Over the years I have realized that my children are easily persuaded. I can typically steer them one way or another with mere words. At first I just assumed my daughter was go with the flow and that her personality dictated the ease of persuasion. Once my son arrived, I realized the ability to alter one’s thinking was less the child and more the parent.
I grew up in a family where Christmas was important. I’ve wrote about it before in my blogs, because when I think of my childhood, I think large Christmas Even celebrations at my aunt’s house in Northern Michigan. Because this is core to who I am, I have collected boxes and boxes and boxes of Christmas “stuff” over the years. I started building my collection by saving my Grandmother’s Christmas birds and I continued the growth by purchasing ornaments in any country I visited.
The upside to this is having a ton of Christmas decorations to display each year. From 400 ornaments and fifteen large Santa Bears to an entire Snow Village collection of houses and churches, we have a storage room full of stuff.
The downside of hoarding is it takes forever to carry boxes and boxes of our Christmas decorations up from our basement and even longer to decorate the house. It is an entire weekend of activity.
This is where persuasion comes into play. My children are now 8 and 14. Neither one is very excited about chores, although they both perform chores as instructed. While I don’t want to carry all our stuff up myself, I also don’t want my kids to feel as though the act of decorating is unpleasant. I use persuasion to get the task done and to make sure my kids enjoy it along the way.
I convert them to my way of thinking through three simple steps:
- I start by grabbing their attention. I ask with enthusiasm if they’re ready to decorate for Christmas. I start this exercise days before we are actually going to do it. We talk about what presents they’d like to receive for Christmas and at the same time we start carrying all the crap, I mean Christmas stuff, up out of our basement.
- Next I make sure they stay actively engaged in the process. If I allow them to drift off to iPhones or iPads, I will undoubtedly get stuck decorating by myself. I do my best to keep them alert and engaged by discussing their favorite ornaments or telling them stories of my Christmas memories and how these memories dictate the birds on our tree each year. I keep their interest through the process, which keeps them engaged and happy.
- Finally, I give them a specific task or call to action. I don’t just stand and look at fifty plastic totes of decorations and hope they’ll start unpacking and decorating – instead I tell them what would be appropriate next steps for them to take in our process. I lead them down the path of success by proving easy steps of instructions for what actions I’d like them to take.
If I let my children stand and look at mounds of decorations, they would be miserable. If I let them lose sight of their ultimate goal of Christmas morning, they would be equally unhappy.
Instead I keep their end goal of presents, food, and family in mind throughout our work, so they have purpose and so our work has meaning. This is the power of persuasion and it reaches into all aspects of your life.
In Website Design, Persuasion Means Conversions
A core part of our website design process is to discuss a client’s marketing goals and then use this information to create a custom design that will help increase website conversions. I try and use this same philosophy of child engagement with clients and their website design projects.
These days everyone wants to build their mailing list. Unfortunately, many people think it is as easy as whipping up a subscribe box and calling it good. Not so much.
To grow a mailing list you have to use the power of persuasion to get people to convert into a subscriber. That means the whole of your website should:
- Grab a visitor’s attention by offering content that is of value.
- Keep visitors engaged by providing a professionally designed website that is easy to use and free from distraction.
- Ask visitors to convert by presenting them with a compelling offer or call to action. In this case, that call to action is your subscription box.
Wrap Up Your Subscribe Box With Ribbons and Bows
The opt in process really goes further and the call to action itself needs to have these three characteristics as well.
- The subscribe box needs to grab attention, so it should be placed where uses can find it. I like the top of the sidebar or the bottom of a blog post. I go further by having it available on every contact form.
- Next you need to keep them engaged by providing something of value. While this is Christmas presents to my children, to your website visitors this may be discounts, offers, or a free informational guide.
- Finally present the call to action with an easy to use box that asks just for their email. Don’t ask for the company name, phone number, or anything else as this is just a barrier to the task itself.
This may all seem like basics, but you would be surprised by how many times we run into issues in actual design projects.
- The client wants a subscribe box and no text. This means there is no option for an offer and thus no persuasion for action.
- The client wants us to create the verbiage for them. I can help craft your verbiage, but I need you to help me come up with the actual offer. It is after all, your business, and therefore your promise of delivery.
- The client requires the delivery of a first-born child to subscribe. Forcing a website visitor to input ten required fields to sign up for anything, is like asking them to run away. People simply won’t do it.
- The client wants to hide the actual form on an internal page. One singular page to be exact. For a call to action to work, it needs to be easily found and easily used.
How is Your Website Doing?
Before you leave this post, take a moment and ask yourself if your website grabs attention, keeps visitors engaged, and provides a clear and directional call to action. Is it helping increase website conversions or it is road block?
If it doesn’t grab attention, engage and provide a clear call to action, this is something that is easily fixed and it will provide great results. If you look at your website and realize it is time for a facelift, we’re here to help.
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