Online persuasion techniques explained. A database full of cases, studies and applications for websites, design, ux, texts and e-commerce.
Design, UX, text, pricing and decision making process.
People perceive aesthetically pleasing (beautiful) things as being easier to use and as working better.
When people are happy, they are more likely to try new things, whereas if they are worried, they tend to make more conservative choices.
Altercasting uses social roles and their relevant behaviours to influence people by casting them into a specific social role.
When a choice involves a degree of uncertainty, people don’t know what to expect and therefore tend to dislike and avoid the choice.
When making new decisions, people rely too heavily on the first information they receive, using that information as an anchor in their decision-making.
Human characteristics (such as emotions, personalities or physical features) are projected onto non-human (both animal and inanimate) objects.
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.
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.
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.
People have a need for autonomy – to be in control of their own choices.
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.
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.
People interpret high percentages and numbers as very positive, without considering what these percentages apply to.
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.
The word ‘because’ satisfies the brain’s search for reasons, making it less critical to the reason offered.
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’.
Simply reminding people that they have the freedom to say no to a request, has been shown to make an appeal twice as effective.
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).
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.
People convince themselves that the choice they made was superior by coming up with rational reasons supporting their choice.
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.
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.
People search for, interpret and remember information in a way that supports their beliefs. They also avoid information that could disconfirm their beliefs.
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.
People think differently about actions that will take place in the near future than actions that will take place in the distant future.
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.
The country in which a specific product is made serves as a substitute measure of quality, performance and status, which influences their consumer choices.
When there is a gap between what people know and what they want to know, they will take action to fill this gap.
If brands recognise shortcomings that their products might have, their credibility is enhanced.
The more decisions people have to make after another, the worse the quality of the decisions become.
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.
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.
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.
When a seller makes a concession on an initial offer, their target feels obligated to return the favour.
People rely on the duration heuristic for decision-making especially when a monetary amount is attached to services.
People value products based on the perceived effort that went into producing the product.
When an action that requires a lot of willpower is performed, less willpower is available for consequent decisions, leading to more impulsive decisions.
Once people have taken (mental) ownership of something, the value they place on it increases and their willingness to give it up decreases.
People think others are more like them than they really are, so find others’ opinions and behaviours very informative for their own decisions.
The more familiar something seems, the more people tend to like it.
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.
Most people aren’t interested in the specific features of a product – they are interested in what the product can do for them.
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.
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.
Make a small request to the target. Once the target has agreed to this small request, a second, larger and related request is made.
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.
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.
Presenting the most important information (or conclusion) first.
People subconsciously and automatically look in the direction that others are looking.
As people get closer to reaching a goal, their effort to reach the goal increase. Even the illusion of making progress is motivating.
Guarantees are a great way to reduce the perceived risks of buying online. It suggests that the customer has nothing to lose.
People tend to believe that people or things that possess a certain positive/negative trait also possess many other positive/negative traits.
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.
People prefer products from their home country over products from foreign countries.
Humour can lower targets’ resistance to being persuaded.
People prefer an instant reward rather than one for which they have to wait.
People value products more if they played some part in its creation.
When people think about future events, they overestimate the emotional impact (in terms of intensity and duration) that the event will have on them.
People generally have positive associations with themselves and as a result prefer things that are ‘like them’ or connected to them in some way.
When people miss out on a deal, they become less likely to buy the same product at full price in the future.
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.
Offer operational transparency (i.e. show what you are doing), demonstrating how you are exerting effort to complete a task for the target.
Having been ‘good’ gives you permission to be ‘bad’.
People are more willing to comply with someone’s request if the they like the person making the request.
People’s attitudes towards persuasion attempts can be influenced by their thought process in a previous and unrelated situation.
Faced with the choice of acquiring a gain or avoiding a loss, people tend to prefer avoiding a loss.
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.
Mental models help people make predictions, allow people to take (mental) shortcuts and help guide people’s decisions about how to act.
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.
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.
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.
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.
People pay more attention to negative information than they do to positive information.
Novelty suggests that there is the possibility for pleasure nearby, motivating people to seek out this reward promised by ‘new’ products.
Using non-verbal cues on websites can guide people’s thoughts and actions.
People are willing to spend more money when they are feeling nostalgic.
People overestimate the probabilities of positive outcomes in their future and underestimate the probabilities of negative outcomes.
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.
By using unexpected elements, targets’ attention will be drawn to the incongruent element. Leading to more engagement with the information.
Adding a photo to a text has been shown to increase the perceived credibility of the text.
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.
People are also less likely to buy bundles where expensive and inexpensive items are offered together.
Pricing strategies such as minimalist pricing, the magic of 9, and using dollar signs and commas.
Ratings influence people’s perception of a product (before buying it), and influence the experience people have with the product (after acquiring it).
Reactance is a way of reclaiming the behavioural freedom that is being threatened.
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.
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.
By repeating something, people will start to believe it and assume that it’s the majority opinion.
People are more likely to undertake an action if they believe that the action will be successful in helping them reach a desired goal.
Rhetorical questions are used to create engagement and agreement within the target.
People find sayings that rhyme more likely to be true (and more persuasive) than sayings that don’t rhyme.
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.
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.
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.
The belief that one possesses the necessary skills and knowledge to complete a specific task or to reach a specific goal.
People tend to like and remember ideas more if they came up with it themselves than if someone else came up with it.
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.
People attribute positive outcomes to their own effort and skills, while attributing negative outcomes to outside influences not related to themselves.
Appealing to the senses with marketing can form an emotional connection to the brand within targets.
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).
Whenever an indication of sex is detected, the old brain is activated and attention is focussed on the stimuli.
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.
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.
After exposure to a slogan, people are driven to perform behaviour that is the opposite of that suggested by the slogan.
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.
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.
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.
When listening to a very engaging story, people’s brains have been shown to align thoughts, opinions and ideas with that of the storyteller.
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.
A positive surprise leads to customer delight, the highest level of customer satisfaction.
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.
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.
Three types of behavioural triggers can be used (depending on the target’s motivation and ability) to encourage the desired behaviour.
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.
For people to feel the urgency to act quickly, they need to think of the product or service as important.
Verbs are more persuasive than adjectives as they force the writer to give actual examples of the characteristics in question.
Video leads to greater understanding and a feeling of personal connection.
Visual cues guide visitors’ attention towards important parts of the webpage.
By asking someone to visualise owning a product, their brain perceives it as if the person really owns the product.
Things that stand out catch people’s attention and are remembered better than things that do not stand out.
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.
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.
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.
As long as something is left unfinished, it remains in people’s attention until it has been brought to completion.
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