Most companies let their prospects get away easily if their first impression isn’t strong enough to foster a purchase. Fortunately, you don’t have to be like most companies. You can engage and educate lukewarm leads (potentially even converting them into customers) by remembering that the online presence of your business shouldn’t just be a digital home but rather, it should be an Aladdin’s cave of persuasive, informative, and interesting content.
After studying numerous fast-growing businesses, we created the Automated Sales Process (ASP)™ – a six-step framework for how growth hackers achieve results.
So far, we’ve looked at Attraction (getting a lead interested) and First Impression (keeping a lead interested when they visit your site or social media).
After attracting a prospect and making a good first impression, all you’ve done is earn a few extra seconds of the prospect’s attention; what you do with these precious extra seconds of their attention can dictate whether they decide to move on to another website/business, or stick around and possibly become a buying customer. What needs to take place in your ASP™ is the “Engage & Educate” component which aims to help improve your chances of winning business by, well, as the name implies, educating and engaging your audience.
Many customers want to learn about a product/service and company before they part with their money. Engage & Educate help convince them to trust you and want to business with you.
The Nine Modalities of Engaging & Educating
Knowing that ethos, pathos, and logos exist isn’t enough for successful implementation. The strategies below, which we call the nine modalities of persuasion, give a clear route to implementing the rhetorical appeals.
Individually, these techniques might not achieve much – but when combined, the results can be magical. You probably won’t need to use all nine, but we recommend using a few. Just remember to track your results. At the very minimum, you should keep your eye on the conversion rate.
1. Trust Building
The first three seconds a website visitor spends with your content will have an immediate impression on them, provoking ethos and pathos. You only have a short lapse of time to capture their attention and compel them to stick around, so make sure you get it right. Nobody trusts an outdated or amateurish website.
How can you make people trust you? Mostly through excellent writing and visual components (think images, layout, and design). You’ll find some more specific advice on these elements throughout this list.
A closely linked strategy is branding. Are your branding materials consistent, and do they represent your business how you want? This is another appeal to ethos.
Branding can get as complicated as you want it to, but we recommend keeping things simple. Following basic design principles (logo, colors, typography, voice) will put you heads and shoulders above the competition. And while you are at it, you may find Canva’s free branding and graphic design courses helpful.
3. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
What makes you different and better from your competitors? Do you offer different feature-benefits (see #5)? Do you offer a premium or budget service? Are you serving a very specific market segment?
Think of a concise answer that conveys ethos and taps into pathos and make it shine through your content. For instance, if your coffee shop is the only one in the city to offer a free refill, don’t make website visitors read the small print to find that out.
Headline is often the very first thing a prospect notices upon landing on your website. Crafting the right headline is harder than it sounds – while it’s tempting to try and come up with something witty or clever (like a jingo), but we recommend aiming for clarity instead (this conveys logos).
Here are some examples:
- Hot Fresh Pizza Delivered to Your Door in Thirty Minutes or It’s Free
- Residential & Commercial Roofing Since 1929 Serving Los Angeles and Surrounding Area
Taglines and slogans can be catchier and shorter (e.g. “ Just do it”), but headlines are there to explain what you offer is and who can benefit from it.
The usual rule of marketing is to focus on benefits instead of features so customers can see how a product or service benefits them (and not just the dry and boring “what product is). We think you can do even better.
Feature-benefits merge what something is and what it does together, capturing pathos (from the benefits) and logos (from the features) in one fell swoop. For instance, “a dual-lens camera ensures super-sharp images.”
Copywriting is about connecting with readers at an emotional level through pathos.
To do this effectively, you must understand the wants, needs, and desires of the customer. Write as if they were standing in front of you as you passionately tell them about how your product/service can drastically improve their lives. What would they want to hear? What would you say to make them feel that you understand them and empathize with them?
7. Social Proof
The best websites almost always contain testimonials, endorsements, and/or mentions of clients and partners. Just look at our testimonial section.
Using these nuggets of social proof helps to build credibility. It’s also a great way to stand out in competitive markets. Even if you offer a very similar service or product to other companies, they won’t have the same clients or case studies.
FAQs aren’t just a place to clear up doubts, they provide an opportunity to handle objections without getting a salesperson involved – just make sure you use a blend of logos and pathos to convince the customer.
As if that wasn’t a good enough benefit, FAQs also help with SEO and can help you get into the featured snippet on Google.
A call-to-action (CTA) suggests what visitors should do next and persuades them to do it. For instance, a prompt to fill out a form or download an eBook. Make it seem like an unmissable offer, as if you’re doing the prospect a favor.
The CTA should be visible at the top of most webpages and/or at the bottom of longer pages (like blog posts). Larger businesses or operations might even benefit from multiple CTAs sprinkled throughout the website.
All Greek to You? We Can Help
You should be on the path to growth after implementing these three aspects, but we’re still only halfway through the ASP™ framework. If your best efforts to engage and educate leads don’t work, you’ll need to tackle the follow-up.
Done well, these strategies look effortless. In reality, they’re very difficult to get right – that’s where we come in. We’ve helped countless other businesses to implement the nine modalities of persuasion, and we can help you too. For a consultation, contact us today.