#1: Add Motivation
When someone lands on your page, they need some kind of motivation to get them moving. Picture a kid needing a tiny push to go down the slide in the playground. Within seconds, visitors should understand what you’re offering, how it will make their lives better, and how they can get it. That’s your value proposition with a strong call-to-action. But don’t ask them to marry you on the first date. Give them a small way to continue learning more about you and make a micro-commitment, like exploring your blog or taking a quiz.
#2: Eliminate Friction
Before you spend a lot of time adding new ways to motivate your audience, be sure to eliminate all forms of friction. Cognitive friction causes people’s brains to shut down and become paralyzed, unable to make a decision. This could be a slowly loading page, a complicated layout, a difficult-to-read font, too many words, too many calls-to-action, a complicated checkout process, and even the use of a captcha. Take a fresh look at your landing page and the full user experience to eliminate any friction that could be freezing people’s brains.
#3: Create a Liking Effect
Before anyone wants to do business with you, they have to like you. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Show that you share something in common with them. Roger showed us a great example from Petsmart with photos of their execs with their dogs, but apparently, this was buried in the site. If you can create a liking effect on your site, make sure it’s easy to find, because this is a powerful way to influence your audience.
- Use flattery, because this is one of the best ways to get people to remember you, and it even works when it seems insincere. If you’re selling clothing, you could say something like, “Because you have such impeccable taste, we thought you might also like these items we found for you.”
- Use social proof to indicate that this is a popular choice. This could be showing how many people like your page, but using a precise number is more believable. For best results, also tie it into a key benefit with emotional language, and use photos or videos when possible. For example, you could say: Join 108,294 people who love our coffee, because it makes every morning feel like a vacation.
#4: Use Authority
Social proof is more about the numbers, but authority uses famous people or authority symbols to support your brand. Although it’s best if you use a person who is actually an authority on that topic, you can get away with using someone random, if they’re well enough known. For example, George Foreman was not known for his grilling, but now he is associated with the George Foreman Grill. Even if you don’t have a celebrity, you can use authority symbols such as doctors in lab coats. You can use logos of major brands, such as Google, to show that you partner with them for key services. This works best if you can include a quote from a specific person at Google with a link, where they can get more details and verify the connection.
#5: Use Reciprocity
People are much more likely to do something for you if you do something for them in advance, and this doesn’t have to be quid pro quo. A study showed that waitstaff who gave one mint received a 3% increase in tips, and those who gave two mints got 20% more in tips. This means that giving something free is especially powerful if you appear to be going above and beyond the call of duty. A good tactic in marketing can be giving people some free information or a how-to video one time and even two times. Then the third time, you can ask them to subscribe, if they are enjoying the content.
#6: Leverage Commitment and Consistency
You can use the principle of commitment and consistency to get people to continue to do something that would be consistent with their previous behavior. One good example is a marketer who created a series of quizzes, promising to answer an important question for the reader, such as discovering the one problem killing their backswing in tennis. (Of course, this only works if you’re targeting effectively.) The quiz started off with innocuous questions, like “Are you male or female?” and then increased the complexity with each screen, careful to only show one question at a time with a progress bar. On the final screen, the quiz said: “We’ve analyzed the results and can send you the solution if you just provide your name and email address.” Most people went ahead and submitted their email addresses to get the results because it would be consistent with their previous behavior of expressing interest and answering all the questions. So, if you can find a way to get your audience to stay engaged with your brand and take gradual steps toward a specific goal, they will be more likely to follow through.
#7: Create a Sense of Scarcity
When you use scarcity in your marketing messages, you create a sense of urgency by leveraging the fear of missing out. A study showed that when people viewed two cookie jars with the same type of cookie, the one with fewer remaining seemed more desirable. However, a third cookie jar with a quickly decreasing supply seemed the most desirable of all. Marketers can create this sense of scarcity and urgency by adding countdown clocks to their sites with messages such as:
- Only 15 hours remaining
- Only 2 seats left
- Offer expires at midnight
- Only 25 available at this price
#8: Use the Unity Effect
One of the most powerful principles of persuasion is the unity effect because people are more likely to take an action for someone with whom they share a common identity. For example, one Texas company utilized this principle very effectively by leveraging the fact that Texans take great pride in their statehood. So, they injected the Texas connection into every aspect of their user experience and product line. Companies can also use this principle for niche audiences, such as outdoor enthusiasts who may be motivated by seeing that company VPs also enjoy similar activities.