How to Master Persuasion in Website Content and Get More Conversions
As an Inbound Writer for Lean Labs, Melissa writes about high-converting websites and customer-centric marketing. She's an avid traveler, with trips to Iceland, Ukraine, and Portugal under her belt. She currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with her dog, Morrie.
Earlier this year, I bit the bullet and bought an iPhone X. After a few warnings to "stop using so much data" from my mom (along with screenshots proving that I was indeed, the culprit out of my three siblings), I was leaning towards buying something new, but I wasn't quite there yet.
Despite my willingness to wait, a week later, a Verizon representative was able to convince me in less than twenty minutes to get the best phone available. I also left with a new case, monthly insurance, and the maximum monthly allowance of data usage.
At the time, I didn't even realize it was happening. The sales representative, Robert, wasn't particularly charming or charismatic and didn't use any cheesy tactics or stereotypical sales tactics. If you're looking to do the same on your website, there's a lot you can learn from this particularly persuasive salesman.
How To Master Persuasion in Your Website Content
I could have gone weeks for without upgrading my phone, but that's the power that a lot of persuasive people wield. They know exactly how to flip the switch. That's the kind of persuasion that you need to adapt in your website content.
All it takes is an understanding of what will inspire your customer to buy, and how to bypass their hesitations. Along with ongoing conversion rate optimization, there are a few tactics you can use to master writing compelling language on your website, using the same tactics as Robert did to make more sales.
#1: Lead With Their Challenge
I use a lot of data-heavy apps, so I frequently have to delete files from my phone to make room. Robert led with this pain point during our conversation to combat my hesitation about buying the maximum amount of monthly data was necessary.
"You will never have to delete an app to make room for another again," Robert pointed out. "You can store all of your photos and videos and never have to clear them from your phone."
It worked. Because Robert knew my concern wasn't the cost of the monthly data, but what lacking more monthly storage causes.
If you can figure out what smaller challenges and day-to-day annoyances are driving your customers crazy, you can use all of those points in your website content. The critical aspect of this persuasion method is knowing your customer's actual challenges, and avoid making assumptions.
#2: Start Where They Are
When I was at Verizon, I was running late for a rehearsal. After mentioning this, Robert took a step back. As a result, I didn't feel any pressure. Since he was respectful about my timeframe and schedule, it made me want to make a decision faster.
If you can shift the focus of your website content to your customer's state of mind, they'll relax, too. We use a few prompts to get into our customer's head, asking questions like:
- Why are they feeling anxious?
- What are triggers making them seek a solution?
- Where do their loyalties lie?
- What are their preferences?
- How will this solution increase their status?
A lot of these prompts are a part of any buyer persona template that you use. But again, the key is working with accurate information. I like to collect insights from actual customers, through one-on-one interviews. Another option is to look to forums to capture how customers are describing (and complaining) about their problems.
#3: Help Them Do Something For Free
I was already on a Verizon plan (my parents.) I knew I wanted to switch, and Robert let me change plans for free. There was no obligation to purchase a new iPhone to do this and helped solve one of my immediate challenges (too many mom texts reminding me not to use apps as much.) With the free switch, it was easier to rationalize the phone purchase.
If you can sweeten the deal with an offer, trial, demo, worksheet or features, you help your customer move forward. I like to use a customer journey map to find these opportunities, and also compare offers to competitors to see if there's something they're doing right that I need to do to remain competitive.
#4: Address Their Objectives
During the buyer journey, it's rare to find a customer that's 100% sold on your solution. There will always be external forces and objections that get in the way of a sale. For me, one of my most considerable hesitations was the cool $1k that my new iPhone X would cost.
Robert, likely knew these objections from the very beginning of our conversation. Without me saying anything, he told me I could pay the phone off over a period, and gave me a discount on iPhone X cases.
You can create an equally reassuring experience by writing content that anticipates all of the objections your customer could have. You want to identify these objections as soon as you can and back them up with feedback or industry research to prove their accuracy.
#5: Take On The Risk
For me, the risks of purchasing an expensive iPhone include theft, loss, or damages. After feeling resistance from me about monthly insurance, Robert made a simple statement that would change everything.
"What if you walk out of here and drop your phone?"
The image of dropping my new iPhone and watching it shatter was terrifying. Robert used it to demonstrate the value of the insurance, and how despite what happens to the phone, insurance will get me a new iPhone X immediately. Regardless of what you're selling, there's a risk there for your customer as well. You need to find out what those risks are, and take them on yourself.
#6: Show What They Will Become
I'll credit Apple for this, and not Robert. The iPhone X sold itself to me because of the exceptional photos a
friend took with hers. And if you can show your customer how your product can make their life better, you can pull this off, too.
We use a Jobs To Be Done framework to figure out how services are life-changing and fulfill various jobs, such as:
- Physical Jobs - What's the task at hand? In my case, the mission was to take better photos to step up my Instagram game and give me free reign of my data.
- Emotional Jobs - How will the use of the product make them feel? For me, I felt giddy taking high-quality shots and eager to use the phone.
- Social Jobs - The last job is purely self-serving, but how will the product or service help the user look? I feel like my status went up when I got an iPhone X, as it helps me do so much more than take pictures. I can immediately answer Slack messages, access Google Drive and make necessary edits, making me look like a rock star to my team (I assume.)
All of these insights can help you craft copy that will convey all of these potential advantages to your customer.
#7: Social Proof and Authority
Apple is the company for innovative technology, so even before walking into Verizon, my allegiance was to their products. It's not the marketing and ads that run that do it for me, but the friends, family, and co-workers who swear by them, too. I know the products work for me well, and because of that, I never want to switch.
You can demonstrate your social proof and authority with quotes, testimonials, and statistics. If you are a SaaS company, trying looking at Capterra or TrustRadius to see if you already have reviews you can use. Otherwise, try reaching out to a few customers to see if they'd be willing to provide feedback.
The Key To Persuasive Website Content
When it comes to writing more persuasive website content, it's easier than you think. All you need to do is have an exceptional understanding of your target audience. You need to go beyond surface level details, and dig into what motivates them and inspires them to take action. With that information, you can figure out what they need to hear and receive to make a decision.
That can be a tall order, and if you're not careful, will generate a ton of information and data. We keep our customer insights organized with a series of one-page templates. With all of the information in one place and strategically outlined, we focus on the details that have the most potential impact for better marketing and messaging throughout our site.
You can download and access all of our buyer persona template, value proposition map, jobs to be done framework, and more in our free SprocketRocket Strategy Kit.