You might find it surprising to find that most the decisions you make every day are based on external factors that work to pursued you to go in one direction or the other. When you are driving your car, the behavior of other drivers may make you slow down and let them pass. When you go grocery shopping, the packing may subconsciously persuade you to purchase it. The same holds true online, the words and how they are formatted may persuade you to either read more, subscribe, click through or click away.
As a business with an online presence, this is extremely important. Realizing that the words you choose have a major impact on your audiences’ behavior can help you to tweak your content by using better more persuasive words and a few persuasion tactics.
What Is Persuasion?
According to the dictionary, to persuade someone is to, “Cause (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument.” Most people understand how to talk to someone in order to persuade them to your point of view. You do it by giving examples, facts and information supporting your point of view, and you also normally exhibit some sort of strong emotion.
For example, if you’re really excited to find a new golf course and you think your regular golfing partners should play there, you’ll excitedly tell them about the great course, great greens, how hard some of the holes are, the friendly staff and how great the prices are.
Persuading people online through your content and copy isn’t all that different from that golfing party conversation (did I mention I love playing golf). If you’re trying to convince your audience to try a new affiliate service that you are promoting on your blog, you might use the exact same tactics. You would talk about how great you found the product or service, how great the customer service is, how competitive the prices are, and the ease of use.
Types of Persuasion Tactics
There are lots of persuasion tactics you can use online, let’s look at just a few of them.
Facts and Figures (data)
Strategic placement of supporting information can enhance your credibility and authority. This helps persuade people to trust you and follow your advice, it also encourages people to keep reading. The case examples you see on many websites are a great example of this.
Emotion and Emotional Words
In my example about the excited golf player, the golfer was excitedly sharing information about their experience. It will have shown on their face, in the words they choose to use, and probably in their language and this would also be portray subconsciously to the other person. Online you’re limited, you can use punctuation to show strong emotion. However, that should only be used sparingly, instead try to use powerful emotional words to persuade your audience. For example, “Frustrated by stereotypical scammer SEO emails?”
Your audience will undoubtedly nod their head “yes” and read on, as you describe the great email blocking service you are using…
The Power of Persuasion
By using active language, which means using words like “you” instead of “I” or “we” and remembering to focus on benefits and value will help you develop content that is more persuasive. The next time you create a blog post try to use the power of persuasion. A few simple tweaks to your content can increase the time people spend on your page, reduce bounce rates and improve your email subscriptions, not forgetting click throughs and sales.