Us humans are intricate creatures.
Emotion plays such a large part in our day to day lives.
Our mood, surroundings and interaction all have a massive affect on what we do and why we do it.
This is where you, as the savvy marketer that you are, can really capitalise on the emotional triggers of your visitor to guide them through a journey and onto your desired action.
There have been many studies, white papers and books on the subject of persuasion, of which notably include the works of Nick Kolenda and Dr Robert Cialdini who has brought us Influence and Pre-Suasion.
Infact, Cialdini is one of the big boys in the game. The original.
Who is Cialdini and why should you listen to him?
This guy knows his stuff and it’s got him far. With more than one doctorate and a position as Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, he certainly knows a thing or two about our wonderful minds and how to ‘influence’ them.
Writer of the New York Times Bestseller, **drumroll** – Influence, Cialdini was the author of the holy grail of persuasion principles and opened our eyes to 6 simple yet powerful methods that can sway even the most stubborn of minds.
The 6 Principles or Persuasion
So, what are these punchy, potent, powerful persuasion principles Dr Cialdini discusses that you can start using to boost your conversion rate?
- Social proof / Consensus
Let’s delve into each and check out some examples.
Quite possibly one of my favourites when it comes to persuasion, reciprocity is that feeling of needing to ‘repay’ someone for something they’ve done for you.
Has someone every helped you out? or provided you with a gift and then subsequently asked you to do something for them? It’s hard to say ‘no’ right? Genius.
So how can you use this in your marketing?
Give your visitor a reason to feel indebted to you.
An exclusive offer, a free download, personal guidance or advice with no clear inclination that you want anything in return. Add value to them without the upfront ulterior motive.
Once you’ve provided them with their gift and they’re wallowing in their happiness, you can ask them for a favour, ask them to take action and as long as the value is relatively in-keeping with what you provided them then they’re going to feel the need to say yes.
What do I mean by having the value in-keeping with what you provided them?
Well, you can’t provide someone with a 10 page free guide and then ask them to buy your £1,000 product, that just isn’t a fair exchange. To ask for this, you’d need to provide more value – maybe a free consultation, a free version of a software or something of that calibre. The free guide would be more suited to an upgrade purchase of a £4.99 book.
No one wants to miss out on a juicy offer.
I’m a sucker for this myself.
There’s something extremely enticing about a product or offer that is limited in supply by stock or time.
When you encounter it, the ‘FOMO’ starts whirring around in the head, the fear of missing out, it’s unbearable.
This beauty can be leveraged pretty simply in your campaigns.
Whether a physical product, webinar or white paper, slap on some scarcity tactics.
Limited time only, limited spots available, limited to 300 units. Add real time counters, purchase alerts (see proof.com for this) and large prompts to encourage your visitor to take action before they miss out.
Social Proof & Consensus
Just as with scarity, no one wants to be the one missing out.
We all like to be a part of the crowd, to be accepted, to feel a sense of belonging.
Pair this with the fact that we also like to know that we can trust something, a product or service that has been tried and tested by many others before who have had a positive experience.
How can you use this to boost your results?
Testimonials, reviews, ratings, social media statistics are all quick and easy things to implement that will provide that psychological trigger and offer the social proof your visitor needs to make their decision.
If you’ve got a product that is limited to 500 units (scarcity) and have lots of highly rated reviews and knock out testimonials (social proof), your visitor is going to be more inclined to purchase as they don’t want to miss out and they want to feel a sense of belonging.
Social proof is one of the biggest influencers when people are making a purchase decision.
As immensely proud creatures, it’s rare for us to want to go back on our word once we’ve committed. Why? Because that would damage our self image.
No one wants to be seen as inconsistent and will often, whether voluntarily or involuntarily ensure that they stick to their guns once they’re on the path of consistency.
How can you use this in your marketing?
Dropbox utilise a great tactic to leverage congruence, the small ask big ask.
If you’ve ever been a member of Dropbox you’ll realise as a part of their on-boarding that at some point they’ll send out a harmless email that ask if you’d mind inviting your friends to Dropbox. There’s no fee for anyone, it’s totally free (they sometimes even give you free space for the trouble – reciprocity in action).
That’s great, it’s all innocent, however they’ve just laid down a small ask knowing that if you agree to this then you’re more likely to stick to your guns when they send you the big ask (an upgrade), especially as you’ve voiced your support for the product to your dearest and closest by inviting them – you wouldn’t then want to be seen shunning the product.
Get your users to say ‘yes’, little and often.
The more you can get your visitor to say ‘yes’ and to commit, the more chance you have of them continuing to do so.
Start with those small requests, requests with no real ROI, with the aim of sliding in with the big asks further down the line.
Ask for public, definitive commitments and leverage it to the maximum.
Have you ever been asked to do something by someone you didn’t like? If so, did you do it? Probably not right?
One of the biggest traits of successful people or humans of influence is that they are likeable! They smile, they’re genuine, they ask the right questions, they show interest in your interests, they’re funny and yes, more often than not, they’re attractive.
All of the above stack up to a powerful punch in the world of influence.
Let’s put this into a practical perspective.
What can you do to be liked and to influence your potential customers?
Quite simply, just care!
Engage with your audience and customers. Ask them questions without expecting anything in return. Smile. Be friendly. Basically, don’t be an asshole.
The world’s population is made up of those who lead, and those who follow.
Authoritative figures have a massive influence on the way people act and what they do.
Whether celebrities that are telling people how to lose weight with a particular product or professional figures broadcasting about a movement, these people have a massive pull on those around them.
So how can you use this in your marketing? There are 2 ways:
- Become an authoritative figure
With a little time and patience, you can now become an authoritative figure quicker than ever before!
Content marketing, vlogging, providing value and implementing the tactics discussed on this page towards a personal brand will build you in to the authoritative figure you can be.
Look at Gary Vaynerchuk? It’s safe to say that in the social media and business world, that guy has some serious pull.
If he gets put on the list of speakers at an event, you can be sure that people are going to be turning up.
For those who don’t have the time or energy for the above, endorsements OR mirroring can be an incredible way to leverage authority to maximise your campaign.
These don’t have to be direct endorsements, but merely an authoritiave figure mentioning or agreeing with the message you’re trying to portray.
Maybe you sell solar panels and Kim Kardashian just tweeted about her ‘solar install and the amazing savings’ – BOOM!
If you can start implementing the persuasion principles mentioned above in your day to day life, on your landing pages and in your marketing campaigns then you could be on to your way to those b-e-a-utiful conversion rates.
Simple, subtle implementation can have a massive difference in your results so don’t delay, get started today.
Have you used any of the principles above to success on your pages?