Advise on website creation

17 methods of persuasion to optimize conversion

Everybody knows that  methods of persuasion deem to be a powerful tool for conversion. You may have read about the main principles of customer engagement. And you might have even heard about them at all sorts of seminars and conferences. They are trivial and kind of boring, so we decided to tell you about less-known persuasion techniques, which will help you to succeed in your business.

17 methods of persuasion to optimize conversion

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  1. The Yerkes-Dodson law

Developed by the famous psychologists John Dodson and Robert Yerkes, this law describes empirical dependence of the best results on average arousal rate. It states that work performance will increase with the increase of physiological or mental motivation up to a certain point. If the level of motivation is too high, then productivity drops down. This effect is related mostly to intellectual type of work, not the mechanical.

You need to know that too many incentives for productivity increase don’t work in your favor. You need to define the boundary level of motivation, at which efficiency does not drop. Using this principle you may provoke the wish to buy and use your product with incentives.

  1. Mimicry

Mimicry is related to imitation of people’s behavior. One may learn data about the clients using surveys, market research, focus groups, etc. Using this data you will learn more about how people see your product, what do they like or dislike in such type of product, and so on.

You may imitate your client by using the keywords, phrases and style of writing that he uses and likes. Put the photos of your buyers on your website. You may also make your clients imitate you. You can begin with uploading photos and videos with people who have already used your goods. Client reviews should be placed next to call to action. Use social media, so that your prospects may see which of their friends have used your services or products.

  1. Hobson’s Choice Technique

Lots of options trigger more positive emotions. In this case you feel freedom of choice. But having too many options, you may feel worse. This is because of the fear to miss other chances.

In real life this may be used as follows. When your clients need to make a choice, offer them not more than two options. If it’s ecommerce, it may be possibility to add to cart or to add to wish-list. But the final result is expected to be the same, which is buying your product in this case.

  1. Base rate bias

It’s a formal fallacy. If a person is given general and specific information, its mind is focused on the latter. A visitor usually doesn’t keep in mind general info, that’s why it’s better to underline the particular features of the product in its description. One may play around with numbers to improve persuasion.

  1. Availability heuristic

It is based on the examples that come first to one’s mind when discussing certain topic, method or solution. It states that something we can recall faster is more significant.

Since the media has huge influence, you may use case studies and reviews from clients that are often mentioned there. Use nostalgia, emotions and humor – it will enhance retention.

  1. Cheerleader effect

This effect uses cognitive bias that makes a person look better when he or she is in a certain group of people. It’s because our mind tends to average the abilities of each person, if he is a member of some group.

If you are in a cut-throat market, you may use comparison (prices, benefits, etc). You may also create partnership with businesses that are not very competitive. In this way you will seem more winning to your lay clients.

  1. Hot hand fallacy

This bias lies in mistaken opinion that states that a person who has succeeded in something will much more likely have the same result in other activities.

Give a very simple task to your clients before conversion. It will increase their wish to perform new tasks. Emphasize the achievements of your company. It may be media mentions, awards, testimonials, etc. This is even more important, if you promote an information product.

  1. IKEA effect

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This effect is built upon the bias that makes people see higher value in the products that they contributed to. The name comes from the famous furniture company from Sweden, IKEA. They sell products that should often be assembled by the customer.

The IKEA effect may be used in e-commerce. You may offer a client to choose the color, size and style of a product. Use different methods of service evaluation. By giving feedback on services, users feel that they are involved in the process of their improvement.

  1. Facial distraction

When you look at the people around, at first you analyze their faces. Using facial gesture we may convey certain emotions. On the internet, however, information is mostly given as text with pictures, lists and so on. In this vein, a face could distract reader’s attention and increase cogency.

If there are any famous people among your clients, use their photos in your promotion products. If a visitor is already on your website, you may still use faces by placing them in a way that they point at your call to action.

  1. Ambiguity aversion

This term describes preference for risks with known results over unknown risks. This means that a person will likely choose one of the options with more definite outcomes.

In your business you may firstly analyze and remove any doubts from your website. Try to make product descriptions accurate and clear. Offer discounts and coupons, not a chance to get them. Return policy also works fine in this context. It make your client feel confident when they are thinking to work with you

  1. Eaton-Rosen phenomenon

This effect lies in a cognitive bias that says that phrases look more upright, if they are rhymed. A rhymed slogan will more likely stick in client’s memory, than the common one. You may also use this technique in your offer or near to call to action.

  1. Barnum effect

The Barnum effect explains why we like the descriptions of people, which we believe have been created exclusively for us. In fact, these texts are usually non-specific and may be applied to a set of people. Horoscope is one of the examples of this effect. Very often its text may make a person believe that it’s so much about him or her. In fact, horoscope for each sign of zodiac is written in a similar way using general phrases.

To use this effect you may ask your client general questions that are related to his personality and tastes. You may also claim that a product is suited for certain type of people. But be sure that this is the type of people you want as a part of your target audience.

  1. Context effect

It explains that it’s much easier to recall something by recreating context, in which it was memorized.

If you are trying to stir up your client, you may remind him of some facts with dates. It may be almost anything like reminding your client that it’s been a year since he has signed up to your website.

  1. Peak end rule

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This rule describes how people value their experience based on extreme emotions they felt at a certain moment, ignoring general impression.

Analyze and define these peak moments to find out how your clients have been feeling at these points in time. Pay attention to all the exit points in the funnel. Try not to cause negative emotions during peak moments. Use incentives to cause positive emotions.

  1. Rosy retrospection

According to this term, people value events that have occurred in the past more positively comparing to how they valued them when they had occurred. This effect is stronger if these events have caused relatively pleasant emotions. This is explained by the fact that negative emotions leak away from the memory faster than the pleasant ones.

To apply this effect in your business, you should use nostalgia elements, such as photos, videos and archaic expressions. In this way you may create good vibes for your visitors and make your clients remember your product by associating it with pleasant moments in their lives.

  1. Sex and messages

One of the components of our behavior is an aspiration for telling about our main benefits to our potential allies, enemies and partners. The same goes for products.

To find out which characteristics do your present clients associate your products with, you may make a research. People usually try to underline their financial, physical and intellectual status. You may start from these points.

  1. Status quo bias

This term describes an aiming for stable state of things, which is known as status quo. Very often people relate to today’s situation as a norm, and if something deviates they are feeling uncomfortable.

Try to prepare content, ask questions and create a call to action in such a way that your clients almost don’t need to act. For example, you may fill out the fields in the form in advance. If you want your clients to make some actions, make them very simple and plain.


Decision is the best when it’s made by your client himself, that’s why persuasion is so potential.

Each element of your website should convince visitors. You need to know all the methods and understand how they affect your audience.

Remember three simple rules.

  1. Persuasion is far more effective than forcing.
  2. Persuasion is not limited by memorized principles. All these techniques are here to help, not to solve all your problems.
  3. The brain is tricky and complicated. Don’t forget that all these methods may act on people in different ways. Don’t hesitate to explore.

If you use any other techniques or methods of persuasion in your business, share your experience with us by leaving a comment.

We also suggest you to read our recent intriguing article about social proof in marketing.

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