Friday, May 02, 2008

Persuading People To Buy: Key Principles To Put At Work

The outcome we want with good usability ...

"Persuading people to buy, to sign-up for your newsletter, or to download your supercool new PDF, it is much harder than internet marketers would have you believe, and to obtain tangible successes it is generally not enough to have a great product and to be able to sell it online.

Outside of the need to build expectation, interest and desire for anything you have to offer, what is critically important to make your readers act is HOW you communicate with them and what psychological triggers you gently touch to facilitate their ultimate choice.

There is nothing bad, unethical or mischievous with persuading people by using logic, information and full awareness of the human psychology to send messages in a way that makes them more interesting rather than in a way that makes them go unnoticed.

"Persuasion in its simplest form means giving users the information they need to make an informed choice, helping them to trust you and allaying any concerns they have."

In my humble opinion this stuff is worth as gold, and sooner or later you may really want to dig into it more seriously, if making your business rock online is what you are really after.

For now, I am very honored to host this simple guide by Lisa Halabi of Webcredible, which you can put to use right now to immediately boost your online selling potential. The advice she provides is sound, appropriate and it has my full endorsement.

It is time to think more about improving your marketing communication skills than about adding more content or advertising solutions.

Online Persuasion - 7 Ways to Persuade People to Buy

How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? None, the light bulb has to want to change. So the joke goes. However, it's possible that the light bulb could be persuaded to change. Persuading people to buy online (from TVs to groceries, holidays to services) can be achieved with techniques that marketers and psychologists have known for years.

Persuasion isn't rocket science; it involves understanding aspects of human nature that are often automatic and work at a subconscious level.

Here are 7 ethical ways to persuade people.

1. Show What Others Are Doing

eople look to others and will often do what they're doing, especially when uncertain about something. This psychological phenomenon is called social proof. People feel reassured and often make decisions based upon what other people are up to - the assumption being that they possess more knowledge or are better informed than they are.

You can increase social proof online by showing:

* Most popular items

* ‘Customers who bought this also bought'

* Top sellers

* Testimonials

Additionally, people will do what people that they like do.

2. Show User-Generated Reviews

User-generated reviews can have a massive influence on peoples' buying decisions.

Fueled by the rapid growth of web 2.0 and social media they're becoming an essential part of website design.

Allow your site users to write reviews and express overall ratings for products and services on your site - after all, it's free content for your site.

Web users are more inclined to trust what people like themselves say, compared to marketers. Reviews are especially critical in sectors like travel and electrical goods, although they're rapidly being adopted across all areas.

People generally want user-generated reviews and if they can't find them on your site, they'll simply look elsewhere. There's no hiding online so you might as well keep them on your site. Sites like Figleaves and the UK Apple store website understand this and implement them really well.

Also, don't be scared of bad reviews - people can smell sites that have been 'edited' a mile away, forcing them to simply not trust anything you say. Instead, be prepared to act quickly on your customers' feedback."    (Continued via Robin Good, Lisa Halabi)    [Usability Resources]

User Generated Review - Usability, User Interface Design

User Generated Review

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