by Juan Robin II
To be a successful marketer, you need to come up with ways to engage with your audience.
The goal of every marketing campaign should be to get people to complete a specific action. Some examples of these actions might be:
- generating a sale
- getting users to download something
- adding new subscribers
- creating social proof of concept
- driving traffic to a specific landing page
You know what you want your audience to do, but things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes these people need a little extra convincing.
That’s totally OK. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have high conversion rates right now or if you need a boost in sales.
There is always room for improvement. That’s what inspired me to create this guide.
I want to share with you how you can use persuasion tactics to convince your audience to do something. As a result, you’ll get higher conversions and ultimately increase your profits.
These are the top 10 tactics that can be used to persuade your audience.
1. Be willing to accept criticism
While it may not initially seem like it, accepting criticism is a valid method of persuasion. You’re not always right. People know that.
If you’re carrying yourself as though every word you write and speak is never wrong, your audience may think you’re arrogant. As a result, they will be less likely to take action.
Instead, show your audience you’re reasonable and open-minded by accepting feedback and criticism.
Here’s an example from a blog post written by Ben Labay at ConversionXL:
One of the readers wrote a comment that disagreed with some of the points made in the article. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Some people are afraid to enable comments on their blog posts because they fear criticism. I always welcome comments and respond to them even if I don’t always see eye-to-eye with the writer.
Make sure you digest the opposite side of every argument. You may even realize the other person has valid points.
Now you can spin that criticism and re-position your argument with a positive angle that entices the person to take a specific action.
Live video streaming is another great platform to utilize for this purpose. You can converse with your audience in real time through these channels and have a discussion.
After watching a branded video, 64% of consumers are likely to make a purchase.
Furthermore, 46% of users complete an action after viewing a video advertisement.
Use this information in your marketing campaign. Next time you’re writing a post or streaming a live video, be more receptive to opposing opinions, and leverage that position to persuade your audience.
2. Find ways to get your audience to agree with you
On the other hand, it’s always better if your audience agrees with you. It just involves less work on your end.
But if you’re starting from a clean slate, the first thing you need to do is get people to start nodding their heads.
Make obvious claims or statements they’ll agree with.
Here’s a great example from an article written by Ian Blair at BuildFire:
Ian’s persuasion is set up perfectly in the first few lines. These opening statements get the reader nodding their head right off the bat.
mobile apps are growing in popularity
the development process needs to be optimized
it takes a long time and lots of effort to launch an app
Anyone reading the above statements would agree with all of them. Now that the reader is in agreement, Ian offers a solution in the third line.
And the audience is hooked. They’ll continue reading and follow the advice to take specific actions.
This tactic isn’t limited to blogging. You can do this when you’re speaking to someone in person as well.
For example, a car salesman may set up a pitch for a certain vehicle by discussing the rising cost of gas. In the very next breath, they’ll show the consumer a hybrid vehicle with great gas mileage.
It’s a simple technique, but it’s extremely underrated. Try to implement this into your marketing strategy.
3. Show them actual evidence
Telling people something isn’t always enough to convince them. This is especially true if they don’t know you personally.
While your closest friends and family members know you wouldn’t lie to them, consumers may be skeptical.
So you’ll need to show evidence to back up your claims.
For example, you could tell your audience people like to use Facebook to get their news. But does that really mean anything if you don’t have any proof?
It’s much more effective to say,
According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 67% of adults in the United States use social media platforms to get news.
Show graphs or other data sources as a visual reference for your claims as well. If you’ve been following my blogs for a while, you know I use this technique all the time.
Visual evidence can have a remarkable impact on someone’s ability to retain information.
When information is communicated orally, the listener is only likely to remember 10% of what they heard three days later. But if images are paired with that data, 65% of the information is retained three days later.
You want your audience to take a specific action, but they may not do it right away. Give them some time.
Visual evidence will keep your persuasive voice in their minds even days after they consumed your content.
4. Limit their choices
If you’re trying to get people to buy a product or make a selection, limit their choices.
Marketers make this mistake all the time. They think offering hundreds of choices will appeal to a wider audience, leading to more sales.
The reality is, it has the opposite effect.
One of the best examples of this concept is referred to as the “Jam Study.” Here’s what researchers discovered.
A grocery store had a display table with 24 different types of jam. The table attracted 60% of people shopping in the store.
On average, each shopper sampled 2 flavors of jam, but only 3% of shoppers actually made a purchase.
On a different day in that same grocery store, a smaller display table offered 6 different jams. This time, 40% of shoppers were attracted to this display.
While people still sampled an average only 2 flavors, 30% of shoppers purchased jam.
When consumers had fewer choices, they were 10 times more likely to buy something. It’s known as the paradox of choice.
People are indecisive. Giving them too many options will overwhelm them. They can’t make a decision, so they end up getting nothing.
Consumers are also more likely to feel buyer’s remorse if you offer too many options.
They will constantly second-guess their choices and may end up having a negative perception of your brand. Obviously, you don’t want this to happen.
If you’re trying to persuade someone to choose something, narrow down their options, and you’ll have higher conversion rates.
5. Know what your audience wants
It’s important to make sure you know your audience so that you can properly persuade them to do something.
You should know what platforms they are using and how to distribute content to the right audience. For example, research shows that men are more responsive to email, but women respond better to face-to-face interactions.
Find ways to captivate your audience and get their attention. This will make it easier for you to get them to do something.
Let’s say you have a broad target audience of men. What gets their attention? If ads for men’s products include photos and videos of attractive women, it definitely grabs their attention.
6. Focus on repetition
Just because your marketing campaign didn’t work the first time doesn’t mean you should completely trash it. Sometimes it takes a couple of attempts to persuade your audience.
Here’s an interesting psychological concept that shows the importance and relevance of repetition.
Studies show that in a group setting, if one person in the group repeats an opinion, others are more likely to see it as a representation of the entire group.
Still don’t think repetition is important? Let’s see what you think of the following phrases:
- Just do it
- I’m lovin’ it
- 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance
As you know, those aren’t just random words. Those are recognizable company slogans. I don’t even have to say the names of those companies.
You knew exactly what I was referring to because these slogans have been repeated enough times to become familiar.
Are you experiencing shopping cart abandonment on your ecommerce website? Use the concept of repetition to remind the consumer about your products.
Here’s an email that Office Max sent out after items were left in a shopper’s cart:
This reminder improves your chances of persuading the recipient to finalize the purchase.
7. Be clear rather than ambiguous
Get right to the point.
Don’t speak in tongues or in terms unclear to your audience. It’s shady and can make you appear untrustworthy.
If you’re constantly talking in circles, you will confuse people and could make them think you’re trying to trick them or fool them. Don’t be deceptive.
Ambiguous sales techniques are not effective. All it’s going to do is raise the guard of your audience, and they won’t want to follow your advice.
8. Learn how to tell a great story
Rather than just telling someone to take a specific action, you can entice them to do that by telling a captivating story.
The story could even be about a personal experience.
92% of consumers say they want advertisements from brands to feel like a story.
Your stories should trigger an emotional response from your audience. Make sure you’re telling a story they can relate to.
Stories can be shared through multiple distribution channels, such as blogs, social media platforms, or your YouTube channel.
You can even tell stories if you’re speaking to a crowd to keep them engaged.
It’s an effective sales technique. Take a look at this example from the Nutrisystem website:
They display success stories of people who have lost weight using their products. After hearing these stories, their audience is more likely to be persuaded to try the product.
This also relates back to a tactic we discussed earlier about showing evidence.
Saying your products can make someone lose weight is much different than showing them actual people who were able to lose weight.
9. Control your body language
Body language says a lot about a person. Look around the next time you’re out in public. It’s easy to tell what kind of mood someone is in just by looking at them.
Something as simple as smiling or laughing can show that someone is happy. But slouching and staring at the ground are both typical signs of being upset.
This may not be applicable if you’re blogging, but you need to be aware of this whenever your audience can see you.
If you’re trying to persuade someone to do something, you should mirror their body language. Psychologically, this strategy helps you establish a rapport with your audience.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to make a sale.
If the consumer scratches their nose, you should do the same. When they cross their legs, you should cross yours. When they lean forward, you need to lean forward as well.
Just don’t be obvious. Remember, you’re mirroring them, not mimicking them. These subtle actions can make the consumer trust you more, allowing you to convince them to do something.
Another body language trick is known as The Sullivan Nod.
Whenever you’re making a point or creating a sales pitch, you should subtlety nod three times when you’re talking about whatever you’re persuading your audience to do.
So for example, let’s say you’re doing a video review of a few products. When you get to the review of the product you’re trying to sell, nod your head when you’re talking about it.
Studies show this technique can have a 60% success rate.
10. Speak confidently
Confidence goes a long way. If you sound unsure, your audience will pick up on this right away.
How can they believe you if you don’t even believe what you’re saying?
So relax and speak as if you’re an expert. Speak with authority.
You should also speak fast. I’m not saying you should mumble or speak so fast that you can’t be heard. But speaking at a faster pace makes it more difficult for your audience to pinpoint any flaws in your argument.
If they don’t have anything to disagree with, they’re more likely to be persuaded.
Being persuasive is a great skill to have as a marketer, but it’s also something you can use in your everyday life.
The techniques I’ve outlined above can help you in every scenario imaginable.
You’ll be able to persuade people through your blog, website, and social media platforms. You can even use these tactics to persuade someone in a face-to-face conversation.
Some of these tips can be applied to a setting where you are a guest speaker in front of a large audience as well.
Keep these under the radar tactics in mind the next time you’re trying to persuade your audience to take action. You’ll be able to do this with success.
What persuasion tactics are you using to convince your customers to do what you want?