Tim Ash | Unleash Your Primal Brain: Tapping the Unconscious to Move People to Action

Reading Time: 14 minutes


Tim outlines facts about our primal brain and how we can use these insights in our marketing efforts. Our primal brain wants easy choices that gain resources for us. Tim outlines 5 evolutionary principles and 15 action points marketers can take to increase their conversion rates.


Tim Ash is an acknowledged authority on evolutionary psychology and digital marketing. He is a sought-after international keynote speaker, and the bestselling author of Unleash Your Primal Brain and Landing Page Optimization.


“Your website visitors are lazy, impatient, and like simple choices.” 

“The default response of the brain is to do nothing & conserve energy.” 

“Pain and the potential for loss are the strongest motivators. Pain avoidance is approximately twice as powerful as positive motivation.” 

“We overvalue things that we own or have a chance to influence.” 

“Our visual hierarchy values first motion, then images, then text.” 

“Giving someone a gift obligates the receiver. They feel obligated to give you something of equal or greater value.” 

Action Points

1.Their Default is to Do Nothing

Make your most profitable option the default 

Add a subscription or auto-renew 

2. Pain Avoidance is the Strongest Motivator 

Don’t sell the positive outcome first 

Focus on the pain and amplify it 

Start with the fully loaded version & make people remove options 

3. Overvaluing Things we Own 

Let people test-drive your product or service 

Extend your free trial generously 

Encourage customization & configuration 

Give people the illusion of control 

4. Harness our Visual Hierarchy 

Remove distracting motion (banners, autoplay video) 

Minimize powerful graphics 

Emphasize calls-to-action 

5. The Power of Free 

Consider testing free versus low-cost offers 

Allow free trials and make them long 

Figure out what gifts you can offer