There are many variables which can help you turn a lead into a converted client. All successful advertising campaigners are well aware of the need to overcome a particular “tipping point”; that is, the moment when interest turns into desire and then into action. While flashy images and infographics may go a long way, the key to ultimate success is engaging the audience through persuasive copy that keeps their attention until the only choice is to take action.
The process is very similar to a succession of dominoes; each slight push will logically lead to continued interest until the final domino falls, this last piece of course representing the conversion.
For the game in this article, we only need 5 domino pieces. So let's play!
Grab your audience’s focus
Did you ever see an advertising campaign for winning exotic scuba diving trips simply reading “How would you like a holiday?” Of course not.
The first step of a conversion requires the presenter to snatch the audience out of oblivion and have them directly focus on what is being presented. So, for the example above, a more appropriate approach would be:
The point is that the readers need to be magnetized to what you are proposing. This may be achieved by paying them a compliment or asking an open-ended question sure to unconsciously attract even the most indifferent reader.
State the benefits
What good is an opening line if the rest of the script is dull, right?:) After such an entrance, follow up with ticking off the main benefits of interest to your audience.
For our example, we could use something like “No costs at all, not even for scuba sets. Everything is on us!”. Thus, while the opening statement will help set the overall tone, this section intends to solidify the interest.
Make your request
This may be called the “qualifying” stage. In essence, this is your call to action for the audience.
It should be short, to the point and avoid superfluous words. In a simple sentence, the readers need to understand exactly what it is that they are being asked to do.
Restate the benefits
At this point in the domino game, some of the audience may still feel “on the fence”. It is human nature to waiver at decisions, so this is the best opportunity to summarize once again the benefits that the audience will receive.
For our little scuba diving adventure, a simple “Win your dream holiday to Hawaii!” may do the trick. In sales terminology, this is known as the “reinforcement” stage.
Establish realistic expectations
This is markedly different from restating the benefits. It is more of a closing statement, which should be friendly and encourage the audience to revisit the benefits previously listed, or contact the presented should there be any questions or concerns.
This section may include a specific time or date range for your offer, or state how long it may be until the readers reap the rewards of having taken the action requested. While the audience should understand what they may expect, it is equally important to inform them of any terms and conditions. This finality will be cement of what was once a presentation into the prospect of an action.
Here is how the complete persuasive message may look like if we were to transpose it into a landing page, using an interactive popup message to further access the submission form.
The word “persuasion” may bring about negative connotations, but is persuasion not what converting essentially is about? This term should not be taken to an extreme or be interpreted as “fluffing” up content or making false promises, but instead should be viewed as a real and flowing process which converts the audience into taking an action.
These five steps are not mutually exclusive but rather need to be used in conjunction and in the proper order. When effective, a persuasive message is able to provide answers before questions are raised.
I would like to bring back the analogy of the domino effect that we began with and finish up this article with a question: What other factors do you take into account when creating a persuasion message? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.