Increasing Online Sales Using Persuasive Elements

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Whether you selling a web design service or just a simple product, we are always trying to sell more in order to make a better living. If you want to sell more, it’s important that you know how the real sellers sell their stuff. They use persuasive elements on every sale. A website should have them as well.

Every time you go out to shop to get a nice tuxedo or you go to the dealership to look at some cars, you get a free class of persuasion (if you get a good salesman). We are going to study more each element or persuasion that can be transported to the digital environment.

1 – Using Numbers

The first element of persuasion that you have to use are numbers. “There is no arguing against numbers”.

The numbers can be in many places on your website, one of them you can show, for example; the number of satisfaction of your clients with your products or services. What’s the percentage that a client can increase his salary by taking on your product, or your services. There are many ways to show numbers on a website. A way for each different type of business.

Numbers become solid which creates a benefit on your side. Choose the numbers that you want to show, percentages or absolute numbers.

Imagine you have a Ferrari’s dealership. Telling people that last year you had 90% customer satisfaction with your sales is very different than telling people that you had 20 satisfied customers. The number 20 by itself feels like it’s a small amount, but people from outside the market don’t know that you sell an average of 22 Ferraris a year. That’s why you have to choose wisely how to display your numbers so they can benefit you at all times.

The numbers are already a very strong element of persuasion, but they get mixed with the other elements to make a even stronger connection.

2 – Argument from Authority

The second persuasive element is called “Argument from Authority” or “appeal to authority”. Imagine that you make running shoes and you get a famous runner to give a testimonial about your product saying your shoes are the best on the market.

The argument from authority is more valid when an authority, on his on spontaneous will, decides to make a testimonial about your brand on a “public place” online. A post on a blog with many visitors or a video on youtube can be all you need.

This element gets stronger when the “authority” is very well known by your audience, and he transfers all his credibilities to your product or service.

You can also use brands of past clients (if they are well known) with testimonials or just to show that you worked for them, that also will transfer good credibility to your business.

3 – Social Approval

The main idea behind the “social approval’ element is; “If everyone is doing it, then it must be good”.

On a website this can be done by following the 2 elements we already seen. Having good numbers and testimonials on your website will bring you social approval.

This element can also be used outside of your website. For example, appearing on social media places like twitter, and facebook along with blogs and forums that talk good about your business will also bring you social approval.

When a costumer don’t know about a brand they tend to go out of their way to find out more about it, which means typing the name of your business on Google to see what pops up. It’s important to manage and solve problems that come within the bits of the web.

A problems that happened and got solved in front of many eyes, is just as good as a positive mention. A problem solved shows that you care about your customers and you give good assistance.

This element is mostly used along with numbers, as much more testimonials you get, more credibility your website will have.

4 – Reciprocity

Reciprocity is when you give out something to your customer for free, that usually makes him feel like he must give something back. For example, you offer a PDF file with some rich information that you customers can further use for their business.

The reciprocity it’s an excellent argument because it takes on a hard feeling of the human being – the gratitude.

A lot of business that sell softwares use a promotional strategy of “shareware”, which means they give away a software that only works for a certain amount of time (or with limited functionalities) so the client can test it. It’s like a free sample with validation date. That’s reciprocity, to give away something without asking for anything back.

5- Involvement

When a customer signs up for a newsletter from your website or downloads any type of documents from your website and leaves back an email, he is getting involved with your business. When he enters a chat for online support he is also getting involved.

Every time you able to involve the customer within any form of communication, you automatically getting one step closer to making a sale or closing a deal.

Any salesman knows that when they ask your name is to start involving you. They are involving you on the process of buying something. The secret of the web is to involve your customer in a way that they can interact with your website. There are many ways of interaction, you need to seek that to make your business stronger.

6 – Scarcity

One of the most strong elements of persuasion is “scarcity”. Remember that day you went to the store to buy that product, but it was a bit expensive and you ended up taking something else just because the promotion was about to end. That’s why it’s one of the most strong elements of sale persuasion.

The human being don’t like to lose the freedom of choice. When there is a lot of products on the shelf or there is a promotion with no limited time, the customer can choose to take or not to take the product. But as soon as the product goes out of sale there is only one option left: not to take it. They can’t “comeback later” to buy the product.

The website needs to use this element just as much as it’s used in every store at the mall.

The customer is a player extremely emotional on the game of buying and selling. This element a lot of times just comes as a reason to justify the decision taken by the customer emotions. The sale will not happen if there is not enough reasons for it.

That’s why you need to give them reason to buy.

Create promotions with limited time, make sure to display “last products” when a product is going out of stock, create elements of scarcity in your website so you can increase the call for the sale and shorten the cycle of sale of your product or service.

Conclusion

To use persuasive elements in your website can increase the number os sale conversion at least 20%. Try using them on your next job and learn what a persuasive language can bring to your website.

Written By Conrado

Conrado Adolpho is a specialist in digital marketing. He a writer and speakers on the area. He is from Brazil and works as a director of Publiweb - Marketing and Digital Consulting. - conrado@publiweb.com.br

8 Comments

  1. Sandstream

    November 11th, 2009 at 04:10 am

    Nice article! Thanks for the tips!

  2. Ejaz

    November 11th, 2009 at 04:34 am

    Good Article Conrado, but it could be better if you explain with the help of graphical examples. So that it can be eye catching as well as easy to understand.

  3. Sarah DeAtley

    November 11th, 2009 at 04:01 pm

    Good ideas to think about, but I would love to see a case study or actual data, then you might know how each of these individually contributes to create lift in conversions.

  4. Wodaabe

    November 11th, 2009 at 06:34 pm

    There is am error in your opening paragraph:

    Whether you selling a web design service or just a simple product, we ARE always trying to sell more in order to make a better living.

    I added the missing “are” in capitals.

  5. woodabe

    November 11th, 2009 at 06:35 pm

    Oops I guess I made “am” error , too…

  6. Ron Morrison

    November 11th, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Loved your article. What makes it powerful is the simplistic utility of
    examples that you provide. It’s a well done, strong argument for
    considering important elements in a site or blog. Thank you. I’ll be sharing it for sure!

  7. Paul0v2

    November 11th, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Thank you for informing us Wodaabe, it’s been corrected.

  8. Amrit Gill

    November 13th, 2009 at 03:18 pm

    Wow, I really can’t believe that a huge agency like Saatchi & Saatchi and Dare could lead this campaign down the garden path of failure, as this blog post on Spark Something. The dedicated call-to-action for all adverts be it TV, Print or Radio asks the customer to search for Spark Something online, but when looking at google.co.uk you’ll be surprised that http://www.hopperinvasion.com is no where to be found.

    The post talks about how to rectify the issue quickly, but it also provides examples of where search query call-to-actions are working well.

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