Harnessing the Science of Persuasion is crucial if you want to succeed in internet marketing, but to harness its power you must understand it first.
There’s one big myth when it comes to getting people to buy online and it’s that most people don’t read your page or consider your offer word for word (our attention span is getting shorter as more information is available).
As persuasion expert Robert Cialdini says, people don’t consider all available information. They want (and need!) shortcuts, rules and guidelines.
Simply put, people today are overwhelmed with information, and by using a few simple keys to unlock the science of persuasion, we can leverage this information overload to our advantage.
Here’s how they work, and how to apply them to your business:
- Reciprocity – People’s brains are wired to want to give back to others because of what they’ve been given. One example from Cialdini’s studies references a restaurant where the waiter gave his/her patrons a mint at the end of their meal. This, in turn, increased tip value by 3%. But here’s the surprising part – if you double the number of mints, tips don’t double – they QUADRUPLE.
But making that happen wasn’t done by just bringing two mints instead of one. It was done by the waiter dropping off a mint, starting to leave, and then having second thoughts and remarking “for you nice people, here’s another mint”. Tip value increased by 23% because of the way in which the gift was given. People feel obliged to give more in return.
- Scarcity – The less available something is, the more people want it. Just look at when products or services are discontinued because they’re no longer “economical”. People start to think about what they’ll lose when they miss out and suddenly the product or service is in-demand again.
Nobody wants to miss out. It’s that simple.
- Authority – Another reference Cialdini makes pertains to two groups of physical therapists and their patients. Both sets of patients are given exercises to do, but the ones who attended the offices of therapists who displayed their credentials were more likely to do those exercises, than patients of the therapists who didn’t display any diplomas or awards.
People follow the lead of experts, and they themselves benefit by introducing or referring you to an expert. It makes them feel better about themselves as a person since everybody wins.
- Consistency – Making lots of small commitments is easy for us than one big one. For example, Cialdini references a study that was done in which people were asked to put a big billboard in their yard advising others to drive safely. It flopped.
But they did agree to display a small postcard in their window with the same message. After some time, people who agreed to do the small postcard campaign were also more receptive to putting up the bigger yard sign too. Remember – lots of little agreements can lead to bigger and better things.
- Liking – Let’s face it – we tend to say “yes” to people we like! So how do you get more people to like you? It’s really easy. There are three main things that make us like others: we like people who are like us, people who pay us compliments, and people who are willing to cooperate with us to meet mutual goals.
Look for ways to identify similarities among your customer group, or when approaching new customers. These can serve as a great foundation or springboard for future orders and referrals.
- Consensus – People look to the actions and behavior of other people to determine their own reactions. Cialdini cites a study in which hotels tried to persuade their users to reuse linens by sharing the benefits (saving costs and saving water). Around 35% of people complied with the request. However, around 75% of people who check into a hotel for 4 days or more will reuse towels at some point.If that information were mentioned on the “please reuse your linens” card, it’s likely that more patrons would do it.
If millions of people have used your products, or you’ve been mentioned by some big brands – leverage that to your fullest advantage!
This amazing video explains the concept of harnessing the science of persuasion perfectly and in an entertaining way.
Keep in mind that these principles of persuasion work no matter what – they work on everyone, from everywhere, almost all the time. And they can certainly be used to set you apart from your competitors, who probably aren’t doing much to retain or attract new customers.
Try out just one or two of these universal keys of persuasion and see what effect it has on your profits.
Please share your thoughts on harnessing the science of persuasion by leaving a comment below.
Brilliant concepts about persuasion. This gave me to some ideas on how I might improve my marketing efforts.
Thanks for this info awesome video.
Thank you Shane,
And yes, the great thing about this concepts is that they can easily be integrated in your marketing today
I’m thinking of applying consensus but not really that sure of how to go about it in web based marketing. I’m into selling clothes and accessories online. Thanks for sharing.
You could say for example “7 out of 10 women preferred this brand of shoes over XXX brand”
Just make sure that the statistics are correct before using them. Your providers shoudl have plenty of that kind of info, all you have to do is ask.
You can also add reviews and ratings like amazon does.
This isn’t the first time I read about the science of persuasion. I think that what is very important for a businessman is to look into the impact of each of these principles when applied to a certain market.
There are various ways to improve your influence and finding the right principle that works for you best can be an easy task if you are learning it firsthand from the right authorities.
Very well thought principles from a well respected author like Robert Cialdini. Thanks for posting this one. You gave very good insights about these principles.
I love your site, keep it up!
Thank you Brenda
Very credible source of information. Influence is a very vital aspect in marketing and these principles are just perfect to achieve it.
The video is great too. It’s a very entertaining way of delivering the information.
Yes – the video is great right? It really delivers the concepts in an easy to grasp way
Thanks for posting this video – very valuable, very focused.
Slightly off topic comment…
I see a brilliant way to create killer content demonstrated here.
First… you use someone else’s video from somewhere that allows you to do so.
Next… you create a “written” summary of the video
Then… you post both the video and the summary on your blog.
Alex, can you expand on this technique?
For instance what else could you do to make this even more unique?
What have you done or could you have done here with regards to SEO?
BTW, I enjoyed the post and your summary
Thank you Roger,
Sometimes I want to share a video with the readers of my blog but I feel that just putting the video up on a page without any kind of explanation is a disservice to you. That’s why I do it like that.
About your questions…
All the written content is unique and in regards to SEO you can do the on page SEO stuff as usual and build some backlinks to it with diverse anchor text.
Alex, thanks for provocative article. Can you share your thoughts on how newbie bloggers can demonstrate “authority” to their prospects or customers?
What would be the equivalent of “displaying your credentials” for a newbie? How can they build credentials or credibility as a new blogger?
I provide some ideas on how to do that in this blog post: http://www.stealthkca.com/how-to-add-credibility-to-your-landing-pages