We know that persuasion works. We’ve all been talked into doing something that we weren’t sure about only a moment ago. Let’s take what we’ve learned in ‘real life’ and apply the four most common persuasion techniques to web design.
– that nagging feeling that once you’ve been given something, you’re obligated to give something back. This tactic is used with free gifts all the time – give away a freebee and a customer becomes more likely to return the ‘favor’ with their business and/or trust. Think about swapping a freebee for something as simple as an email address – it’s free and both parties benefit!
Some ideas of ‘freebee’ giveaways:
- A low cost item with a high perceived value
- Advice, tips, white papers, industry specific ‘secrets’ to help your clients and give them a ‘taste’ of the value you can bring to their project
- A consultation or low-cost service that you provide
– the feeling of comfort that people associate with following the ‘crowd.’ If others are buying something, purchasing a service or thinking a particular way it is easier for someone to justify making the same decision. This becomes even more powerful when the group is large and similar to the prospect. People want to spend time where others are gathered – a club is no fun when it’s empty!
Ways to incorporate social proof:
- Add testimonials to your site – ‘real people’ addressing the concerns of a potential customer do a better job of convincing than you ever could.
- Include social markers that show others valuing your site, space, information and product. These could be Twitter, digg, or stumbleupon badges that display the number of followers you have, Facebook links detailing your community, and other social networking cues that ensure that your visitors know that those before them found something valuable enough to return to.
– their feeling that you could be their friend – or that you’re at least like that friendly guy down at the local hardware store. They can – and do - trust you for advice and information. Build on that and you’ll go far!
Make them like you:
- Add ‘humanistic touches’ to your site and allow your personality (or the one you want to present) to show through the hard exterior of the site. Think about your visitors – who are they? Once you’ve established that, make it your goal to make them like (and even trust) you!
- Is your product line light, fun and informal? Yes? Incorporate this into the copy, the images, and the little graphic touches in your site. Perhaps add a post-it note with some info that the visitor will find interesting. How about including some contractions (we’ll, you’re, etc), conversational style, and interesting descriptive words to your copy?
- Are you looking to show a professional, caring atmosphere? Faded graphics with a soft feeling, high quality photography of genuine, caring people, emphasized quotes from caregivers and reassuring text can go a long way to portray this without having to explicitly share your mission statement.
– the fear that something won’t be available when you want or need it drives sales in every market. “Limited time offer!” and “Call while supplies last!” are two phrases that we’ve all heard before. If someone is unsure that they’ll be able to find that particular product again at that price it can be very difficult for them to abandon the product – and therefore your site.
Some ideas for using scarcity on your site:
- Create a feeling of scarcity with promotions that have deadlines.
- Include a description of your buying process that lets customers know that certain products are only available ‘while supplies last.’
- Use sales to create a sense of urgency - ‘on sale this week only.’
- Emphasize the difference between your product and others – yours is rare, special, different, and much more valuable because of it!
Persuasive design isn't about talking people into buying things they don't want; rather it's about focusing your site on your customers and answering their questions and allaying their fears before they even realize they have them.
Assure your customers that they can trust you and your products or services and you'll be one step closer to making that conversion.
Tags: Design, ecommerce design, ecommerce marketing, Marketing, persuasion, persuasive design, persuasive web design