To master persuasion is like sitting on a gold mine. Having the ability to convince your customers to buy your products or services is key and now you have the chance to take advantage of some of the most powerful persuasion techniques that have been tested and proved through time and apply them to your digital marketing efforts.
Dr. Robert B. Cialdini wrote about 6 principles of persuasion in his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” from 1984. These principles are just as valid now as they were back then and this series of posts will give you tips on how they can boost your digital marketing strategy.
This first post is Part 1 of 3 and covers the first two principles.
The principle of reciprocity says that if you do something for someone, they will feel the urge to give back to you.
Content marketing is a great example of this. Give your audience lots of free, valuable content and hopefully, they will feel like returning the favour in the sense of purchasing your products or services.
In general, giving away anything free works. Like free articles, ebooks, sample products, a free pass to a webinar, or even a free trial of your product or service. The more valuable your audience thinks this is, the more likely they will want to give back.
Once someone becomes a paying customer, if you keep giving them advice and help they haven’t asked for, they will more likely want to return the favour by becoming a repeat customer in the future. You can, for instance, send free advice via email or host a free webinar for users to ask any question they would like about your products or services.
Commitment and Consistency
The idea of this principle is that people want to be consistent with themselves and the commitments they make. This means that once someone commits to something, they want to keep that promise and they would likely commit to similar things in the future.
If you get people to make a small commitment, like for instance joining a mailing list, create an account on your website, or even liking you on Facebook, then they will more likely make a larger commitment down the road, like purchasing your products or services.
If you know how your customers view themselves, then you could also use that as a tool. If your customers view themselves as being smart for instance, you could mention, in the right context, that “You are smart, so join this community of smart people.” If the customer really resonates with viewing themselves as smart, then they might want to be consistent and join.
You can also remind people of past behaviour and connect the values the past action gave with the values the new action will give to provoke consistency. You could, for instance, send an email saying “Having downloaded our ebook, we see that you are interested in what small business owners need to know about social media. Our new video series covers the 5 most important factors when using social media for your small business. We thought you would want to check it out!”
Now that you know the first two principles and how to make use of them, keep an eye out for Part 2 of this series for the next two powerful principles to help take your digital marketing to the next level.