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What Is The Mere-exposure Effect?
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The Mere-exposure Effect is the way in which a positive reaction can be induced simply from familiarity with something.

Humans are naturally more comfortable with and positive towards things that they are familiar with and so it is both possible to elicit a positive reaction from someone by presenting them with something familiar or indeed by making something familiar to them through repeated exposure.

How Is The Mere-exposure Effect Used in Marketing?

In marketing, the Mere-Exposure Effect can be used in many ways. Of course, you want to stand out to a certain extent, but being too different from other brands that people are already familiar with could result in distrust. You can make your own brand appear instantly more familiar by basing your logo, design or features on other similar brands that already have a loyal following. This similarity, even if it is slight and will only tap in to the customer’s subconscious, will instantly make people feel more trustful of your brand. Another way is to utilise a familiar figure to help make this connection more instantaneous; for example, when brands use a celebrity endorsement, it is successful not because that celebrity is an expert on the product or industry, or even because we trust their judgment, but because they are a familiar face to us. Therefore, we are immediately drawn towards them and the product they are representing.

Examples of How To Use The Mere-exposure Effect

There are several simple ways to apply this tactic and it is used to great effect by some of the biggest brands on the planet including Dropbox.

  1. Indicate your primary Call-to-action twice or morey offering the CTA to people at different moments (at the top of the page and right at the bottom after they’ve scrolled down perhaps) you increase the chance that it is available at the time a visitor feels most inclined to act.
  2. Ensure that your call-to-action appears above the foldThe ‘fold’ is the line that separates the visible part of your webpage from the part that will only be visible once your visitor scrolls down. Your Call-To-Action (CTA) button should always be placed above the fold so that it is immediately visible when people arrive on your page..
  3. If connected via Facebook, indicate how many friends have purchased or signed upWhen we are unsure on which decision to make, studies show that we tend to imitate others’ behaviour – and none will be more persuasive than that of people we know.


Familiarity can greatly enhance browsers ability to engage with your product, and ultimately become buyers. With a few small changes to your digital marketing, you can significantly improve the speed, value and frequency of conversions.

Benjamin Ligier Benjamin’s bonus tip:
Want To Harness The Mere-exposure Effect?

Read more about this technique in our suggested mere-exposure tactics and if you want to try them out, our AB Testing feature can help!


Benjamin Ligier

by Benjamin Ligier

Benjamin is a CRO Expert at Convertize. He is passionate about design, web marketing and consumer psychology.

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