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

In this article, we’ll explain how 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 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 when making a decision, hesitate, and look for more reasons to buy, marketers use this approach to provide them with these reasons at the right time and in the right place.

To understand how nudge marketing works, remember the last time you bought fries or a cup of coffee at McDonald’s. 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 price difference between medium and large portions is not that tangible. As a result, they make seemingly independent decisions and spend more money, and both parties are satisfied.

Nudge marketing technique

Some people consider nudge marketing manipulative, which can be debated. Essentially, nudges are not clickbait or spam. They appeal to consumers’ psychology, interests, preferences, motivators, buying habits, and values. So, when implementing nudge marketing, brands consider previous customers’ experiences and needs, which allows us to call this approach personalized. Brands using nudges manage to make the buying process less stressful for clients, create personalized and targeted offers, and 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 may be familiar to you since these are well-known tips that help convert more site visitors into customers. You can analyze your conversion rate, single out 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 a lack of seats for an event, it sticks in our mind. Next time we see a time-limited offer, our subconscious reminds us of this painful experience. As a result, we are afraid of missing another valuable deal and make impulse purchases.

Marketers are familiar with this phenomenon and use it quite effectively to drive more sales. Take a look at 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 that you are hesitating about which restaurant to visit, and you see that one of them has a long queue. You will probably consider it the best choice since people have already been there and trust it.

Social proof means that people look up to companies’ existing clients’ or thought leaders’ opinions and make decisions accordingly. They trust the choice of authoritative people. Marketers use this strategy to drive leads’ attention and convert them into clients. Below you can see how a company encourages users to leverage their services with the help of social proof.

Nudge marketing

Product Labels

Placing a functional product label is the new black today. Brands follow the most popular trends and use them in their selling techniques to increase revenue. They enhance product characteristics with unique features people can’t ignore. Eco-awareness and recycling are gaining momentum today, so brands don’t miss the opportunity to show that they care about our planet.

The North Face knows something about nudge marketing and uses this technique to promote the company’s 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 multiple versions of the same product or several pricing plans. The goal is to persuade a customer to buy the most expensive product by presenting other items’ features as less valuable in comparison to it. This way, customers are sure that this most expensive item is the best choice. Examples of this phenomenon includes selling small, medium, and large portions of coffee or fries, where the difference between medium and large portions is insignificant.

Spotify provides a comparison table for users to choose the best fit for them. The most expensive option immediately strikes the eye with its long list of features and little price difference.

Nudge marketing

Now that you know the most effective nudge marketing techniques, we’ll share some inspiring examples 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 a dress with a discount by informing them that several clients have already purchased it during the last 48 hours. This way, a brand creates scarcity using customers’ fear of missing out.

Nudge marketing

Volkswagen ran an experiment in 2009. The brand was looking for a way to make more people take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. They created a fun piano staircase, which made 66% of people choose the stairs.

Hubbub, an environmental organization, used a nudge marketing approach to reduce cigarette litter. The company placed 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 some inspiration from the examples above, so create your perfect campaign and blow up sales!

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