Database online persuasion
Tekst

Online Persuasion Database

125 Lessen Advanced

Online persuasion techniques explained. A database full of cases, studies and applications for websites, design, ux, texts and e-commerce.

Course Structure

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Browse by category

Design, UX, text, pricing and decision making process.

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Aesthetic-Usability Effect

People perceive aesthetically pleasing (beautiful) things as being easier to use and as working better.

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Affect heuristic

When people are happy, they are more likely to try new things, whereas if they are worried, they tend to make more conservative choices.

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Altercasting

Altercasting uses social roles and their relevant behaviours to influence people by casting them into a specific social role.

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Ambiguity aversion

When a choice involves a degree of uncertainty, people don’t know what to expect and therefore tend to dislike and avoid the choice.

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Anchoring

When making new decisions, people rely too heavily on the first information they receive, using that information as an anchor in their decision-making.

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Anthropomorphism

Human characteristics (such as emotions, personalities or physical features) are projected onto non-human (both animal and inanimate) objects.

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Anticipated regret

When people predict that a specific decision might lead to regret in the future, they try to avoid the decision in an attempt to avoid potentially feeling regret.

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Anticipation

The more anticipation people feel, the more they will want to acquire a new product or service, the more they will be willing to pay for it and the more they will value the brand.

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Authority

People have come to trust whoever displays signs of authority (eg. title, clothing, accessories) or someone who has a lot of experience with or knowledge about a topic.

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Autonomy

People have a need for autonomy – to be in control of their own choices.

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Availability heuristic

When people have to make predictions, they rely too heavily on information (examples) that comes to mind immediately. As a result, they overestimate the frequency or possibility of similar things happening in the future.

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Bandwagon effect

The greater the number of people who behave in a certain way (buy a product, like something, etc.), the more likely others will be to do the same.

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Base rate neglect

People interpret high percentages and numbers as very positive, without considering what these percentages apply to.

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Base value neglect

People tend to look at the percentage that accompanies a deal (eg. 50% extra or 30% off) and pick the option that is accompanied by the largest percentage, without considering the number that the percentage applies to.

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Because

The word ‘because’ satisfies the brain’s search for reasons, making it less critical to the reason offered.

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Belief bias

Even when people are presented with real facts and statistics, they sometimes do not believe (product) claims if they find the conclusions to be extreme, outrageous, unbelievable or ‘too good to be true’.

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But you are free

Simply reminding people that they have the freedom to say no to a request, has been shown to make an appeal twice as effective.

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Bye-now effect (homophone priming)

Prime targets to perform desired behaviour by exposing them to homophones of words describing the actions that they want targets to perform (eg. bye and buy).

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Choice overload / Choice paradox

People think that more choice is better than fewer choices. In reality, the more choice people have, the harder it becomes for them to make a choice and the less happy they are with the choice that they have made.

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Choice supportive bias

People convince themselves that the choice they made was superior by coming up with rational reasons supporting their choice.

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Cognitive dissonance

When people believe one thing and then act in a way that contradicts this belief, they feel an uncomfortable tension. It drives people to change something about their beliefs or behaviour.

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Compromise effect / Goldilocks effect

People are more likely to choose the middle option rather than one of the extreme options when having to choose from a set of options.

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Confirmation bias

People search for, interpret and remember information in a way that supports their beliefs. They also avoid information that could disconfirm their beliefs.

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Consistency

Once people have taken a stance on a topic, made a commitment or committed an act, they are likely to act in line with this behaviour in the future.

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Construal level (temporal distance)

People think differently about actions that will take place in the near future than actions that will take place in the distant future.

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Costco effect / Offer framing effect

People are more likely to purchase a variety of products if the products are sold individually as compared to when the products are sold in bundled packs, in which case they are more likely to buy multiples of one specific item.

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Country of origin effect

The country in which a specific product is made serves as a substitute measure of quality, performance and status, which influences their consumer choices.

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Curiosity

When there is a gap between what people know and what they want to know, they will take action to fill this gap.

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Damaging admission

If brands recognise shortcomings that their products might have, their credibility is enhanced.

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Decision fatigue

The more decisions people have to make after another, the worse the quality of the decisions become.

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Decoy effect

When trying to sell more products, offering a ‘decoy’ product -  a product that is clearly inferior in some way to the other options - can increase sales of the clearly superior option.

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Disrupt-then-reframe

This technique grabs the attention of its target by introducing an unexpected element, which confuses the target and temporarily disables their critical thinking. Before the target is able to make sense of the confusing element, it is reframed into a positive, understandable piece of information.

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Distinction bias

When people are evaluating products next to each other (as compared to separately from each other), they overestimate the amount of difference between the products.

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Door in the face technique

When a seller makes a concession on an initial offer, their target feels obligated to return the favour.

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Duration heuristic

People rely on the duration heuristic for decision-making especially when a monetary amount is attached to services.

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Effort heuristic

People value products based on the perceived effort that went into producing the product.

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Ego depletion

When an action that requires a lot of willpower is performed, less willpower is available for consequent decisions, leading to more impulsive decisions.

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Endowment effect

Once people have taken (mental) ownership of something, the value they place on it increases and their willingness to give it up decreases.

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False consensus effect

People think others are more like them than they really are, so find others’ opinions and behaviours very informative for their own decisions.

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Familiarity heuristic / Mere exposure effect

The more familiar something seems, the more people tend to like it.

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Fear appeals

When confronted with a threat, people either confront the threat (fight) or flee from it (flight). Then, clear instructions are provided how the threat can be avoided.

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Features vs Benefits

Most people aren’t interested in the specific features of a product – they are interested in what the product can do for them.

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Fitts’ Law

The larger the target is and the closer the target is to where the user’s pointing device is, the faster and easier it is for the user to click on the target.

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Fluency

Fluency is the ease with which stimuli are processed in the brain. When a stimulus is perceived as easy to process (fluent), it is experienced as positive and consequently liked.

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Foot in the door technique

Make a small request to the target. Once the target has agreed to this small request, a second, larger and related request is made.

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Free

The word ‘free’ evokes a lot of positive emotions and excitement in people. Since there is no perceived risk, the need to carefully consider a decision is removed.

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Fresh start effect

People see new beginnings as an opportunity for a fresh start for their goals. They will be looking for products to help them reach their goals.

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Front-loading

Presenting the most important information (or conclusion) first.

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Gaze cueing

People subconsciously and automatically look in the direction that others are looking.

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Goal gradient effect & Endowed progress effect

As people get closer to reaching a goal, their effort to reach the goal increase. Even the illusion of making progress is motivating.

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Guarantees

Guarantees are a great way to reduce the perceived risks of buying online. It suggests that the customer has nothing to lose.

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Halo effect and horn effect

People tend to believe that people or things that possess a certain positive/negative trait also possess many other positive/negative traits.

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

5 different types of needs that people experience: physiological needs, safety and security needs, love and belongingness needs, self-esteem needs and self-actualisation needs.

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Home (domestic) country bias

People prefer products from their home country over products from foreign countries.

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Humour

Humour can lower targets’ resistance to being persuaded.

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Hyperbolic discounting and instant gratification

People prefer an instant reward rather than one for which they have to wait.

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Ikea effect

People value products more if they played some part in its creation.

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Impact bias

When people think about future events, they overestimate the emotional impact (in terms of intensity and duration) that the event will have on them.

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Implicit egotism

People generally have positive associations with themselves and as a result prefer things that are ‘like them’ or connected to them in some way.

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Inaction inertia

When people miss out on a deal, they become less likely to buy the same product at full price in the future.

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Ingroup bias

People like other people who are socially similar to them in some way much more than they like others who are not socially similar to them.

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Labour illusion

Offer operational transparency (i.e. show what you are doing), demonstrating how you are exerting effort to complete a task for the target.

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Licensing effect

Having been ‘good’ gives you permission to be ‘bad’.

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Liking

People are more willing to comply with someone’s request if the they like the person making the request.

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Lingering effect (bolstering and counter-arguing)

People’s attitudes towards persuasion attempts can be influenced by their thought process in a previous and unrelated situation.

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Loss aversion

Faced with the choice of acquiring a gain or avoiding a loss, people tend to prefer avoiding a loss.

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Mental accounting

People assign their money to different mental “accounts”. These have different utilities and the money in these categories are spent differently according to the category that it is in.

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Mental models (and the law of past experience)

Mental models help people make predictions, allow people to take (mental) shortcuts and help guide people’s decisions about how to act.

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Metaphors

One object is linked to another seemingly unconnected object to create an association between the two, to give the idea that they share important properties.

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Mimicry

Viewing an action being performed, or imagining performing it, activates the same brain regions that would be activated if the action was actually being performed by the viewer.

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Naive diversification

When people are asked to make multiple choices for future consumption, they are more likely to choose more variety than they would have if they had to make the decisions right before consumption.

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Naming effect

When naming a product, it’s a good idea to lean in the direction of the characteristics you want your targets to perceive in your product.

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Negativity bias

People pay more attention to negative information than they do to positive information.

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New / Novelty

Novelty suggests that there is the possibility for pleasure nearby, motivating people to seek out this reward promised by ‘new’ products.

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Non-verbal communication

Using non-verbal cues on websites can guide people’s thoughts and actions.

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Nostalgia effect

People are willing to spend more money when they are feeling nostalgic.

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Optimism bias

People overestimate the probabilities of positive outcomes in their future and underestimate the probabilities of negative outcomes.

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Peak-end rule

People judge the pleasantness of experiences as the average pleasantness of the most intense moment (either good or bad) and the pleasantness of the end of the experience.

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Perceptual incongruence

By using unexpected elements, targets’ attention will be drawn to the incongruent element. Leading to more engagement with the information.

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Pictures / photos

Adding a photo to a text has been shown to increase the perceived credibility of the text.

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Present bias

People tend to over-value immediate outcomes at the expense of their future outcomes. The closer in time consumption will take place, the more impulsive and indulgent people’s choices become.

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Price bundling

People are also less likely to buy bundles where expensive and inexpensive items are offered together.

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Pricing

Pricing strategies such as minimalist pricing, the magic of 9, and using dollar signs and commas.

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Ratings

Ratings influence people’s perception of a product (before buying it), and influence the experience people have with the product (after acquiring it).

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Reactance

Reactance is a way of reclaiming the behavioural freedom that is being threatened.

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Reciprocity

When one receives a gift, a social obligation exists to return the favour. People feel a strong need to reciprocate, partly to reduce the uneasy feeling of being ‘indebted’ to the giver of the gift.

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Relaxation effect

Relaxed customers are willing to pay about 15% more for products than less relaxed customers. This is because the value of products are judged to be higher by those who are relaxed.

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Repetition and the Illusion of Truth effect

By repeating something, people will start to believe it and assume that it’s the majority opinion.

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Response efficacy

People are more likely to undertake an action if they believe that the action will be successful in helping them reach a desired goal.

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Rhetorical questions

Rhetorical questions are used to create engagement and agreement within the target.

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Rhyme as reason

People find sayings that rhyme more likely to be true (and more persuasive) than sayings that don’t rhyme.

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Risk aversion

People are risk averse, meaning that they prefer safe options over risky options. Even when the risky option’s benefit is larger than that of the safe option.

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Rounded price effect

When a decision is based on emotions, however, people tend to prefer products with rounded prices. Is it based on logic, people tend to prefer non-rounded prices.

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Scarcity

People tend to reason that which is scarce is also valuable (and therefore attractive). And they are motivated to act and acquire the product quickly.

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Self-efficacy

The belief that one possesses the necessary skills and knowledge to complete a specific task or to reach a specific goal.

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Self-generation effect

People tend to like and remember ideas more if they came up with it themselves than if someone else came up with it.

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Self-persuasion

When people are asked to come up with reasons themselves why a certain product or behaviour is good, they are much less critical and thus more easily persuaded.

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Self-serving bias

People attribute positive outcomes to their own effort and skills, while attributing negative outcomes to outside influences not related to themselves.

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Sensory marketing

Appealing to the senses with marketing can form an emotional connection to the brand within targets.

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Serial position effect

When people are presented with information, they are best able to remember the information presented first (primacy effect) and / or the information presented last (recency effect).

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Sex

Whenever an indication of sex is detected, the old brain is activated and attention is focussed on the stimuli.

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Silver lining effect

When people undergo a (financial) loss, they experience it as more positive when the loss is expressed in the form of a large loss accompanied by a small gain than when expressed only as a slightly smaller loss.

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Similarity heuristic

People tend to prefer things that are similar to things that they have enjoyed in the past, over things that do not seem similar to previously enjoyed things.

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Slogans

After exposure to a slogan, people are driven to perform behaviour that is the opposite of that suggested by the slogan.

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Social presence

The feeling that someone else is present increases the perception of personal contact and trust and as a result people are more likely to comply to requests.

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Social proof

We view the behaviour of others as informative for our own behaviour. The more people approve of something, the more likely others are to like it too.

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Status quo bias

People prefer for things to remain the way they are and often do not change an established behaviour. It’s easier to do nothing than to do something.

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Stories

When listening to a very engaging story, people’s brains have been shown to align thoughts, opinions and ideas with that of the storyteller.

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Sunk cost

Once people have invested time or money into something, they are likely to continue investing in it, despite it is not being the logical thing to do.

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Surprise

A positive surprise leads to customer delight, the highest level of customer satisfaction.

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That’s not all

An attractive offer is made, after which additional free items or bonuses are added one after the other. All before the target has to chance to respond to the offer.

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Third person effect

People tend to think that they themselves are not affected by advertising or persuasive attempts, but that others are, thereby making themselves a lot more vulnerable to it.

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Triggers

Three types of behavioural triggers can be used (depending on the target’s motivation and ability) to encourage the desired behaviour.

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Trust

Cognitive trust is based on knowledge about the reliability and competence of a company. Affective (emotional) trust is clients’ sense of being valued and cared for.

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Urgency

For people to feel the urgency to act quickly, they need to think of the product or service as important.

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Verbs vs. Adjectives

Verbs are more persuasive than adjectives as they force the writer to give actual examples of the characteristics in question.

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Video

Video leads to greater understanding and a feeling of personal connection.

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Visual cueing

Visual cues guide visitors’ attention towards important parts of the webpage.

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Visualisation

By asking someone to visualise owning a product, their brain perceives it as if the person really owns the product.

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Von Restorff effect

Things that stand out catch people’s attention and are remembered better than things that do not stand out.

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Watching eyes effect

People tend to be on their best behaviour when they think that they are being watched. A simple image of a pair of eyes has been shown to have the same effect.

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Weather effects

People predict that the way that they are feeling (eg. warm or cold) at the moment of decision-making, is the way that they will also be feeling at the time of consumption.

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You

People respond very positively when exposed to their own name. Unique parts of people’s brains are activated and they become more engaged in and trusting of the message.

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Zeigarnik effect

As long as something is left unfinished, it remains in people’s attention until it has been brought to completion.

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