Persuasion techniques for the Internet are often quite different to persuasion techniques which are used in face-to-face situations.
In contrast to the art of face-to-face persuasion, the online world means you are unable to read physical cues such as facial expressions and body language, which in turn means that you can’t instantly adjust your delivery based on these cues.
On the Internet, your website and its various pages is mainly responsible for the task of persuading your visitors to buy your products or services.
Thus, persuading people on the Internet usually means anticipating what people want or what action they will perform next.
Factors such as the design of your site and the delivery of the content all play a significant role in shaping the user’s experience. In general, the better the experience for your visitors, the greater the chances that they will buy something from you.
Persuading people to carry out an action on your site such as making a purchase is a subtle art-form and there is no magical single way to do it.
However, there are things you can do to your website and the way you present your message which can increase the probability that somebody will perform the particular action you want them to.
Below are three tips which can help to increase the persuasive nature of your website.
1) Reduce the amount of thinking time your visitors engage in, when asked to perform a call-to-action
If you want to maximise conversion rate then you need to make it as easy as possible for your potential customers to perform a specific call-to-action such as clicking the “Buy Now” button or signing up as a member.
At the very least your site’s pages should be constructed in a way which reduces confusion.
For instance if someone landed on your page looking for something specific then give them what they are looking for and make it easy for them to buy/subscribe/join etc.
Internet marketers are now beginning to understand that eliminating or cutting down the thinking time required by the visitor in order to make a decision, greatly increases conversion rates.
One way to decrease thinking time and confusion is to limit the number of choices your visitors have when they are on your page. That is, try to offer just one product/service etc in each of your landing pages. By doing this you are effectively making the decision for your customers and removing any doubts and ambiguity.
Additionally, to enhance the customer’s experience you should always strive to make your call-to-action items such as buttons, images or links clearly visible and obvious to your visitors.
2) Talk about money or price only when your visitor wants to know
When a potential client comes to your site, you are essentially guiding their thoughts and actions through the content and structure of your website.
Therefore if you immediately thrust your pricing info at visitors as soon as they land on your site, you run the risk of eclipsing all other information contained in your sales pitch; leaving only one thought in your visitor’s mind – price.
This is not to say that pricing information should not be presented when asked for, but in most cases, price should not be the main message in your sales copy.
There are exceptions of course such as if you are by far the cheapest in your business niche and you have a reputation for being so, then pitching your sales copy based on pricing might be effective.
Another situation when you might want to make your price the main focus is if you are offering a product or service which a lot of other people are also selling. In cases such as this, most readers know they have many options for shopping around, so price might be one way to win them over.
Clever marketers are well aware that perceived value can often mean an increased willingness by customers to pay the listed price for a product. This is because the perceived value of the product in the mind of the customer far outweighs the price they are paying for it.
Hence, to successfully be able to increase the perceived value of your product, you will need to present your customers with information about the item which you are selling which will induce feelings of pleasure, excitement or promise of a solution.
For instance highlighting relevant information about your product such as the amazing features it has, or the elegant design, or even any bonus material you are offering, will help increase the perceived value in the minds of your clients.
There is however a delicate balance regarding your pricing information, in that, you should not delay the mention of pricing too long either. For instance you may regularly get visitors who need less convincing to purchase your product and hence these people will often need pricing information quite quickly.
You should therefore try and make the pricing information easily locatable such as in your product info page or perhaps in a separate plans and pricing page.
3) Use social media and comments to demonstrate to your visitors that you have a following or readership (even if it’s relatively small)
Social media and other things which demonstrate your site’s following can be a hugely persuasive factor in getting people to become engaged with your website or blog.
We humans predominantly want to have the sense that we fit in with the majority or to be part of a crowd because by our very nature we are social beings.
Due to this characteristic, it is more likely that your blog will receive “likes”, “tweets” and comments and ultimately conversions, when visitors see that there is a crowd of people who have done these things already.
Conversely, nobody wants to be the first to “tweet” or “like” a site which has only been up for a few months and is completely devoid of “likes” or comments.
Therefore if your site is new and has little traffic, you can either turn off your comments until you start to get some decent traffic flowing or you can encourage your family, friends and colleagues to leave some genuine comments and to also “like” and tweet about your site.
The use of the Alexa, page rank or readership indicators should be avoided in the early stages of your site when you might have minimal traffic and low ranking. You can start displaying these sorts of things when your site starts to mature and gain popularity.
In summary, the ability to be persuasive on the Internet rests mainly on the shoulders of the inanimate entity known as your website. The presentation and delivery of your content and how these shape a visitor’s experience and perceptions are the things which will ultimately determine how persuasive you are as an online entrepreneur or blogger.