6 Principles of Persuasion & How To Use Them In Marketing
No matter where you are in the process of acquiring a new customer, these 6 principles of persuasion should always be front and center. Whether you’re trying to catch a google-goer’s eye to entice them to visit your page, or if their ready to hit “checkout”, you’ll be vying for their business against some tough competition.
Thankfully, persuasion is something that has been studied for centuries, and there’s a ton of information out there to use to your advantage!
One of the most famous writings on persuasion comes from Dr. Robert B. Cialdini – “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. Since 1984, students and business professionals have turned to this book to pick apart consumer psychology – and improve their marketing efforts dramatically.
In this post, I’ll break down these 6 principles of persuasion – a TL;DR if you will – and will dive into how you can leverage this psychological research to improve your clients’ bottom lines!
Principle of Persuasion #1: Reciprocity
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “You scratch my back, & I’ll scratch yours”. And well, that’s exactly what this principle is all about. If you are able to give first, your customers will feel more persuaded to return the favor and, say, purchase your products! Whether it’s some insightful information that you can share with customers for free, or perhaps a free sample, you’ll be well on your way to an influx of business. Even if a customer doesn’t purchase immediately, they will walk away with a great first impression – and may come back ready to buy before you know it.
Principle of Persuasion #2: Commitment
This principle of persuasion is all about getting your customer’s foot in the door. If you can get in front of them with something small, chances are they will feel more committed to your business. Example: how many times have you gone to Target for toothpaste and walked out with 5 new throw pillows…? Please don’t tell me that’s just me…
Principle of Persuasion #3: Social Proof
“If so-and-so walked off a cliff, would you do it too?”… well… maybe? In a world so dominated by social influencers, this phrase is pretty out dated. Sure, we wouldn’t literally follow a TikTok star off the edge of a cliff, but we absolutely would purchase the face mist that they say changed their life! Social Proof is exactly this, we see others who we align with using a product or trying something new, and we immediately feel that FOMO. (The Fear of Missing Out). Social Proof can be an excellent way to capture new business, especially if you’re in a niche with a large social media following.
Principle of Persuasion #4: Authority
The fourth principle of persuasion may seem a little intense, but it has been proven time and time again that authority plays a significant role in persuasion. Authority doesn’t have to mean someone in a uniform yelling that your customers should by your products; and in fact, you can achieve authority very subtly! Try using a deeper voice in video content that you produce, or use colors in your branding that feel professional and trustworthy, such as a dark blue. Additionally, when possible, include testimonials from relevant experts, such as a Vet if your client is in the pet industry.
Principle of Persuasion #5: Liking
How will your customers like you or your client, if they don’t even know you? The fifth principle relates to this idea, that the more your customer likes you, the more likely they are to be persuaded by you. Some simple things you can do to accomplish this? Try an online chat feature to answer their burning questions and get to know them, or trickle images of your team into your social media pages and website. The more your customers know and trust that you are just a human, like them, the more likely it is you’ll have them coming back for more.
Principle of Persuasion #6: Scarcity
Last but not least, a principle that I’m sure you are highly familiar with: Scarcity. We all want what we can’t have, and if there’s a slim window of opportunity, or fleeting moment to get what we want, you best believe we are going to get it! Though, this principle can have the opposite effect when not executed correctly – i.e. when the scarcity is not real. Seasonal and insider sales are often very impactful, but be sure to flip the on-off switch on these. We all know that one brand that has a permanent sale with indefinitely dramatic prices slashed out in red… don’t be those guys! While this may work for first-time customers, shoppers will see through it eventually!
So, there you have it – Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion. We’d love to hear how you’re able to incorporate these ideas into your agency’s strategy as we always love a good success story! Give us a shout out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, to keep us in the loop. And, as always, let us know however we can help you!
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