The Power of Persuasion

You might be surprised to learn that most of your decisions are based on external factors such as the power of pesuasion and that work to persuade you in one direction or another. When you are driving, the behavior of another driver may persuade you to let them in front of you. When you’re shopping for groceries, the color of the packaging may subconsciously persuade you to buy it. And when you’re online, the words in the content may persuade you to either want to read more, subscribe, click through, or click away.

As a business owner, this is powerful knowledge. Realizing that the words you choose have a significant impact on your visitor’s behavior can help you tweak your content, and social media, your copy, by using more persuasive words and a few persuasion tactics.

Romancing the sunset
gwilmore / / CC BY-NC-SA

What Is Persuasion?

According to the dictionary, to persuade someone is to, “Cause (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument.” When you’re talking to someone, you know how to persuade. You do it by giving examples, supporting facts and information, and often by exhibiting some sort of strong emotion.

For example, if you’re really excited about a car dealer and you think your neighbor should buy their new car there, you’ll excitedly tell them about the great customer service, easy negotiation, and great price you got.

Persuading people online and offline through your content and copy isn’t much different than that neighborly conversation. If you’re trying to convince readers to try a new service, you might use the exact same tactics. You’d talk about the exceptional customer service, competitive price, and ease of use.

Types of Persuasion Tactics

There are many persuasion tactics that you can use online. They include but certainly aren’t limited to:

Facts and data – Strategic placement of supporting information can enhance your credibility and authority. This then may persuade someone to trust you and follow your advice. Additionally, it can persuade people to keep reading.

Emotion and emotional words – In the example of the car dealership, the delighted neighbor was excitedly sharing information about their experience. “Offline”, or in person, it showed on their face, in the words they choose, and probably in their language.” Online”, or on the internet or social media, you’re limited and you can use punctuation to show strong emotion. However, that should be used sparingly. Instead, use powerful emotional words to persuade your reader. For example, “Frustrated by stereotypical scammer car salesmen?”

Your reader will undoubtedly nod their head “yes” and read on, as you describe the great service you received at your dealership.

The Power of Persuasion

Active language, using the word “you” and remembering to focus on benefits will also help your content be more persuasive. The next time you sit down to create content or copys such as a blog post or article, remember the power of persuasion. A few simple tactics within your content can increase page visits, time on your site, subscriptions to your email list, and of course click-through rates and sales.


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