How To Pre-Suade Your Customers With Marketing & Design

Is it possible to convince someone to buy your product or service—before ever seeing your offer?

What if before you persuaded someone, you could “pre-suade” them?

After reading Robert Cialdini’s take on human psychology and what makes consumers say “yes”, we took what we learned from Pre-suasion and applied it to website design.

Here are the six factors of human social influence and how marketers can use them to improve design.

1. Reciprocation

This is the idea that if you give something for free, you’ll get something in return. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about reciprocity all day long. He’s built his digital marketing agency and celebrity entrepreneurial status around free content.

The key is that what you’re giving has to have value. It must be:


Don’t give away a free blog article with information that can be found anywhere on the web. Make your product meaningful and impactful to your customer avatar.


What problem does your product solve? What free content can you create that gives people a taste for how well you can solve that problem?


Give away a free PDF on financial success—and then surprise your subscribers by giving away a second free PDF.

Offer valuable gifts in exchange for an email address.

2. Liking

People only buy products from people and companies they like. When is the last time you said, “I HATE that company. I don’t have anything in common with them and they don’t understand me. That’s why I’m buying their product.”

Never? Us, too.

Likeability is a huge factor for someone who is determining if they will become a customer. For example, Phil Town and Warren Buffett have positioned themselves as likable leaders in the financial industry.

To be likable, you want to design your brand to make you:

  • Friendly
  • Attractive
  • Humorous

3. Social Proof

Social proof is one of the highest trending marketing strategies today. Facebook’s algorithm favors campaigns with the most likes, comments, and shares and 70% of online consumers are reading product reviews before buying a product.

3 ways to implement social proof into the design of your website:

Show People Others are Signing Up & Buying

You can use small popups on your site to show that others are taking action on your offers. Like this slide-out on Rule #1 Investing. It gives extra credibility that others are also signing up for the offer.

A slide-out popup gives credibility to the offer.

Use a Most Popular Tab

Show your most popular products, podcast episodes, blog articles, etc. and then show how many units have been sold, downloaded, read, or shared.

Display Authority

Authority leverages trust. When we trust people, we’re willing to give them our money in return for a product. The problem in the digital age is that we don’t sell face-to-face and our website has to do all of the talking.

In a saturated world of website scammers, your design and copywriting are what will set you apart.

Website necessities that build authority are:

  • Social Icons
  • Secure Options
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Celebrity Reviews

5. Scarcity

Use countdown timers on opt-in pages for scarcity.

Scarcity limits the number of products for sale or the amount of time left to get a discount. When we see there is only one sale item left on the shelf and it’s something we could use, we buy it.

Scarcity uses impulse buying to drive sales.

For example, adding a countdown timer to the design of your website can boost product sales as customers are pressured by the scarcity of products or a limited discount.

6. Consistency

Design must be consistent throughout the website, social accounts, product packaging, etc.

For example, if a website visitor is greeted with a green and pink pop-up for a product sale, the page they are directed to should not be orange and yellow. It should be green and pink and keep consistent with the design and copy of the pop-up.

This builds trust between the customer and the business. As a consumer, we don’t want to guess if we are on the same website we were on previously. We want to know we’re still interacting with the same brand.

Black Friday Banners for a Sale.

Black Friday webpage with same elements, colors, and branding (top bar).

Pop-up Ideas to Try

Create a pop-up that says: ”Are you an adventurous person?”

A research study found that if people were asked “Are you an adventurous person?” and directly after their answer, asked to test a sample of a food product, they were more likely to say yes to eating the sample.

Using this question, marketers can put website visitors in a “yes” mentality before asking for them to sign up for their newsletter and/or offer.

Make a website visitor write a number much larger than the product price for a high-value product.

For example, “How much is unlimited success worth to you?”

They are most likely going to answer with a higher number than what your product costs, which puts them in the headspace that your product isn’t a huge commitment in comparison to what they’d be willing to spend.

Using these strategies, marketers can elevate their brand, increase their conversions, and grow a loyal fanbase of subscribers, followers, and customers. They can even convince someone to take action before they’ve even seen an offer.

Piper is the Ui / Ux Designer at Brandetize. She is the Creator of beautiful web pages, a maker of logos, and a master of Indesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.