by Kurt Smith, digital marketing consultant for NextDayLenses.com
A study on human psychology published by Notre Dame University has found that more than 90% of people look to the people around them to make many everyday decisions. Whether people need to pick a new movie to watch, shop at a store or find books to buy, they prefer to make choices that people around them have already approved of. It’s the idea that powers Amazon reviews and Facebook Likes – it’s easy to persuade people to take action when you show them that others like them have found success doing the same thing.
When a website achieves a certain critical mass in popularity, it can begin to grow on its own. Popular websites have enough acceptance to influence new people to give them a try. Before a website reaches this stage, though, its creators need to find ways to show people proof that they offer a worthwhile experience. You need to learn a few social persuasion skills to make this happen.
Social persuasion isn’t new – websites have promoted their websites on Facebook and Twitter for years now. Their attempts have mainly been aimed at promoting existing websites, though. Making social persuasion a part of the very way a website is designed is a more recent idea.
Place customer testimonials wisely.
Using customer testimonials has long been an effective persuasion method that businesses have employed. NextDayLenses.com, for instance, dates its testimonials and places them right on the home page. This move is likely to quickly get new visitors to feel some trust before they consider leaving for another website.
Many websites put a lot of thought into creatively building customer testimonials right into their webpages. They try to display testimonials at important points through the buying process that are known to make buyers nervous, for instance. A few positive customer testimonials placed close to the Buy button often work well. Placing the logos of important business clients next to a sign-up page is a good way to encourage website visitors to go ahead with confidence, too.
Placing your social and RSS numbers in prominent places.
The followers you have on the social networks can help you persuade new people to try your website in two ways. To begin, when people vote for you with a Facebook Like, their friends are able to see that your site is well-liked by someone they trust.
When it comes to getting visitors who don’t have Facebook friends to persuade them, the fact that you have great general popularity on the social networks (as evidenced by your Like count) can make you look like a worthwhile place to head to – even when your new visitors don’t know the people Liking you.
Try to look even-handed.
When you publish customer reviews, you can be tempted to only include the positive ones. Businesses like Amazon, though, always make sure that customers see both positive and negative reviews side-by-side. When people see a business make such obvious effort at being impartial, they are quickly persuaded that they are dealing with a trustworthy business.
Think about the specific language you use on your website.
A number of standard copywriting rules help businesses persuade people to pay them attention.
Asking questions rather than making statements is one good persuasive copywriting method.
A headline that reads “Do you really know how to build your website correctly?” is likely to be more effective than one that goes “Learn how to build your website correctly”. A slightly more sneaky technique would be to pose your question in a way that makes your viewers wonder about their competence. In some circumstances, a title that goes “Are you failing to build your website correctly?” is likely to be more effective than the titles above.
Kurt Smith is a digital marketing consultant and he is writing for NextDayLenses.com. His articles focus on innovative website marketing techniques.