The evidence of theories of persuasion or influence is everywhere in business. However a lot of the time it’s not understood.
For example you know companies choose celebrities to endorse their products. You know brands want you to ‘like’ them on Facebook? You’ve seen shops give you 3 slightly different versions of more or less the same thing. But do you know why? And can you use this knowledge in your own business online.
If not then you will be the end of this 2 part article).
The reasons for all of these things comes back to the laws of persuasion or influence.
Writers such as Kevin Hogan and Robert Cialdini have covered the concepts in depth, starting with Hogan’s 1996 book The Psychology of Persuasion.
These laws (10 of them) are well utilised in every form of business, but how do they look online?
In this 2 part article I’ll present examples of how each of the laws are implemented online to help companies ‘persuade’ buyers to part with their money and how you can do the same.
This article will look at laws 1 through 5.
When someone gives you something of perceived value, you immediately respond with the desire to give something back
You don’t have to look very far to see examples of companies giving away things of value to potential customers.
How I do it
On my site I have written hundreds of articles, ebooks, videos etc and provided them all for free. It’s not just because I’m nice (of course I am) – it’s called ‘Content Marketing’ not ‘Content Philanthropy’. It’s a marketing technique designed to build trust and build on the concept of reciprocity. People who contact me looking for websites are grateful for the stuff I’ve put up on the site and in some way feel a need to reciprocate.
How you can do it
There are many ways to integrate reciprocity into your business. You don’t want to put yourself out of business by giving too much away for free. But the key here is ‘something of perceived value’. You need to think of things that customers will perceive as valuable but don’t necessarily cost you too much to do. Here are some examples:
People will behave differently depending on whether their primary time orientation is present, past or future.
When a customer comes in contact with you or your business they are likely to be reverting to their inbuilt ways of thinking about things in terms of the ‘past’ ‘present’ or ‘future. A person that dwells on the past might think ‘I’ve seen products like this before, they aren’t as good as they look’.
The most common conversion that needs to occur is to get people away from thinking about ‘past’ and instead thinking about ‘future’.
Enter the experts.
How Apple does it
Check out the ad for the iPad 3 from Apple’s website. People watching this ad may have a computer and not think they need an iPad (thinking about the past). They may have an iPad 1 or 2 and are happy with that (thinking about the past).
Check out how the ad shifts your perspective from the past to the future by:
This is clever stuff so how do you do it? Here are a few common ways:
When two things, people or places that are relatively different from each other, are placed nearer together in time, space or thought, they appear to be more different from each other.
This is a fundamental technique used in retail stores everywhere. Let’s use the king of online retail Amazon as an example.
How Amazon does it
Check out the following comparison charts shown on Amazon Kindle product pages.
First, the chart shown on the page for the $79 Kindle (the cheapest one).
Notice the comparison chart above (taken from half way down the page) compares the $79 Kindle with 5 other products all of which are more expensive than the entry level Kindle. This re-enforces to the buyer that they are getting good value by contrasting it with higher priced products.
Now let’s have a look at the comparison chart on product page for the $379 Kindle DX (the most expensive one).
Fascinating! Did you notice:
How others do it
Facebook ad showing one of my friends who likes fishing.
Facebook knows that if they show that one of my friends likes something then I am going to be much more likely to also like it. So it shows me ads that my friends like and shows me which friends like it.
Google does a similar thing in the search results, if a result is something that one of your friends on Google+ has given a ‘+ 1′ to then Google will show the profile pic of your friend and show that they gave it a +1. They know you are much more likely to be interested in that particular site if your friends are.
There are so many ways you can integrate the law of friends into your business. Here are just a few:
When someone you respect and/or believe in expects you to perform a task or produce a certain result, you will tend to fulfil their expectation whether positive or negative.
I saw this exact situation on Twitter this morning. Someone had forgotten about a prior appointment and the response from the person was ‘Hi, I’m sure you’ll make it good. Everyone is expecting you! They can’t wait! ‘
This sets an expectation that the person will attend the appointment and they feel obliged to do so.
This kind of thing is prevalent on company websites as well.
Notice MailChimp don’t spend a whole lot of time trying to convince you to sign up for their product. A 3 word heading, 2 sentences then a Sign Up button. Why? Because they ‘expect‘ you to sign up. The confidence in their product is obvious, they don’t need a 5,000 word sales page, they know you’ll sign up – why wouldn’t you.
The law of expectation is about confidence. If you were supremely confident about your product you wouldn’t need huge sales pages to sell it, you would ‘expect’ people would sign up and that expectation would be clear on visiting the site.
So the keys here are:
Original Article: http://awebsitedesigner.com.au/misc/selling-online-with-the-10-laws-of-persuasion-part-1/
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