Persuasive and Compelling

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1 Win More Business With Persuasive and Compelling Author: Greg Roworth B Bus (Acc) MBA

2 What is the purpose of your website? For most businesses, a website has a number of objectives that may include generating leads or enquiries through promoting products or services, increasing awareness or branding, increasing credibility and trust in the marketplace or directly selling products straight from the website. However, from observation of hundreds of websites for small and medium sized businesses, it seems that many designers of these websites are never really clear about what they are trying to achieve and as a result, most websites, even ones that look attractive and professional, fail to achieve any results at all. In this report, I want to expose some of the design challenges that exist in creating useful company websites and to reveal a unique system for creating highly persuasive and compelling website content that can go a long way toward making your website a valuable component of your overall marketing strategy. I say that, because far too many people seem to look at creating a website as an end in itself. That should never be the case. Your website should be viewed as an integral component of an entire marketing system. It does not stand alone. It is part of your marketing toolkit that needs to complement each of the other parts. Your marketing strategy needs to utilise your website as a central hub of marketing. It needs to assist you in the process of developing buyer interest, knowledge, confidence and trust in your company and your products and services. The major reasons that most websites don t work boil down to the lack of thought put into planning out the entire marketing system before starting work on the website. In a similar vein, many companies also make the mistake of developing a logo and a brand even before they start to think about who their clients are and how to engage them and nurture them. Your website needs to play an important role in the client buying journey in a way that assists your prospects to traverse the stages of know-like-trust-buy-refer-buy again. How you achieve this comes down to getting two aspects right: 1. The look and feel of the website, and 2. The content or copy that is written on the website. 1

3 The outcomes of most website development processes are highly dependent on the person responsible for creating the design of the site. This seems like an obvious statement, but I say this to highlight how critical this person is in the process and how often people choose the wrong person to take this responsibility. Most websites are designed by web developers who are skilled (either at a basic level or a very high level) in the technical aspects of website coding and graphics. These are really important skills and I want to urge you to use these skills in the process of designing your persuasive and compelling website. However, I urge you to resist the temptation for allowing these people to be in charge of the design process. While these skills are vital in creating a great look and feel for your site, reliance on this aspect to the neglect of the second aspect, the marketing and sales copy, will condemn your site to the graveyard of dead or useless websites as selling vehicles. The look and feel of your website are important in creating the elements of trust and credibility. Your design must be congruent with the image of your company and the brand that you have created or are trying to develop. The reality is that your website development process is about more than how you put the text and graphics on the page. It is more than the technical design components of html, php, css and other jargon of the web design industry. All these elements help assist in creating the right look and feel, but none of them are instrumental in persuading and compelling your site visitors to engage in your content and take the action you want them to take as a result. Before I reveal the best system I know for creating persuasive and compelling website content and copy, let me first highlight some of the common website copy mistakes that are preventing most companies from achieving any degree of engagement and persuasion. The 3 Almost Universal Mistakes that Kill Website Performance 1. Making it all about you. When you someone visits your website for the first time, naturally you want to create a good impression and you want them to like what they 2

4 see. But most websites get this horribly wrong. Their home page typically focuses on them. Most of the sentences start with We. While this sounds logical, it actually pushes people away. Think about meeting someone new at a party. How do you feel about them if they spend the whole time talking about themselves? Now think about how you feel if they spend a lot of time asking you questions and showing an obvious interest in you. You probably feel like they care and you go away with a much more favourable impression than you would with the first person. You may even want to meet them again. That s just the way it is with your website too! If you make your website focus on your typical client s issues and challenges and answer their queries about their problems or desires instead of making self-focused claims and giving your company s life story, your visitors will also leave with a positive impression and may also want to come back again. 2. Sounding like everyone else Most websites are boring and uninspiring because they use the same language and make the same claims as most of their competitors. Using platitudes like top quality and superior service do nothing to inspire clients. These things are expected by clients. It may seem like you provide better quality and service than your competitors, but clients will expect top quality and service as a given and not something unusual. Do this quick test on your website. Everywhere your name is placed on your homepage, mentally replace it with your competitor s name and see if the statement is still accurate or believable. If you do this and think, Yes, that could be true, then your website is innocuous and ineffective. 3. One way communication trying to sell your products or service now If your website only talks at people instead of having the capability to engage them in an ongoing dialogue, you are missing out on most of your sales opportunities. How often do people buy the first time they see an opportunity? Very rarely, right? Most people take the time to investigate a product and get familiar and comfortable with the thought of owning it before they will buy. If your website does not have an opt-in capability for clients to get more information (and I don t mean just a Contact Us form), you make it very difficult for clients to buy from you. How often have you seen something interesting on a website and thought that you should check it out later? Then when you think about checking it out, you ve forgotten where you saw it and can never find that website again. Make sure that you can engage your visitors in an ongoing two-way communication by being able to offer something of value that you deliver by . These three mistakes are so common that they render most websites dysfunctional. Most websites never actually answer the critical questions clients want answered before they will buy from you. 3

5 When you view your website as one component within an entire marketing system, you can strategically set up your website to increase your credibility and trust with clients and create persuasive and compelling reasons for them to continue their journey with you to their first purchase, their second and ultimately becoming a raving fan and advocate. To achieve this, your website must answer five critical questions and within each of these major questions, the answers to three sub-questions are needed to get there. The five major questions are: 1. Why should I pay attention? 2. Can you or your product help? 3. How does it work? 4. Why should I trust you? 5. How is this different? Why should I pay attention? The first thing your website must do is to attract attention in a way that creates a positive first impression and without creating any warning signals that put doubts in the clients minds. You need to enter the conversation already existing in the mind of your client by offering some content that is of interest to them. This may be information through words or video content, something that captures their attention and gets them to start consuming your content. You need to answer the questions: Is this something I should check out or be wary of? Why should I take notice now? Why should I listen to you? Can You or Your Product Help? Your site visitors want to know if you can offer a solution to their challenges. Then they will want to know why you have the solution and how you will solve their problem. Finally they will want to know who else has benefited from your solution. How Does It Work? Your visitor will want to gain confidence in your solution before they buy. 4

6 They will need you to answer the question of the process you will use to solve their problem or provide the results they are looking for. They will wonder about what they will experience during the process. You will need to reassure them that they will not suffer unnecessary pain or cost and that the experience will be worth their effort. They will also want to know what they will need to sacrifice or give to get the result. This goes beyond knowing the price. You need to explain the impact on their time and other resources as well. During this phase you will need to educate your clients before you start to entice them with offers. Education creates greater trust and credibility. Overt selling creates resistance. You want to create a process that makes it easy for your clients to learn about the value of your solution without feeling sold to. This more readily fits into the natural buying journey your clients take where they feel in control of the process rather than feeling pushed by you to take action. Your process of persuasion creates the feeling that your client is moving towards a purchase because of their own motivation. The typical approach tries to convince them to act now, which creates unwanted pressure and increases scepticism and doubt. Why Should I Trust You? People buy from people and companies they know, like and trust. To build trust, you need to discuss results you have achieve for your previous clients or results your clients have achieved through using your solution. Using testimonials and case studies in your content are very valuable tools in persuasion. Third party or social proof is more trustworthy than what you say about yourself. Your visitors will also want to know about your success rate or how you will support your claims. Do you offer guarantees or ongoing support? Most importantly, even though they may accept that you are good at what you do and have achieve success with many other clients, you still must answer their question, Will it work for me? Everyone thinks they are unique. And they are. You need to persuade them that their commonalities with your previous success stories are more relevant and important than their differences. You need to entice them with offers that are low risk and ideally give them the chance to test the waters so that they feel safe before they commit. No one wants to look stupid by making a mistake, investing in something that turns out to be a waste of time and money. You will need to persuasively answer your site visitors hesitations in this area. How is This Different? In order to persuade most of your visitors to continue along the buying journey as if they are on a slippery slope to only one possible solution, you need to answer their queries about what makes your solution different or better than any alternative. This is where most websites fail dismally. There is frequently nothing that is persuasive or compelling about the 5

7 offers made about products or services. This problem is not solely confined to copy on websites. It is often a problem in the way people advertise in any media. Your marketing must be about the benefits and advantages people will get from consuming your products or services. Most websites typically provide technical data or descriptions of features but do not explain how the client will be better off because these features. People are not persuaded by facts and figures. They are persuaded by having emotions stirred and by seeing themselves better off in the future. You need to paint the picture for them so that they see themselves better off only by consuming your products or services and creating positive feelings when they see that picture in their minds. Having and using a clear unique selling proposition or value proposition is critical to this persuasion process. Finally you need to persuade your visitor that they will not be making a mistake if they buy from you. You must answer all the objections in your copy. If you leave anything open to doubt, you will leave barriers in the path of your visitors progress on the buying journey. The use of guarantees, testimonials and frequently asked questions will help you overcome these barriers. 6

8 The key message I have been communicating in this report is that your website should not be a stand alone entity but a critical component in your overall marketing strategy. Within that context, there are five steps to follow when it comes time to create your website in a way that is increases your ability to persuade your clients that you are the only logical choice to deliver a solution to their problem. 1. Understand you primary objective and secondary objectives for your website. Makes sure you understand where your website fits into your overall marketing strategy and the primary thing your want your visitors to do after visiting your site. This may be to phone for an appointment or perhaps simply to opt in for some free information. Then also define the secondary objectives. This could be to build credibility or to educate. 2. Determine your Brand Essence: what feelings do you want to evoke in the site visitor. Branding is important but it is not the most important thing you need to attend to in your marketing. Branding is what happens when you get everything else right. You first want your visitors to engage with your site. This comes down to the colours and layout of the site, how easy it is to navigate and how the visitors engage with the content. For example, if you want your clients to feel more trust, dark blues are good colours to use. 3. Develop the site style: what other brands represent the styling you want to show. You want your site to be an accurate representation of the brand you are developing. The look and feel of your site must be congruent with your brand. The style you choose can be similar to other companies who s styling is like the brand essence you are creating. For example, if you want to be seen as an innovative market leader, you may want to create a site with a similar style to Apple.com. 4. Develop your content: analyse how to address the critical questions. Conduct an analysis of the components and content you will need to 7

9 answer the critical questions your clients want answered. You need to consider each question and determine the best way to answer it, what proof you need to back up you claims and how you can get your clients to interact with the content. Decide where video works best, where educational content works, where case studies or testimonials fit and where your calls to action are appropriate. 5. Develop your website and other web marketing assets. Once you have determined all these elements and content components, you can then go about the task of constructing your site. Develop a site creation and roll-out plan and manage the process with your site designers and other stakeholders. As your site is just one component of a complete system, you also need to consider what other elements you need to develop to assist your site to play it s part in persuading your clients and compelling them to take the action you want. This may include videos to put on Youtube or articles you may write for other authority or professional sites or other media. Should you drive traffic to your site through other online sources or offline sources? You need to create the content for these assets as well. 8

10 Developing a persuasive and compelling website is not an easy task, but if you are going to the expense of producing a website that you want to be a productive and valuable tool that you use in the process of attracting and nurturing clients, it pays to do it properly. That means you need to do more than the norm. If you simply create a site that looks like the type everyone else creates, you will simply get the same unsatisfactory results. Creating a persuasive and compelling website is worth the time and effort required to make it outstanding. Outstanding sites get results by being attractive, different and setting apart from your competitors. They achieve even greater results if they are interactive and engage your clients in a two-way conversation, enable the process of getting to know you, like you and trust you and finally provide the mechanism to entice your visitors to take the plunge into engaging in a long term, mutually satisfying relationship with you. 9

11 If you are not achieving the results you want from your current website, why not take advantage of our Free Website Assessment. Call us now, or fill in your details online to arrange your Free Website Assessment with one of our expert marketing consultants. If you re sick and tired of Free Consultations that turn out to just be sales calls, then you re going to love our FREE Website Assessment Consultation. During this 90 minute analysis, a Business Growth Consultant from Business Success Systems will review your existing website, marketing strategies, and marketing goals. During the consultation we will analyze all the gaps and missed opportunities in your current website (and overall marketing program). You will also be shown where opportunities with Marketing Leverage exist and how you can take advantage of them specifically on your website. We Can Only Work with ONE Company In Your Industry So Don t Let Your Competitors Beat You To It CALL NOW! (If you want more business education, make sure you go to our website at and take advantage of the free resources and opt-in for our other free reports on the numerous challenges faced by business owners every day.) 10

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