Digital marketing entrepreneur Susan Bratton's newest passion: persuasion marketing and conversion triggers. As Personal Life Media CEO, Bratton is adept at applying, testing, and fine-tuning marketing approaches to convert website visitors into people who buy her company's home-study courses. In a telephone interview with ClickZ's executive editor Anna Maria Virzi, the keynote speaker for SES San Francisco from Aug. 16-18 discussed her approach to persuasion marketing.
AMV: What is a persuasion strategy?
Susan Bratton: A persuasion strategy is an approach, in this case, that a marketer takes to understand what's happening at an emotional level with a customer, and to deliver the information - in the right sequence - about how that product solves a problem so that the customer can easily make a buying decision with the brand.
AMV: How can a persuasion strategy help improve conversion rates?
SB: Once you understand what I call the four realms of persuasion marketing - one of them being structured communications - you can start to look at how you move prospects through your sales funnel. You can put the information in the right sequence for them to make a buying decision.
AMV: Besides structured communications, what are the other parts of persuasion marketing?
SB: Storytelling, copywriting, and neuro-marketing - neuroscience as applied to marketing.
AMV: Are marketers who have creative backgrounds better suited to develop persuasion strategies than someone with an analytics background?
SB: Creative versus analytical, it doesn't matter either way. That's what's great about learning about persuasive marketing: it does not matter which place you come from. There are processes, structures, and tools that help you learn the part that you are not best at.
AMV: What's the biggest myth you've heard about persuasion strategies?
SB: Most people try to do one or two tactics, like the rule of reciprocity. They will try to stuff these things into their communications instead of thinking about the higher level of the entire structure of conversation with the prospect. It's not a myth; it's a mistake.
AMV: You're an upbeat, positive person. How does that fit into a persuasion strategy, and what are your tips for dealing with negativity and cynicism?
SB: I'm an upbeat and positive person, and I believe in the products I market. If you don't feel like you have the juice for the product you're marketing, you need to go back to what your offer is. Persuasion strategies, no matter how great they are, cannot replace or shore up what is ultimately not an irresistible offer.
This column was originally published in SES Magazine July 2011.
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