Persuasion (Conversion) Made Easy


By: Drew McManus

In: Web Tech

There’s a terrific article from Lyndon Cerejo in the 7/17/2018 edition of Smashing Magazine that examines a very keep it simple approach to persuading website visitors to conversion.

Cerejo reviews what he calls the stages of a persuasion funnel:

  • attention,
  • interest,
  • desire,
  • and action

…along with how each stage is influenced by:

  • cognitive (thinking),
  • and affective (feeling).

All those combinations of elements influence what he calls persuasive design and the related sages site visitors experience (emphasis added):

  • Awareness
  • Relevant
  • Credible
  • Usable
  • Desirable
  • Persuasive
  • Action

I’ve highlighted “Credible” because this is one area arts organizations tend to lag behind other sectors. Cerejo describes this stage as one defined by trust indicators.

Users are aware of many of the risks available online and look for trust indicators including a known brand and domain, secure site, professional design, real-world contact information and third-party certificates or badges. Incorporate these elements to create a comfort level for the user.

Some of these elements are subjective, others aren’t. The first place to begin when evaluating your own site are the elements you likely have direct control over:

  • Real world contact info. This is one area most groups tend to overlook but key elements include tool free telephone contact numbers, email addresses based on the primary domain name (not, and a verifiable mailing address.
  • Secure site. The most important aspect here is a SSL certificate that is installed correctly and fully operational. In most browsers, they generate a green padlock icon. We examined this topic in an article from 8/23/17 that introduced you to the pattern of increased need for having a properly installed SSL certificate. By the end of 2018, you’ll need one to prevent most major browsers from throwing full screen security warnings.

The good news here is all these items are low hanging fruit in that they are entirely within your control.

You’ll likely need to reach out to your web developer or host to implement an SSL but that should be a very simple task for them to implement. Everything else is (hopefully) within your ability to edit directly if currently missing from your site.

Read So You Want to Persuade Users? Make Things Simple! at

Drew McManus
Drew McManus
In addition to my consulting business, I'm also the Principal of Venture Industries Online but don’t let that title fool you into thinking I'm just a tech geek. I bring 20+ years of global broad-based arts consulting experience to the table to help clients break the cycle of choosing one-size-fits-none solutions and instead, deliver options allowing them to get ahead of the tech curve instead of trying to catch up by going slower. With the vision of legacy support strategy and the delights of creative insights, my mission is to deliver a sophisticated next generation technology designed especially for the field of performing arts. The first step in that journey began in 2010 when The Venture Platform was released, a purpose-designed managed website development solution designed especially for arts organizations and artists. For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, lead a team of intrepid arts pros to hack the arts, lead an arts business incubator, and love a good coffee drink.
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