As part of the CXL introduction to neuromarketing Roger Dooley, an expert on the subject talks about the psychology of persuasion using his “persuasion slide” framework.
This framework is to help us better understand the complex nature of psychology of persuasion in user visiting (and hopefully taking action on) our websites. Whether that’s signing up to a newsletter, downloading an article or buying something. He uses the metaphor of kids playground slide to help visualise the different aspects of persuasion.
When Roger Dooley talks about the persuasion slide his lists each element (gravity, nudge, angle and friction) and each element has conscious and unconscious parts. The conscious parts we’re familiar with and take the form of benefits, features, gifts, discounts or ads, pop-ups, signs and calls.
Conscious elements are more expensive than unconscious elements (emotion, biases and psychology) because discounts, gifts, ads all cost money. Unconscious elements have real untapped potential if you’re looking to increase sales with a limited budget to fund a massive ad campaign or heavy discounting and/or gifting.
Without gravity, nothing wouldn’t work. For the psychology of persuasion it representations the user’s innate needs, wants & goals. So you need to work with users needs, wants & goals not against them, otherwise you’ve got an uphill battle working against gravity.
“The greatest mistake marketers make is trying to create demand.” – Eugene Schwartz
And demand is gravity by another name a hugely successful direct response copywriter, knew this and tapped into readers needs, wants and goals and packaged up whatever product or service he was selling as the perfect solution for their need/want/goal.
An example of working against gravity is asking a user to do something you want “Buy Now” without putting into the context of how it will make their life easier, more complete or help achieve a goal.
By focusing your messaging (and what you have to offer) and lining it up with user wants needs and goals you’re using gravity as a Win:Win you’re getting the sale and customers happy to have found a solution.
It’s so hard to do this because we’re very inwardly focused on our business and proud of what we offer and it’s features and benefits and maybe even awards. But user don’t care they are inwardly focused too with a “what’s in it for me” attitude. And as they are the ones with wallets we’re trying to unlock we both cant be looking inward.
We need to step out of our comfort zone and take our product/service out of the spotlight (at least initially) to become a problem solver for our customer’s putting their need/want/goal in the spotlight and only then pitching our product/service as the best solution.
The nudge this is how you get the users attention to start persuading. Rodger Dooley says to think of it as the kid a the top of the slide they are nudged down the slide by their parents or they use their arms and push themselves off. In online marketing, the main goal of the nudge is to get attention and it can take many forms, a Google ad, Facebook ad, phone call or pop-up.
An ineffective nudge is one that’s not noticeable to the customer so totally missing the objective of a nudge to a) be seen and b) start the process of persuasion.
Now the angle is the level of motivation you provide to the user is it a steep angle or a shallow angle? And are you using purely conscious motivators e.g. discounts, gifts and benefits without unconscious motivators e.g. emotion, biases and psychology?
If you’re only using conscious levers then it becomes an expensive way to motivate users, if you start to include unconscious levers like emotional desire in form of attractive people in a romantic setting using your product e.g. perfume then you start to tap into the huge power of unconscious motivators.
What is friction you ask? Well, for the kids slide it’s when their clothes add resistance and stick to the slide and stopping them from smoothly sliding down. But in online marketing, it’s when you’ve successfully motivated your customer (e.g. desire & free sample) but they come up against friction e.g. high shipping at checkout page leading them to abandon their cart. Abandonment costs e-marketers about 2 to 4 trillion per year.
Other forms of friction are long and complex form they need to fill in for shipping e.g. Amazon has practically redacted customer friction making it super easy to checkup with pre-saved address and credit card information. You want to keep friction at a minimum making check-out super easy.
So there you have it Roger Dooleys’ fascinating “Persuasion slide” to help you leverage users already present need/wants/goals(gravity), successfully get their attention(nudge) maximise their motivation(angle) and making the checkout process super easy from start to finish(friction).
Personally I think using the metaphor of kids playground slide really helps break down the complex nature of the psychology of persuasion into clear bit size sections. It turns a complex subject into a more approachable one, giving valuable insights into how you can tap into unconscious motivators to successfully sell more.
By using this slide framework will help you “get out of your own way”. Before now you may not have been aware sections on your site with large forms or bad layout were negatively affecting your sales and therefore conversion rates.
With large companies like Amazon setting the bar high for quick & easy checkout experiences, users now expect it elsewhere when shopping online. So what may have worked for you 2-5 years ago is now outdated. You need to keep up or risk losing your customers to a competitor…forever. It’s hard being a small e-commerce company online without the resources of say Amazon. But understanding your users better is valuable to your business and is really a Win:Win you get more sales and user gets what they need/want in an easy smooth slide down to checkout.
Photo by Wilbur Wong on Unsplash