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Cognitive Ease, otherwise known as Cognitive Fluency, is quite simply the ease with which our brain processes information; this level of ease impacts how positively (or negatively) we feel about something.

The higher the cognitive ease associated with something, the more motivated we will feel to invest our time and effort in it. Whereas when cognitive ease diminishes, because the mental effort required is too much or too complex, we switch to a state of cognitive strain which can lead us to become more vigilant and suspicious resulting in a decrease in confidence, trust and pleasure. In other words, people are happier and more receptive towards familiar and easily understandable situations in which they feel safer, more confident and at ease.

How Is Cognitive Ease Used In Digital Marketing?

The Cognitive Ease principle has any applications in marketing.For example psychological studies have found that shares in companies with easier to pronounce names perform better than those whose are difficult. In digital marketing, any possible elements that can simplify a website should be used: infographics intuitive web design easy-to-read fonts and so on.

Examples of How To Use Cognitive Ease

There are a loads of simple ways to apply this tactic and it is used to great effect by global brands including Amazon, Asos, Ikea, Nike and Urban Outfitters – to name but a few! Here’s a few examples you might not have thought of…

  1. Select a price which has the smallest amount of letters
    Fewer syllables in the price make it more instantly recognisable and will make your customers feel subconsciously more comfortable and in control of their buying situation.
  2. When possible, get rid of the decimal point in the price tag
    Whenever possible, remove the decimal point from your pricing as it is not necessary and adds a little extra cognitive strain for your customer.
  3. Limit the numbers of words in your call-to-action
    Using only 2 words on your CTA, not only draws attention to it but encourages visitors to follow through on the action as it seems simple and easy.
  4. Give discounts which are simple to calculate
    Using precise, non-rounded numbers is a good way of making your prices seem smaller but one occasion when you don’t want to do this is when you’re offering discounts.
  5. Place graphs, visuals and pictures on the left-and side of the screen
    Visual elements positioned on the left are processed by the right hemisphere of the brain, which is better suited for image processing. People will “digest” the page more quickly and easily, and it will have a more pleasing effect on them.
  6. Display pop-up information when hovering over a product
    When customers hover over a product, display a pop-up product card that offers them condensed information.
  7. Whenever possible, convey messages using rhymes as they will be more easily remembered
    This stylistic device is a good way to stay longer in the minds of your customers. You can also use rhymes in your titles or subtitles to to draw attention to your CTA
  8. Prioritise active over passive voice
    A simple sentence in the active voice allows your readers to digest your message more easily, inciting a more positive reaction.
  9. Specify which form fields are optional rather than which are mandatory
    Ensuring that optional fields are clearly marked out will make the form seem both clear and obvious but also give the impression that it will be quicker to complete.
  10. When a customer selects a filter, automatically apply it to all products
    Often a customer types the colour of the desired product in the search bar. But often when typing, say, “red sofa”, the search results will be all sofas, red or not.


Cognitive Ease is one of the easiest neuromarketing principles to understand and apply, and yet it is often overlooked. With a few small changes to your digital marketing, you can significantly improve conversion rates.

What is Cognitive Ease? Benjamin’s bonus tip:
Want to Use Cognitive Ease to Drive E-commerce Revenues?

You can read more about this technique in our 21 suggested cognitive ease tactics and if you want to test them out, our AB Testing feature can help!


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