Aristotle’s advice on improving your registration forms

Guest post:  Donnie Bryant

Although webinars are a relatively new technological development in the big picture, centuries-old wisdom can still shape the way you approach producing and promoting them.

I think that most webinar promoters would agree that getting people to register to attend is one of the most challenging aspects of the whole process. If you had to sell a prospective attendee on your webinar with your registration form alone, how would your registration copy perform? What if that was your only shot to convince a prospect to sign up for your event?

Would it work?

Thankfully, this is not usually the case. You’ll probably have multiple opportunities to win your audience over. But let’s pretend for a few moments that you could only touch the prospect once. If you had to take him from introduction to registration on a single landing page, how would you do it?

An Ancient 3-Hit Combo

Aristotle’s Rhetoric is the original tome on persuasive communication. Over 2 millennia later, it’s still considered to be one of the best works on the subject. The philosopher describes the three major components of persuasion: ethos, pathos and logos. Let’s apply these principles to kick your registration copy up a notch.

Ethos is your ability to convey personal credibility. That’s first and foremost on the agenda. No one pays attention to people who are “just talking.” You must prove that you know what you’re talking about and that you’ll be able to help the reader obtain what he’s looking for.

On your registration form, don’t assume that everyone knows you and your history. Or that they read the invitation email before they clicked through. Give evidence of your expertise. Your prospects will want to know about your many years of experience, your hundreds of satisfied customers, and all the awards you’ve won.

Make the strongest possible statements about why you are an authority the reader can trust. Without credibility, nothing else you say will matter.

Pathos is passion. Have you ever noticed that passionate speaking moves those that hear it, even if they don’t agree with what’s being said. As human beings, we can’t help it. Emotion begets emotion.

Listen to Mark Cuban talk about his Dallas Mavericks. It’s hard not to be a fan, even if you don’t like basketball. His pathos is contagious.

A registration form needs to be more than a place to collect information. Pretend you won’t get any other chances to share your enthusiasm. Don’t make the mistake of being too reserved. It’s not unprofessional to speak with feeling.

Registration copy should not only express passion for the topic being addressed, but it should also seek to evoke an emotional response in the reader.

Logos is the root word for “logic.” It is the use of persuasive arguments to appeal to the audience’s rationality. Pathos strikes at the heart, while logos shoots for the head.

We know that purchasing decisions are mostly emotional. People buy what they want. But the marketer or salesman that can give them rational reasons to justify their emotional choices will be incredibly effective.

Logos tells the reader why signing up for your webinar is a smart idea. Lay out every benefit and make every big promise that you can honestly make.

Don’t forget: benefit bullets are attractive to the eye. They are a great way to call out your logical “reasons-why.”

Putting It All Together

Ethos, pathos and logos build on each other, working together to form a compelling psychological magnet for your target audience.

Ethos is most important at the beginning of the registration copy.

Logos uses that foundation of credibility to win the battle for the mind with persuasive, rational argument. You’ll use it to form the majority of the body copy, right down to the call to action at the end.

And because you’re passionate about the theme of your webinar, pathos should naturally infuse the registration form. Don’t hold it back!

Aristotle didn’t have access to the internet, telecommunications, or even electricity. But he still has some keen insights into getting increasing webinar registrations.

Donnie Bryant is a results-driven copywriter who hails from Chi-town who’s crazy enough to think that getting someone to take action to attend your webinar requires the same discipline. Learn more about DB here.

2 thoughts on “Aristotle’s advice on improving your registration forms

  1. Donnie Bryant

    Good thing I mentioned the Mark Cuban and his Dallas Mavericks instead of another team….

  2. The Oldest Webinar Promotion Advice Yet | Donnie Bryant

    […] If you’re struggling to get your audience to sign up for your webinars, read “Aristotle’s Advice.” […]

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