Persuasion marketing

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Creating usable sites is important, but an effective marketing site overlays persuasion to encourage visitors to engage and follow a journey to conversion. So understanding user psychology and knowing the persuasion principles we describe here is helpful.

Persuasion marketing quick guide

Persuasion marketing success factors

In their whitepaper on Persuasion architecture Brian Eiseberg says:

Your visitors don’t care about your sales process (and everything about your sales process should be designed so they shouldn’t have to care) – remember, your sales process is all about you. But you definitely have to care about how they buy.

The key to a persuasive site is to map their buying processes to your selling process, refining your sales process when it becomes intrusive or counterproductive“.

Persuasion Architecture has six defined phases:

  • Uncovery
  • Wireframing
  • Storyboarding and Prototyping
  • Testing, measuring and optimization – an ongoing process based on analytics and measurement.

The US psychologist Cialdini’s has defined six ‘weapons of influence’ to encourage personal interactions which we think are essential for digital marketers to understand since they can developed as part of persuasion architecture:

  • Reciprocity
  • Commitment and consistency
  • Consensus
  • Affinity (liking and credibility)
  • Authority
  • Scarcity

Persuasion marketing definition

Persuasion is an approach to designing websites and web services which puts the emphasis on designing the site and messaging to achieving the commercial objectives of the site. It is based on understanding user motivations and psychology and then developing the site to influence users.

The approach was much discussed between 2002 to 2007 as part of best practice recommended by Bryan and Geoffrey Eisenberg then of Future Now. Their books “Call-to-Action” and “Teaching Your Cat to Bark” are still essential reading for specialists in Conversion Rate Optimisation – an approach which is more popular today.

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Best websites on Persuasion marketing

  • Marketing Experiments – We like the approach the scientific approach to improving results suggested by the name of the sites. Real-word optimisation case studies are shared through whitepapers and webinars.
  • Persuasion architecture whitepaper – the original 2006 whitepaper by Bryan Eisenberg is recommended reading
  • Persuasive marketing personas whitepaper – Another whitepaper by Howard Kaplan of Future Now linking the use of persuasion with persona development
  • Persuasive Technology Lab – A great collection of free resources created by Dr. BJ Fogg who directs the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University. The best source for current thinking on persuasion in the new era of mobile and social media.
  • WhichTestWon – Real-world AB test examples are presented, you vote and see which the real-winner was. A great way to learn.

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