The Art Of Persuasion – How To Woo Customers

The Art Of Persuasion – How To Woo Customers

Learn the art of persuasion in marketing that helps convert visitors into loyal customers. Discover effective techniques and principles for higher conversion rates.

"Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell." 

-Seth Godin, Author. 

In 2011, Google released an ad titled "Dear Sophie" with the tagline "The Web is what you make of it.". The advertisement followed a father's journey over the years as he created a digital scrapbook for his daughter, Sophie, using Google products like Gmail and Google Photos. Dear Sophie quickly gained popularity and garnered millions of YouTube and social media views. 

The ad emotionally appealed to viewers to use technology to capture and preserve memories of loved ones. It mirrored emotions like love and nostalgia and used a heartwarming storyline and relatable characters to create an emotional connection with the viewers.

From a social psychology standpoint, the ad applied the principle of reciprocity by showing how using Google's products can help people build and maintain relationships with loved ones. 

The ad created a positive association between the brand and the viewers, resulting in brand visibility and sales.

This Google ad is an excellent example of how emotional marketing and social psychology principles create a powerful and effective marketing campaign. Here's how you can use the same principles to woo customers.

It's all about attitude

Attitude and behavior are inextricably linked. So changing a customer's attitude towards your brand is the perfect persuasive technique.

Customer's attitude towards your brand is the perfect persuasive technique.

People hold fairly consistent attitudes that are mirrored in their behavior. So if a customer's attitude towards your business is positive, they'll keep coming in, and the reverse is true.
But the relationship between attitude and behavior also determines how you and your employees interact with and represent your business.

If a salesperson has a positive attitude toward a product or service, they are likely to make a convincing argument, ultimately persuading a customer to buy.
Similarly, if a customer has a positive experience with a salesperson, they develop a favorable attitude toward the business. Leading to increased loyalty and repeat business.

How you communicate your brand, products, and services dictates how customers perceive and feel about your business. So how can you send out the right message?

Your message can change consumer attitude

The way you frame and deliver a message can be a powerful tool of persuasion. It determines how your target audience responds to and interacts with your brand. To communicate effectively with your customers, you should focus on three things.

The message source

How likely are you to believe a message from a celebrity known for their philanthropy? Or from an industry expert?Very likely.

The source of the message can have a significant impact on how it is received. Communicators who seem credible and trustworthy are more likely to produce an attitude change. So are communicators who seem dedicated to the brand.

Characteristics of the message

Your message should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. It should show the communicator's position and what they are arguing for or against.

Additionally, emotionally engaging messages that appeal to a consumer's self-interest can be particularly effective in changing attitudes. So consider using persuasive techniques such as storytelling that appeal to the consumer's emotions or self-interest.

Characteristics of your target audience

This bit comes down to the recipients' attitudes, previous experience with a similar brand, and personality. Due to this, consumers will have varied responses to the same message. But, if you tailor your message to their needs and preferences, you can direct their emotional response in your favor.

You can do this by conducting market research and identifying your ideal customer profile (ICP) to understand your target audience's attitudes, beliefs, values, preferred communication channels, and messaging styles.

Routes to persuasion: How consumers interact with your message?

Consumers tend to process advertising messages through two different information processing routes. These routes determine how consumers engage with your message and whether it propels them to action.

Each route has unique characteristics and can be used to persuade customers to make purchases in different ways.

Central route processing

Consumers who use this processing route think critically about the information presented to them and are more likely to change their attitude based on the logic and merit of the argument. 

You can use this route to persuade consumers by providing compelling arguments highlighting the benefits of your products or services, which is what the ad, Dear Sophie, did. But remember to keep the information clear and straightforward so consumers can engage with complex ideas.

Peripheral route processing

Consumers who use this processing route should be more focused and engaged by the information presented. However, they are more likely to be influenced by peripheral cues, such as the message source or the attractiveness of the spokesperson.

To persuade customers with this processing route, focus on the peripheral cues most likely to appeal to your target audience.

You can use attractive models, influencers, or celebrities in your advertisements to highlight product popularity among social groups. You can also focus on creating positive emotions around your products or services to appeal emotionally to customers.

The key to using either processing route is to understand your audience's motivations and thought processes. And to craft messages that resonate with their needs and preferences.
You can do that by using any of the following marketing strategies.

7 strategies for effective marketing: How to woo customers?

1. Make people laugh

Everybody loves a good laugh, even if they do not admit it. And humor can be a powerful tool for persuasion. When used right, it can create a positive emotional response and enhance the customer's attitude toward your brand. 

According to a report by Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX) and Gretchen Rubin, 91% of consumers prefer funny brands, while 72% would pick a funny brand over its competitors. 

Humor makes your marketing efforts memorable and more likely to capture attention and overcome sales resistance.

Humor makes your marketing efforts memorable and more likely to capture attention and overcome sales resistance.

Unfortunately, using comedy and humor as a marketing technique could backfire, especially when done with the wrong products. So how can you use humor to your advantage?

Align humor with your brand personality, product, or service

If your humor is inconsistent with your brand's personality and values, it will feel inauthentic and undermine your message.
But an authentic humorous connection to your product or service reinforces the message and increases engagement.

For example, a company that sells a cleaning product could use humor to illustrate the struggle of cleaning, making the product seem more approachable and user-friendly.

Use humor to highlight benefits

Using humor to highlight the benefits of a product or service makes the message more memorable and engaging. In addition, it creates a positive emotional response that associates your brand with positive feelings.

But before you use comedy, understand your target audience and tailor your humor to their preferences so it does not sound offensive.

2. Create some scarcity

The marketing team creates a sense of scarcity and exclusivity by releasing new products in limited quantities.

The scarcity principle dictates that the harder it is to obtain a product or service, the more valuable it is to the consumer. It is a simple equation, limited availability = Mass appeal. 

Apple is known for its notorious use of the scarcity principle. The marketing team creates a sense of scarcity and exclusivity by releasing new products in limited quantities and promoting them as must-have items.

By ensuring that only a limited amount of stock is available for pre-order or on the launch date, they create a sense of urgency that takes advantage of the customers' FOMO (fear of missing out).  

You can also create the same sense of urgency and woo consumers to your brand by

  • Using urgency in your copy.
  • Using countdown timers on your website. 
  • Putting limited-time offerings on sales and discounts. 
  • Having flash sales.
  • Limiting your stock quantities and product drops to create a sense of urgency
  • Using ratings and reviews as social proof

3. Focus on reciprocity

"don't just take, give" text to define effective marketing should focus on reciprocity.

4. Instil some fear

Using fear as a marketing strategy can elicit behavioral change, especially in public health campaigns. This is because fear usually pushes people to take action to minimize the consequences. 

The trick is to highlight the fear and provide your audience with a means of reducing it. Otherwise, you might arouse people's defense mechanisms and turn them away from your brand. 

Here is an example of how to use fear to your advantage.

  1. Identify the fear- A pest control company might identify the fear of pests like rats, spiders, or cockroaches.
  2. Highlight the consequences- The company will then highlight the health risks associated with pests, such as the spread of diseases.
  3. Provide a solution- The pest control company then promotes its services as an effective solution to eliminate pests and reduce their health risks.
  4. Use a strong call to action- The pest control company uses a call to action such as "Don't let pests harm your family's health. Call us today for a free consultation."

Remember, using fear as a marketing strategy is most effective when done responsibly and ethically.

5. Get a foot in the door

This technique was coined by Johnathan Freedman and Scott Fraser of Stanford University, who wanted to prove the theory that getting people to grant small requests led to them agreeing to larger ones. 

Guess what? The theory is true.  

This approach persuades customers to engage with a brand by gradually building their trust and commitment.

You can ask potential customers to subscribe to your newsletter or offer them a free trial or sample. Once the customer has engaged with your brand and has shown interest, gradually increase the ask by offering a paid subscription or purchase. 

6. Use peer comparisons

Peer comparison generally highlights how others use or benefit from a product or service.

Peer comparison generally highlights how others use or benefit from a product or service. This strategy uses the principle of social proof and encourages more people to adopt the same behavior.

For example, run a fitness app. You could show users how many people in their age group or fitness level have signed up through user-generated content such as reviews, social media posts, or targeted email campaigns highlighting local success stories.

Peer comparisons create a sense of community and social connection around your product or service, leading to increased engagement, loyalty, and sales.

7. Tug on heartstrings

The Dear Sophie ad at the beginning of the article is an example of how marketing can tug on consumers' heartstrings. This strategy relies on the art of storytelling to use emotions to change consumers' attitudes toward a brand and persuade them to make purchases. 

You can also incorporate this strategy into your marketing campaign.

  • First, identify the target audience, their interests and values, and the emotions that best resonate with them. 
  • Secondly, identify brand values that align with the target audience's values.
  • Thirdly, use emotional triggers. For example, if your target audience is parents, emotions such as love, protection, and nostalgia may be effective emotional triggers.
  • Create a story or message that taps into these emotional triggers and connects consumers with your brand values. 

NB: Always be authentic and genuine in your storytelling, as customers can recognize insincere attempts to manipulate their emotions.

There are many other strategies you can use to curate your brand's image and interact with customers. It all comes down to how creative you can be. Hopefully, these tips will help you generate many sales and customer loyalty.

Let us know what story you want your brand to tell and how it will change brand perception. All the best!


Persuasion is an essential component of marketing that goes beyond being a mere strategy. It is an art involving various techniques to convince potential customers to become buyers.

In addition, persuasion techniques are critical in building trust, credibility, and likability among website visitors. This, in turn, leads to higher conversion rates.

And in today's time, as a digital marketer, it is crucial to explore the different opportunities available for persuasion. Incorporating trust symbols and professional content that resonates with visitors can significantly enhance the chances of achieving conversion goals.

With the right approach, the principles of persuasion can help you create a base of loyal customers who not only purchase from you but also bring in more customers over time.

Beatrice is a content writer on Upwork who is passionate about helping people and brands tell their stories. She has a degree in psychology and a background in finance, which she uses to help companies create marketing strategies and craft engaging content.

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