A classic marketing strategy is to engage your customer emotionally to get them to buy.
In the offline world, achieving emotional engagement is done best by face-to-face interactions, such as talking to the car salesman in the lot, and tactile interactions, such as picking up the book and turning it over in your hands.
And interactivity is very, very good for persuasion. That is, a 2003 study by Sundar et al., referenced in a 2006 paper by Wise, Hamman and Thorson, found that “increased interactivity on a political website led to more positive impressions of a political candidate and higher levels of agreement with the candidate’s policy positions” (p.28). but if that now-elected politician ends hunger, then interactivity kinda helped, no? Hence the success of great DM pieces by brilliant copywriters like Schwartz, where the writing asks the readers questions that they can’t help but nod along with… This is just the beginning of what we hope will become a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve Web site conversion through understanding how people behave.
Not only does interactivity engage the senses and stimulate the mind, but it’s also been proven to solve world hunger! and, soon enough, all that nodding tricks your mind into believing that you actually do want a lifetime supply of super-absorbent shammies. The concept of a ‘persuasion blog’ was entirely Joanna’s (take the credit or the blame, Jo! We talk a lot (perhaps too much — just ask our friends) about conversion and persuasion since we’re both responsible for those aspects of Intuit’s global business’s Web properties, but we’ve never put fingers to keyboard to capture our conversations — until June 1st, when this little project began.
That’s because we don’t put pen to paper and churn out letters in Calibri 11-point font.
I recently wrote a paper on this subject, with the following explaining this phenomenon briefly: As Nass, Steuer and Tauber showed, even though interactors know that a computer is not a person, they will often assign personalities to computers (as referenced in Zdenek, 2007) and, as Cassell showed, “attribute to them human-like properties such as friendliness, or cooperativeness” (as referenced in Zdenek, 2007, p.404).
Perhaps the biggest obstacle for me to overcome initially was the notion that we’d be writing for nobody but ourselves — and those friends who tire of hearing us talk about persuasion.
But based on what we’re seeing in our Word Press Web analytics, the falling tree is making a sound, and the idea that people may actually benefit from what we’re writing has become a motivator and given us reason to deliver against an aggressive posting schedule. First thing is to package up the 30 Days of Persusasion into a free e-book…
You just have to pull their heads away from the idea that they’re dealing with a little plastic salesperson instead of a warm-blooded salesperson who can blink, laugh, get distracted, pay attention… You have to make all cues that say “computer” virtually disappear.
Faking Human-ness Online to Persuade People connect emotionally with people…