17 Persuasion Hacks to Increase Your Website's Conversion Rate

leads Jun 05, 2018

Want to boost your conversion rate and get more opt-ins and sales? Then you'll need to know what makes people take action online. In this post, we'll share 17 persuasion hacks that will increase your website's conversion rate.

Let me guess.

You want more of your website visitors to take action. Am I right?

Maybe you want them to sign up for your webinar, or opt-in for your free e-book, or buy your products.

Well, the percentage of website visitors who actually complete this task make up your conversion rate.

Now naturally, you want to get this conversion rate to be as high as possible, right?

But how do you actually do that, though?

Well, like many things in marketing, there isn’t one single answer. Instead, there are many different strategies that you can use, either on their own or (even better) in tandem with one another, to increase your conversion rate.

Fortunately, there is a lot of psychological research that tells us which marketing strategies–or “mind tricks”, if you will–work the best to persuade website visitors to take action.

In this article, we’ll share 17 of the best persuasion techniques to increase your conversion rate. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

1. Build Rapport

Imagine for a moment that you are the consumer here. If you had the option to buy a product from A) a company you already use and you’ve never had a problem with, or B) a brand new company you have no prior experience with, which company would you choose?

Well you’d probably go with Company A, right? That’s because you already have a rapport with them– they’re the safer, more comfortable option.

But this mentality doesn’t just apply to sales conversions… no matter what your conversion is–even if it’s simply asking someone to sign up for your email list–your first job is to build a rapport.

So how do you build rapport with someone online, especially when they’ve never even heard of you before?

Simple. You do that by creating useful content, and giving it away for FREE– before you ask for anything in return.

So before you ask someone to opt in to your email list, give them a helpful blog post to read. Before you ask for an initial purchase, make sure to deliver an amazing free resource to their email. And before you up-sell your bigger product, nurture your relationship with that prospect by delivering an awesome product and sending them valuable content on a consistent basis.

2. Secure Your Site

Securing your website not only makes your visitors feel safe, but it also makes your site easier to find in search engines.

To do this, you will have to obtain a security certificate by a certificate authority. This will give your website URL the tell-tale “https” at the beginning, signaling to users that the site is secure.

We’ve written a complete, step-by-step tutorial here: How to Use SSL and HTTPS with Your WordPress Blog

3. Look Professional

If your website looks like you threw it together in 20 minutes, you will probably find that users trust it less. So make sure that your site looks professional!

Fortunately, there are lots of great website builders these days that make it easy to put together a professional quality website, even with zero coding or design skills. And while you may not be able to throw an entire website together in 20 minutes flat, you can seriously cut down on the time it takes with one of these tools.

A couple of our favorites for WordPress users are Make and Divi.

But if you’re starting your website from scratch and you plan on selling online courses, Kajabi is an excellent choice.

4. Look Scientific

Once you have a secure, professional-looking site, you’ll need to convince people that the information you provide on your site is authentic. It turns out, people are a lot easier to persuade if your site looks “scientific”.

Researchers at Cornell found that people are more likely to believe a claim if it “looks and smells” scientific, like if it’s accompanied by a graph. This works “simply by virtue of being presented with elements associated with science”, even if the graph doesn’t actually contain any new information!

So to look scientific, make sure to include infographics, charts and graphs to illustrate your points. You should also link information back to reliable sources.

5. Be Approachable

If you really want to build trust (which is becoming a common theme here!), you need to be available to answer any questions or concerns within a timely and professional manner.

Make sure it is easy to use your contact page if your visitors have a question. You can also implement a chat plugin on your website so that visitors can interact with you while they browse.

6. Speak Directly to Your Ideal Customer

When you are crafting your website, your sales page, your email copy, etc., you are going to want to use highly targeted language. That is, you need to speak directly to your ideal customer.

After all, you are trying to rouse your potential customers to action. Wouldn’t you rather take action on something if you knew it was directly tailored to your specific needs?

To do that, you’ll need to understand exactly what makes your ideal customer “tick”. We recommend creating a customer avatar so that you have all their details right in front of you.

Also, make sure to use the word “you” a lot in your website copy, and use the word “I” a lot less.

For example, Bristol Community College uses the slogan “Your College. Your Future.” This draws the potential customer in by making them feel personally involved in what the college wants them to do– which is to attend their college, of course.

7. Add Urgency

Think of a time when you experienced FOMO (fear of missing out). How did that influence your decision to take action?

Anyone can leverage FOMO by simply adding urgency to your offer. “Do X Today!” or “While Supplies Last” are common examples of this. This makes your potential customers more likely to complete a task at the moment rather than clicking away from your site with an “I might come back later” mentality.

Remember: despite their best intentions, most people won’t be back later. Urgency forces people to take action now, so you can strike while the iron is still hot!

8. Create Exclusivity

You can also use exclusivity to appeal to customers. This especially works if you are trying to tempt customers to do something like sign up for a store credit card, or subscribe to a service specific to your business.

An example of this that you commonly see is video games being sold for pre-order with additional content that won’t come with the standard release.

Or, here’s an example of an exclusive Bluehost offer only available to Persuasion Nation fans:

9. Let them Choose

When you are creating the wording for your sales pitch, you need to be careful not to make it sound too “salesy”. It is very often today that customers feel like they are being used by corporations to make money.

As such, it is your goal to get them to do what you want them to without making them feel like they are being pressured into it– it needs to come across to them as an independent decision.

Robin Dreeke, head of behavioral analysis at the FBI, says:

“You’re empowering them with choice. Human beings do not like being told what to do, and they want to be offered choices – and you’re just going to offer them some choices about how they want to proceed.”

So when wording your sales pitch, clearly lay out their choices for them. Explain each of the different options that are available to them (including NOT buying your product), and tell them that it’s their choice. For example, if you sell an online course, you could say something like this at the end of your webinar or sales video:

“Now you have a choice. You can either hire a professional to do [XYZ] for you, which will cost you $10K. Or, you could do this the slow way and try to figure this out yourself, using trial and error. Or, you could do this the fast way by enrolling in my program: [Your Online Course].”

10. Be Preemptive About Objections

In a traditional, face-to-face sale, it is easy to discuss any reservations that a potential customer could be having. At that point, you would discuss exactly what the customer is feeling and you can adjust your sales pitch accordingly.

But when it comes to online selling, though, you have to be more than a little preemptive. After all, you won’t get the chance to hear feedback from your potential customer as you try to convince them to buy your product. So it’s your job to address these potential objections before they arise.

One such objection might be that you, as a seller, don’t understand the problems that the buyer is facing. To counteract this thought process, you need to make sure you spell out not only that your product will help them but also detail how it will help them.

You might also want to consider explaining concepts such as price and value– especially if you are the more expensive option when there are alternatives available.

In addition to these questions, consider more that your customers may have. A valuable source of information would be responses to your contact page. You can also conduct a survey if you want further information. Then, put the answers to all of these questions into a FAQ section on your sales page or in an email.

11. Use Social Proof

You should also back yourself with credentials and reliable sources– this goes back to our point on building trust.

You can do this quite simply by adding consumer testimonials or reviews, the number of products sold, what media outlets you have been featured in, etc.

12. Create a Path of Least Resistance

If you want to increase your conversion rate, you are going to want to make it as easy as possible for users to complete the task you are asking of them. We already touched on the fact that you want your website to be easy to use… but what does that mean exactly?

Well, first you are going to want to make the experience as guided as possible. This means giving your website’s visitors a clear path to what they need– with large, easily accessible checkout buttons, for example.

Remember: people skim websites. They don’t often read every single line.

You also want to make your checkout process as simple and painless as possible. Ask for as little information as possible in your form fields. And when asking people to sign up for an account, make it super easy by giving them the option to sign up with Facebook or their Google account.

13. Reduce the Number of Options

You also need to make sure that your visitors and prospects aren’t overwhelmed by options. Giving more choices makes consumers buy less, as proven by a famous jam experiment.

This is why, for example, when you go to a clothing store’s website you have the option to narrow down your choice by factors such as color, style, and men or women’s clothing.

The last thing you want is for your customers to be so overwhelmed that they give up on your site altogether, and that’s what so often happens when you offer too many options!

14. Compare Yourself

The hard truth of the matter is that no matter how unique your business model is, you will most likely have competition, and consumers will be comparing you to your competition when they are shopping. That is the simple nature of capitalism.

So, you have two distinct options: ignore it, or take it on directly.

I believe the more effective choice is to tackle the competition head on. Rather than allowing your customers to decide by their own comparison, compare yourself to the competition directly and show your customers why you are the superior choice.

For example, if you know your products or services are more expensive than your competition, take a moment to explain why you are worth the extra cost.

This, of course, brings us to a crucial point: you need to know your competition. In a capitalist market, it isn’t enough to know your own business model and what you offer. You need to know your competition just as well.

As we discussed earlier, your potential customers will have the natural inclination to question why they should buy a product. This includes asking why they should choose you over the competition. Once again, you are going to want to be preemptive in your answers when you are working through an online medium.

By adding in a comparison chart on your site, for example, you are acknowledging that you aren’t their only option, and answering their question as to why you are the best choice.

15. Reduce the Risk

Everything comes with a certain amount of risk involved, and purchasing something is no different. Even with face-to-face sales, there’s the chance that something could go wrong– the product could be faulty, for example.

However, this danger can be combated. Take the previous example, for instance. To protect against a faulty product, the manufacturer might tack on a warranty, or the store that sells the product might have a return policy.

With online sales, you can reduce risk with a “30-day money back guarantee” or a return policy. Or you could offer compensation if something happens to their package in shipping. For example, Domino’s once offered a “30 minute delivery or it’s free” guarantee.

Shipping is one of the largest objections to online shopping, so if you can, offer to ship for free with free returns.

Most importantly, you need to make sure that you offer secure payments. Even a single case of customer information being leaked or misused can damage your company’s reputation greatly, so this is an absolute must. Fortunately, it’s easy to offer secure payments through a service like PayPal or Stripe.

16. Recommend Related Products or Pieces of Content

Think about when you are on a site such as Amazon. When you are looking at a product, you are given a list of products that are either similar to it or go well with it.

With these recommendations, it is easy to find yourself going down a rabbit hole of looking at products you might want to buy.

Well, it is actually a technique to get consumers to spend more time on a company’s website and you can use it on your own site! With recommendations on the side, you are likely to lead someone who came onto your website for a specific product through a myriad of pages with other products that they might be interested in.

17. Rope Abandoning Visitors Back In

Even if you don’t know what it is by name, you have probably experienced exit messaging: this is when you move your cursor to the corner of your browser as you are about to leave a site, and a pop-up appears encouraging you to stay.

Here’s an example of an exit popup we created using OptinMonster:

Now you may think of pop ups as annoying, but remember: this is your last-ditch effort. Over 70% of people who leave your website will never return… so it really can’t hurt to try and win someone back one last time!

These exit popups usually ask a question relating to their services to entice you, such as, “How would you like to [insert goal here]?” or something along those lines. Then, they usually prompt you to input your email to receive a free gift.

This is a small gesture, but you would be surprised how often it works to keep the attention of your potential consumers. While it might not keep them browsing your website right then and there, if they enter their email address, you now have their permission to contact them in the future.

There you have it! 17 persuasion hacks to increase your website’s conversion rate. If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out our in-depth guide: How to Create a Persuasive Email Opt-in Form.


Steven Sanders is a writer, and blogger at Contentblossom. He lives in Los Angeles, California and enjoys spending time with his family and on his motorcycle when not writing. He can be reached at [email protected]

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