Mar 03

5 little known ways to persuade your readers to buy

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This guy could still successfully sell VCR's. He's THAT good.

This guy could still successfully sell VCR’s. He’s THAT good.

Last week, I posted some advice on how to write a sales page that gets readers fired up to buy. The first rule: every product or service you sell needs to have a sales page, so don’t dismiss any of this article. When writing a sales page it is essential to relate to the reader, prove you are an authority on the topic and show the reader why your product is of value to them.

If you can’t accomplish ALL of those things, you won’t have a buyer.

People buy from those that have products they need, if they trust the seller. Read that line again. You must generate trust from your reader or you’ll never get the sale, and so your entire sales letter should be focused on building up enough trust so you can have the reader complete the transaction.

In this post, I want to get you to start thinking like a consumer.

Instead of thinking about how you can improve your own business, put yourself in the shoes of the type of people likely to be interested in your products or services.

I’m going to do that with 5 valuable persuasion tips in this post. By the way, if you’re interested in having me look over your business and give you personalised marketing advice, please fill out my application for a Free Digital Marketing Audit.

1. Make the consumer feel as if there is a sense of urgency to buy

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, everyone knows McDonald’s sells Shamrock Shakes throughout the month of March. McDonald’s uses a very important marketing tactic when advertising these tasty treats. They make sure to remind us they are only available for a “limited time”. If McDonald’s busts out the Shamrock Shakes without the “limited time” tagline, it doesn’t give consumers a sense of urgency to come in and get one.

Letting consumers know a product is only available for a limited time or a specific period of time makes them think, “hey, I better hurry up and get my hands on that”. You want the consumer to buy as quickly as possible. If they don’t, they might lose interest or buy from someone else. You can force a sense of urgency on the consumer in other ways such as “the first 100 to buy will receive a free gift”. As a consumer, I don’t only need a reason to buy. I need a reason to buy RIGHT NOW.

2. Give the readers an offer they cannot refuse

If you give me an offer I cannot refuse, I’m going to accept. If you give me an offer that doesn’t interest me at all or leaves me wondering how I would benefit from accepting the offer, I’m going to decline. When selling any product online, you have to work extra hard to convince a reader to buy. There are tons of websites out there selling similar products and services. Your service might be better than the rest, but you must clearly convey it to the reader.

You can test different types of offers, but here are a couple of examples that would be tough to turn down if you were seeking these products or services:

“…25% off our competitor’s prices, plus a FREE deck of cards”
“…Guaranteed to lose 20 pounds in 2 months or your money back”

These offers are great because they either have a guarantee to receive money back if the buyer doesn’t achieve the desired results or an offer for cheaper prices on the same products than what the consumer would purchase elsewhere, plus a free gift. You can’t beat these offers.

3. Conversation style content

When writing a sales page, sales letter or product page, using conversation style content works exceptionally well. This is a great way to relate to the consumer. When they read this type of content, it will trigger positive emotions. And when you trigger positive emotions out of a reader, they’re likely to buy because they now trust you. When you walk into a store, you’re almost always greeted by a friendly employee, right? That’s because employees in retail stores are trained to greet customers with a friendly, “hi there, how can I help you” approach.

That friendly greeting immediately puts the customer in a positive mood (unless, of course, he’s had the most miserable day ever). When customers are in a good mood, they buy. The idea of writing conversation style content is to make the reader smile, maybe laugh a bit and give a “yes” headshake a few times. Plain, boring content won’t trigger these emotions and your sales will decline as a result. I want to give you an example of exactly what I’m talking about. So here is an example of a paragraph I would use on a sales page if I were selling a weight loss program:

“70% of Americans are overweight, so don’t feel bad about yourself. I once was in your shoes. I weighed in at 350 pounds and felt miserable. I was embarrassed to go out in public. It wasn’t until my brother’s wedding a year ago before I realized I had to do something about my weight. I was the only member of the wedding party that looked uncomfortable in a tuxedo. But the truth is I was more uncomfortable getting fitted for a tuxedo because I just knew the dude taking my measurements was secretly laughing.”

A paragraph such as this would relate well to people trying to lose weight. The writer established credibility by explaining he was once overweight. This is good because readers want proof of results. Anyone can sell a weight loss program, but how do the readers know it actually works? This is the type of paragraph that will have a reader shaking their head in agreement with the writer. That’s a good thing.

4. Using psychology to mind-trick the reader

We, as consumers, don’t even realize we are being “tricked” to buy sometimes. Seriously, I guarantee it’s happened to you many times in your life. Take a look at car sticker prices, for example. You’ll see prices such as $24,999, $19,999, $9,599. What is the difference between $25,000, $20,000, and $9,600? Well, obviously $1. But who really cares about that extra dollar? When you’re purchasing something at those prices, $1 is insignificant.

From a business perspective, that $1 is actually a lot of money. That $1 less per car leads to far more sales. It’s true. When consumers look at a sticker price of $24,999, their mind tricks them into viewing the price as “less than $25,000”. Technically, yes, it is less than $25,000. But that $1 isn’t going to make or break a consumer’s ability to afford the car. It’s simply a mind-trick that makes them think, “I’m buying this for less than $25,000”.

Now, if the sticker price is $25,000, that changes things because now the consumer thinks the car costs $25,000. $25,000 and “less than $25,000” are significant differences. You’d be surprised. Our minds work in funny ways. So if you plan to sell your product for, say, $50, you’re better off selling it for $49.99. Your customers will receive it for “less than $50”. I guarantee the $49.99 price instead of $50 will double your sales.

5. Reminding readers they need to buy NOW

One thing I’ve noticed many small business owners forget is to actually ask for the sale. They write up this great sales page, addressing every problem a consumer has, but they forget to say, “buy my stuff”! Okay, that isn’t exactly a strong call-to-action, but you get my point. You have to remind the reader to buy your product. You can’t just tell them all the details about you and your product without asking for the sale and expect them to buy.

Selling online is exactly the same as selling face-to-face, except you’re using written word. If you were meeting with a potential customer in person and brought your great products with you, told him all about the benefits of the products and proved you know what you’re talking about, would you walk away from the meeting without asking the customer to buy? You wouldn’t finish up the conversation with a “my product is exactly what you need. Anyway, I hope you have a nice day and it’s been great meeting you”, would you?

The call-to-action is very important. It needs to reiterate the benefits of purchasing your product and then encourage them to buy. If the call-to-action also includes things such as bonus offers (i.e. “FREE gift to the first 100 buyers”), great. The more you have to offer, the better. Just make sure you actually ask for the sale along with your offer.

That’s my five valuable persuasion tips to get you making more sales. I hope you enjoyed this post. What else have you done to get more sales? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know:

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