6 Principles of Persuasion for an Amazing Copy
What’s the best marketing you’ve ever encountered?
Maybe it’s Verizon’s “can you hear me now?” campaign. Or the ever-so-catchy “Every Kiss Begins with Kay” that’s helped the jeweler sell loads of diamonds. Regardless, the marketing was probably far more than just content. It was probably really persuasive.
Robert Cialdini holds a Doctorate in Psychology, and became famous for the scary efficacy of his 1986 book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. If you’ve never read it, here are the six principles:
2. Commitment and Consistency
3. Social Proof
Do these principles still matter, almost 30 years later? Absolutely. In fact, they’re so incredibly effective that Harvard Business Review recently revisited the danger of persuasion when it’s abused. Don’t ever use these pillars to make false promises, but as a tool for enhancing your conversion copywriting. Here are some tried-and-true ways to apply Cialdini’s principles to your blog, landing pages, and calls-to-actions:
The first principle is actually a lot more common than your realize when it comes to amazing copy. In fact, reciprocity is at the very core of inbound marketing. Download our free eBook. Register for our free webinar. Today’s brightest brands have mastered the art of providing something of value to their customers, in exchange for a lead conversion. Check out the following example:
Your prospects are busy people. By offering something of value in exchange for their time or email address, you’ll have much better luck winning their attention.
2. Commitment and Consistency
Sales masters know how to get customers to commit early in the process. Maybe not to a sale, but to a test drive or a free demo. While it’s critical to avoid being overly salesy in content marketing for top-of-the-funnel customers, you can easily leverage this principle. By writing a strong introduction to your blogs and landing pages, you can build an instant rapport with your audience, increasing your chances of getting them to stick around.
Some powerful ways to “hook” your readers into committing to finishing your content could include:
- Using humor
- Empathizing with their pain points
- Shocking them with stats and facts
For more insights on how to write amazing copy for blog intros, check out Top Writing Tips to Infuse Your Blog With Stickiness.
3. Social Proof
Social proof was a powerful phenomenon when Cialdini performed his groundbreaking research in the early 1980’s. If anything, it matters even more today. You probably rely on social proof more than you realize to determine the credibility of brands. A thought leader is partially valued by the size of their following, and you probably check out Google local reviews before heading to a restaurant.
Here’s one example of social proof you see on a daily basis:
Display your customers’ feedback or blog subscribers with pride - it’s only going to enhance your copy!
It’s a well-established fact that people buy from people or brands they like. Your company doesn’t need to be everything to everyone, but you should have a very strong appeal to your ideal customers. One organization that does this extremely well is actually Taco Bell, whose social media content is well-known for being incredibly humorous, irreverent and on-point:
If you know what you’re talking about, people will listen. It’s why we flock to thought leaders’ blogs and Twitter feeds. We want to learn at the feet of people who’ve proven time and time again that they know their stuff.
When it comes to writing convincing and amazing copy, it’s crucial that you both give the impression of expertise, while working to truly earn it. While there’s absolutely no way to cover up an abject lack of knowledge, here are some quick ways to make your writing seem more authoritative:
- Use fresh, reputable stats and facts
- Use expert quotes, preferably from original interviews
- Edit with a meticulous eye for errors
Even if you are the leading expert in your field, a few misplaced typos or a lack of research can wreck credibility. Inversely, highly effective research can go a long way to further the words of an up-and-coming blogger.
Everyone - and I mean everyone - is a sucker for limited time deals and offers. Trust me, we’ve all fallen for them at least once. What’s even better, the principle of scarcity can be applied to all areas of your marketing campaign, not just your sales offers. Consider creating an exclusive forum or secret Facebook group for your fans. Offer a webinar with extremely limited spaces. Consider offering an eBook for a limited time only.
The sky is the limit when it comes to applying the highly effective principle of scarcity, so let your imagination run wild.
For more conversion copywriting tips, check out 15 Call to Action Samples for Rocking Blog Posts that Convert.
Great Post Jasmine. We just love Cialdini and all of his work. So much of his principles are overlooked when creating a website, writing copy, or in overall marketing. Thanks for reminding everyone.
Thanks, Mark. Glad you found the article helpful :)