If you’ve ever taken a college philosophy class, you’ve probably heard of Aristotle and his modes of persuasion. He believed that there are three key strategies, the modes of persuasion, that can provide any speaker the power to influence others to understand their personal perspective. Since we believe one of the biggest challenges with effective marketing is establishing a real connection with your audience, we thought that we could all take a brief lesson from Aristotle. Take a look at each technique to see how you can best persuade potential members to join your association.

Ethos: The appeal to credibility

First things first, before anyone can be persuaded to believe your claim, there needs to be an established level of trust between you/your association and your audience. Otherwise, you’ve lost them before you’ve even started.

To build this opinion, we recommend providing proof to your audience that your association has a variety of experience in your industry. Ultimately, you want your audience to walk away thinking that you too can answer their why on if they should join your association.

Some Ethos examples:

Pathos: The appeal to empathy

We all secretly love a good tug on our heartstrings. It reminds us that we are alive and have the ability to feel a connection with others even if we don’t know them on a personal level. The beauty (and difficulty) of using Pathos in this way is that it requires you to really understand the pain points of your audience and to be authentic in relating these messages to them.

These levels of emotion can vary from desire to fear to confusion and requires you to think about the overall positive and negative experiences your potential members might encounter in your industry.

Some Pathos examples:

  • Encouraging, motivational stories
  • Evoking surprise/curiosity/humor
  • Dynamic language

Logos: The appeal to reason

Sometimes your audience is just going to want the facts and that’s okay too. However, the goal with Logos is to keep it consistent, so make sure that you are fairly straight forward when it comes to any key information you want to present to your potential members.

The goal of Logos isn’t to prove anything (that’s Ethos), but to provide them with the reality of what your association can offer them. While using Logos may not be the most exciting persuasion method, it’s vital for your campaign that your audience feels like they also know exactly what they will receive if they enter into your association.

Some Logos examples:

  • Member benefits
  • Historically proven facts
  • Statistics from current metrics

As with any new marketing technique, implementing these modes of persuasion will take a bit of time on the front end to incorporate into your current model. However, we believe that by following Aristotle’s example, you will encompass the full spectrum of reasons why potential new members should join your association.

Creating a strong marketing campaign is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re looking for a way to attract more qualified traffic to your site, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing for Associations.