A lot of our readers have been commenting on our posts lately with their praise for the AIDA method. We want you to know that here at Future Now, we are right there with you and have been following the AIDA method since our inception. AIDA is a basic sales framework that stands for: Attention (Awareness), Interest, Desire and Action. The main difference is, we add an S to the acronym AIDAS not to be confused with the athletic brand Adidas! The S is for Satisfaction. If you fail to SATISFY, all the other letters don’t net you much more than a lot of wasted time and money
Many who aren’t formally trained in sales or marketing have still heard the acronym AIDA. E. K. Strong put it forth in his Journal of Applied Psychology article “Theories of Selling” in 1925. Alec Baldwin popularized it in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. The fact is that the AIDA method is much more renowned than the use of Persuasion Architecture that we are always preaching about, but the two methods are lovers in the world of lucrative web marketing and conversion optimization.
Yoshi is a debonair, seven year old Shiba Ina with full manhood written all over him. He lives with me in a one bedroom apartment where he lays in the sunny spot of the porch all day. He gets to go on bike rides and walks everyday which are the times he is most happy and in tune with his identity; sniffing and graffiting everything with his pee. He gets to have 2 meals a day which consist entirely of a lamb and rice blend of dry kibble that wont upset his sensitive stomach. Sometimes he is spoiled with bits of cheese.
Attention. With the 220 million smell receptors in his nose, he goes crazy with his sniffing. He sniffs everything, mostly getting excited when he finds a spot where another dog has peed. He often gets into such a meditative state with his nose to the ground that I feel ashamed to pull him away. He rarely sniffs around the house, we assume this is because no other dogs use it as a l’eau and we don’t really invite girl dogs over very often. One day, when no one was home, his smell receptors caught onto something in my backpack.
Interest. Yoshi found my backpack on the ground. It wasn’t smelling like my backpack usually smells though, as I accidentally left some chunks of manchego cheese and slices of Sopressata in the side pocket. While he is lazy and can’t even catch a butterfly, Yoshi is no slouch and he knew right away that behind the thin canvas of my bag lay a bundle of treats.
Desire. When he got the zipper open by holding the backpack steady with his paws and working the zip with his snout, his dreams were confirmed. Cheese and salami on the floor (his territory, he knows better than to eat anything that is more than 6 inches off the ground). He likely had some reservations about how to proceed, as he probably knew in his doggy mind/heart that these treats were not meant for him.
Action. The more moments that passed, the more Yoshi could not separate the idea of himself and the goodies being masticated or swallowed whole. If he waited much longer, I might be home to see him and claim the treats for my own. He was actually imagining a number of horrors coming between him and complete bliss so he decided it was time to dig in. He devoured the 4 spicy salami slices, a 2 inch chunk of Spanish cheese after spending an unconceiveably short amount of time feeling their texture on his palette.
Satisfaction. The treats were better than he had ever imagined. He had forgotten about the kibble of the past and the efforts he had to put into opening up my backpack. He would spend hours and hours opening backpacks if he could relive the moment over and over again. He was as happy as he would have been if he had caught the food himself. Yoshi got lucky, I couldn’t even be mad at him when I came home and saw wrappers strewn across the floor and him with his ears back in shame. I know even though he was ashamed, he would do it again and again… who could blame him?!
Businesses have always set out the equivalent of backpacks and then encouraged Yoshi’s (prospects) to come along. It has been a numbers game. If enough Shiba Inu’s smelled the meat in my backpack (traffic), a few of them were sure to open the backpack and eat the treats (conversion).
Your website is the backpack that promises your prospects’ desires will be fulfilled if they just take action. This is where Persuasion Architecture takes over. It acts to identify your prospects desires- let’s say your dog likes bologna and mine salami, instead of having all salami in your pack, why not include bologna and salami? Then, it helps them take action- maybe your dog can’t open zippers, but is a sport when Velcro is the only hinderance-make a backpack with different types of openings so all the dogs in the neighborhood can find their way to satisfaction.
After you put persuasion architecture to use, you need to be sure to satisfy. What if Yoshi went through all of that effort and then was seriously dissatisfied with his experience? Maybe the salami gave him horrible poopie problems! – or maybe it just didn’t taste the way it smelled? Well, then it doesn’t matter whether we used persuasion architecture or not, if we didn’t serve what we promised and satisfy the customer, then we wouldn’t be able to sustain a business on false promises.
A- Attention is the responsibility of your traffic sources, the symbolic, ‘scent’ of your backpack. It ssummons the attention of prospects to your site. This happens before they even know who you are, people in a very early stage of their buying process. You can attract more people with effective keywords, on and offline marketing, PPC campaigns, affiliates, social media, etc. You need to get yourself out there so people can catch your scent.
I- Interest is like your backpack, once people have caught your scent, it is time they start investigating your site to see if it offers what the scent/traffic source promised.
D-Desire comes into play when your visitor realizes you have something they want. Now it is up to them to decide whether or not opening the backpack, or making a purchase with you is worth their time, effort and resources. Persuasion architecture comes into play here because it can help identify what might discourage you visitor from ‘opening the backpack’-maybe they have a strong aversion to the trouble they might get in for opening the pack, maybe they can smell some even tastier deli items across the room in another bag, maybe another backpack is easier to open, or there are a bunch of other dogs interested in something else in another room because there is something better there than what your visitor could get from your pack.
On your site, you can use persuasion architecture to convince different kinds of visitors to buy your product or submit a lead online by making sure you put some forthought into what might prevent them from taking action and building a site that helps them overcome those barriers. If your visitor has trouble commiting to taking action, you want to make sure they have reassurances that their choice to take action with you will lead them to greater happiness. If they are worried about the quality of your product they might need a 110% money back guarantee. If they have had trouble with customer service using your service before, they will need some qualification of the service you provide.
If you have a more expensive product or advanced service, your guest might need approval from multiple people before taking action on your site. Persuasion architecture takes into account all the needs of every person that needs to approve moving forward on your site. A lot of people like to base their decisions on the opinion of their peers. Those people will need to see that not only people rate your product/service highly, but thet they rate it more highly than your competitors. Persuasion architecture is the most effective tool to use to effectively move your visitors forward to taking action.
A-Action is the act of actually buying your product online or submitting a valuable lead. There are many things you can do to help people in this area from optimizing your lead generation form and your checkout process to delivery your product in a timely manner or contacting your visitor in a reasonable amount of time.
S-Satisfaction is the state your visitor will be in after you have delivered what was promised to them during the sales experience. In today’s competitive online market, satisfaction is not only the final step in your sale, but the most critical step in starting the sales process over again. If people are not satisfied the turn to social media to make sure everyone knows. They will post a review on your website and one on their blog. They might make a Youtube video about the inability of your offer to perform. An unsatisfied customer can destroy your chances of attracting positive Attention to your site.
Doing business online – an environment in which taking action is the only tangible, measurable thing your visitors do – is only partly about capturing attention. You also have to be concerned with retention. When you complete the momentum of AIDA with satisfaction, you complete the retention loop by making the process wholly customer-centered.
Satisfaction provides the critical closure for relevance. How can you be sure your visitors are satisfied? You figure out what you are trying to accomplish with your product or service, communicate it relevantly and remain true to it in both your marketing efforts and your delivery of your product or service. Here at Future Now, we can help you execute every step of the AIDAS loop effectively in your online marketing strategy.
How do you use the AIDA(S) method online? Do you find yourself using persuasion architecture to get people to make a purchase? What do you do to be sure your visitors have attained satisfaction, the key step in your sales process that both closes a sale and gets your site prepared to bring in more and new customers?