The Persuasion Behind Conversion Rate Optimisation


Conversion rate optimisation is known as the art of persuasion. Essentially, it involves persuading visitors to your site to take some form of action, whether this be to make a purchase or to commit to some further action. Over the past few years there has been great discussion surrounding the psychology behind conversion rate optimisation and the biggest factors in persuading a visitor to convert. Below are only a few tips on the persuasive signals your site should be sending out.

Social Proof
The easiest way to explain this persuasive technique is based on the example of Amazon. It’s “Customers who bought this also bought…” is an excellent form of social proof. Humans often follow the actions of others, in many aspects of life. Telling and showing people that others have also bought a certain item reinforces this “social evidence” and encourages visitors to convert. This psychological concept is based on visitors’ being able to view the opinions of third parties in uncertain situations. Outstanding testimonials work on this exact principle, while expert reviews and case studies work on the principle of authority. Users are far more likely to be convinced and therefore act on information which has been conveyed by an authoritative figure.

This is arguably the most fundamental element of CRO and is definitely one of the most commonly used tools by online marketers. It is based on the idea of repaying an obligation. When users convert, they provide the site with either contact data or revenue etc. For example, many companies run a system in which users who sign up for an email newsletter receive coupons or expert advice. Or alternatively, a free trial is often offered to users who sign up for an account. This mutual action creates a sense of trust and loyalty, which in turn, increases the chances of conversion in the future.

In all areas of life, when an opportunity is only available for a limited time, it tends to appear more valuable and evokes a greater sense of urgency. Research has shown that we are more likely to want an offer or item if it has recently been made scarce. Today many mobile phone shops and even airlines use this persuasion tactic in their conversion rate optimisation campaigns. This scarcity principle is also extremely effective for online companies who limit the number of products or offers they have. “Available for a limited time only!” or “Hurry! Only 4 items left” are just two examples of the text that can be used.

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