CXL minidegree Digital Psychology and Persuasion Review Part 9

5 min readOct 4, 2020


Today’s post is going to mark my 9th week with CXL while enrolling in their minidegree, Digital Psychology and Persuasion. This post would be different than usual, as I am mixing up the ways this post is structured. The course that I am covering today would be Digital psychology & behavioral design training by Brian Cugelman.

Now, let’s breakdown Netflix’s sign-up process from an emotional standpoint. This emotional audit helps us to get a rough idea on how

• emotional design is used in Netflix’s registration process and
• content is used to target the emotional motivators of potential customers

At the landing page with the headline ‘See What’s Next’, users are teased with the anticipation of the future. The play of emotions continues with the subheadline ‘WATCH ANYWHERE. CANCEL ANYTIME’. The caps got your attention right? That’s them fully utilizing font psychology to grab your attention from straying.

With ‘WATCH ANYWHERE’. They are implying the benefit of able to watch anywhere while implicitly pressure you that without Netflix’s subscription you can’t watch anywhere you wish. This master play of emotion doesn’t just stop there and continued with the next part of the subheadline ‘CANCEL ANYTIME’. This particular line gives the customer a sense of freedom or rather a feeling of not being trapped with contracts that will empty their wallet. Here this line plays an important role as to remove the friction in proceeding towards the next step by alleviating their fear.

Following this masterpiece line is a strong call to action ‘JOIN FREE FOR A MONTH’ which motivates the customers to move further along the sales funnel. Why does this work? This is because joining the membership for a month without paying is a risk-free action that benefits them.

Following this strong CTA(Call To Action), Netflix positions itself as a service provider that helps the customers out from troubles. How do they do that? Well, they do it by reemphasizing their main USP again with phrases like No Commitments Cancel Online At Anytime and Watch Anywhere and appropriate visual to accompany their USP.

Following the incentive, the customers are lead to step 1 out of their 3 steps. This is used to foreshadow that they have to complete only 3 steps which require less commitment and show them it is a very simple and direct process. However, it should be noted that this step should be avoided if you have many steps to be completed, as it would create a negative impact on continuing the action.

In step 1 main landing page the customers were shown that they are in control with the headline ‘Choose your plan’. Their freedom of choice was further solidified with the subheadline of ‘Chose from any of our three plans and you won’t be charged until after your free month ends’. The subheading succeeds in reducing the fear of the pessimistic customers and turns them into optimistic buyers with the guarantee that; they won’t be charged until their free month ends.

Another sneaky tactic used here is that we should observe the use of 3 in the number of choices of pricing plan to be chosen from. The number 3 has always been a sweet spot psychologically as it does not load the brain nor it seems to be an inferior number to average customers. Hence, the customers will not abandon the idea of purchase due to the paradox of choices available for them.

Following the subheading, another strong CTA of ‘SEE THE PLANS’ encouraged customers continue with the flow by clicking on the CTA.
Now that they have clicked the button they came to the pricing table. The pricing table contains 3 packages which are basic, standard, and premium. Here they are triggered by the heading ‘Choose the plan that is right for you’ to look at the pricing table.

However, it was the next line that reduces fear and increases the possibility of customers choosing the premium package. This is because the phrase ‘Downgrade or upgrade at any time’ clearly reduces the fear of having to stick with one plan even if they had a change of mind. They are upselled further with unique features and benefits which are only available to premium subscribers. This particular technique works most of the time as it builds some sort of feeling of loyalty to the customers.

Now that they are aware of the benefits, they are pushed to create a Netflix account by making them feeling loss as they could not watch anywhere if they are not subscribed to Netflix.
Since the customers are convinced they make it ridiculously easy to sign up and make sure the customers knew it with loyalty boosting phrases such as ‘Just two more steps and you’re done!’ and ‘We hate paperwork, too’.

Finally, when the customer agrees and subscribed to a plan they would be redirected to the payment page. Again here,

the customers are tactfully pressurized into buying with phrases that will guarantee their right to cancel anytime and the company’s promise to them to remind them 3 days prior to the free-trial expiry date.

Now it’s going to be redundant, but when I sum up the main framework used in the emotion design of the Netflix signing up process it was,
To reduce the fear and repeat your message until it sticks to the customers' head.

By now it should be clear that the sign-up process of Netflix will predominantly use the following three major messages in a repeated cycle to be enforced in their customer’s mind:

No commitment, cancel anytime
The first month is free
You can use Netflix everywhere at any time

With all that been settled, I would like to give out my personal verdict on this week’s lesson. Has it achieved its aim to educate marketers on the essence of behavioral design, while developing a broad perspective on the psychology of online behavior? Yes, it does. It is pretty much self-explanatory from just a practical analysis of Netflix’s signing up process by Brian Cugelman which has provided many useful insights. In fact, much other valuable knowledge I had gained from this week is not covered in this post. However, I would like you to check it out yourself to find out what you are missing out.
See you next week!




B2B Financial Copywriter specialized in getting financial brands bigger bottom-line impact with conversion-driven copy.