You've read the books, got the t-shirt and you want to get started with persuasion in your marketing, however you don't want to get it wrong. You've visited websites that have gone to town on the elements of persuasion and you've clicked away with a sick feeling in your tummy. Don't worry, this post will explore the three places where you should start with persuasion without making your readers feel ick (a technical term).
Once you’ve mastered persuasion successfuly, you'll know there's nothing wrong with using it well. It's only when persuasion is used badly that it makes you want to scream. This post explores where persuasion works best on your website when you're first starting to use it. Once you've mastered these three areas, you can then sprinkle it into all areas of your life.
A quick refresher on the elements of persuasion
Robert Cialdini wrote a book in the 1980s about the 6 elements of persuasion. In his book he brought together the outcomes of various psychology experiments completed by himself and other researchers about influence i.e how you can influence others. Those elements are:
In 2016 he released the book Pre-suasion which focuses on the moments leading up to persuasion (it's an enjoyable read), which was the missing element of influencing people. So where on your website can you use the elements of persuasion to the best effect?
- Your ‘About’ Page
The ‘about’ page on any website is usually one of the most visited pages on your website. That’s why it should be clearly labeled “about”. Don’t use a different name with the hope that more people will click and discover all about you. You’ll just confuse your visitors.
Your ‘about’ page should share your journey and cover why you’re qualified to help potential clients. Spin your journey into a story format that readers can relate to. For example, if you’re a business coach, you might share how you struggled to get your own business started, and some of the steps that you've taken before finding success. By sharing your story, you’ll make it easy for your potential clients to relate to you and you'll be more memorable.
Persuasion elements you can use your About Page for impact include:
- Reciprocity – your ethical bribe – in exchange for your readers email address you're going to give them an item of value.
- Social proof – testimonials and positive feedback
- Your ‘Services’ Page
Your ‘services’ page is your chance to stand out from other entrepreneurs that offer similar services. Don’t make the rookie marketing mistake of cramming every single service you offer on the one page. This will overwhelm visitors and they may leave your website before reading through all of the services you offer. It's also harder to remarket to visitors of that page because you don't know what service they're specifically interested in. That’s why it’s smart to have each service listed on a separate page of your website and optimise those pages for those services.
You want your service pages to show that you understand your dream clients and can deliver what they need. Then you should explain how you work and what end result your dream client can expect. For example, if you’re a social media strategist, don’t tell potential clients that you can handle their Facebook advertisements. That’s vague and doesn’t describe what you can do. Instead, you might tell potential clients that you can increase Facebook ad conversions by 20%.
Persuasion elements you can include here:
- Consistency – show your track record in delivering amazing things for your clients
- Authority – Why are you the expert they should work with?
- Your ‘Home’ Page
When it comes to your home page, you have less than seven seconds to make your first, great impression. How well is your home page working?
When someone visits your home page, they should be able to tell immediately if they’re your dream client or not from the words that you use – you must speak their language. If you’re a social media strategist that works only with small businesses, then your verbiage shouldn’t be aimed at large corporations. It should be focused on small businesses and how you can help them.
Your home page is also your chance to state why you’re uniquely qualified to help. Don’t duplicate the wording you did on your about page. Instead, keep your qualifications to one or two sentences on your home page. If a visitor is interested in knowing more, they’ll click on your ‘about’ page for the full story.
Next, offer social proof on your home page. If you’ve guest posted on several popular blogs, share their logos. If you have testimonials from prominent clients, post those on your home page, too. If you’ve been interviewed in a magazine or podcast, be sure to add this information to your home page as well. Now this may feel icky, and overrated and you may not feel comfortable with it, but it's what will separate you from your competition.
Persuasive elements on your website help build rapport with your dream clients faster and help you seal the deal. Persuasive elements can do a lot of the heavy lifting in your marketing, but ultimately your services and your branding have to live up to the promises you've made in your copy.
Have you got elements of persuasion on your website?