate about what you are funding.

3. Social proof and human interest are key

If no one else is backing you and people have never tried your product, potential backers will be hesitant to back your project. If they search for your name and nothing comes up on the internet, they might not feel like you are a real company, creator, or artist.

That’s why it’s essential that you try to get reviews, testimonials, media coverage, and other social proof before you launch. The more proof there is that other people approve of your project and think that it’s cool, the more people are going to jump to back it too.

This is one of the reasons that getting in the media can give you a massive leg up with your campaign. Don’t hesitate to submit a press release today!

4. Don’t give people too many options at once

Too many options can overwhelm people, so try to narrow your reward options down to the essentials so that it is easy for people to decide. Plan to have a few main reward tiers, some for super backers, and maybe one or two for backers who can only pledge a few dollars.

This way you have everyone covered and it’s easy for people to tell which tier they are going to want to choose. Make sure your reward tiers easily differentiated. This is one place where getting feedback from friends and family before you launch can help.

Note: Check out 21 Ways to Promote Your Crowdfunding Campaign for more great tips!

5. Be open about your shortcomings

Nothing is perfect, so if you claim to be people will get suspicious. Openness and honesty in marketing are appreciated these days, especially in crowdfunding. Since a lot of times people are funding an idea or only have a prototype to show potential backers, it takes backers a certain amount of faith in a creator’s ability to reach their goal.

Be honest about problems that you could potentially run into during the manufacturing and shipping process, what happens if you don’t reach your goal or go way over, any product features that you might be unsure about, etc.

Your backers will appreciate your honesty. They will also be more likely to back you again if you don’t sell them a perfect picture that doesn’t turn out to be true.

6. Know that people hate risk and love convenience

People don’t like taking risks and they love convenience. These are a couple of things that you should keep in mind when you are putting together your crowdfunding campaign video and text. For example, if you are using an all-or-nothing platform like Kickstarter you can mention how your backers are only charged if you reach your goal.

For example, if you are using an all-or-nothing platform like Kickstarter you can mention how your backers are only charged if you reach your goal. That means less risk for them since your project won’t continue to go forward if it is under-funded and run into problems.

You can also look at it by asking yourself, “How does my product or service reduce risk and create convenience in people’s lives?” You should answer these questions somewhere in your pitch to convince backers that you are a safe bet and that they will gain something from backing your campaign, or at least won’t lose anything.


Using psychology to your advantage in crowdfunding, fundraising, and entrepreneurship doesn’t automatically make you evil and manipulative. Psychology can help you get your point across effectively and grab the attention of your ideal customers.

It involves learning to speak your customers’ language and earning their respect. It’s learning communicate the emotions you want your customers to feel about your product, brand, idea, or creative project using stories and the senses like sounds and visuals.

If you truly want to boost your funding meter, we can help!

the author

Krystine Therriault is the community manager for CrowdCrux and has helped creators with their crowdfunding projects on KickstarterForum.org. She loves learning about new trending projects and dissecting them to bring new tips and information to creators. You can find her on LinkedIn here or Twitter here.