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Marketing Tools: Use persuasion principles to optimize your marketing

In Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr. Robert Cialdini outlined 6 basic principles of persuasion. Understanding them can help you in making small adjustments to make your marketing tactics more effective. 1. Reciprocation People are more agreeable after you’ve done something for them first.
  • Give a small gift, unconditionally
  • Distribute free samples
  • Offer a discount upfront
2. Commitment/Consistency People are more willing to be moved in a particular direction if they see it as consistent with an existing commitment.
  • Get people to make a small commitment first
  • Craft appeals that align with your target audience’s lifestyle and beliefs
  • Although it may seem counterintuitive, if you make it hard for people to get you product, the ones that actually go through all the trouble will be very likely to buy
3. Social Proof People are more willing to take a recommended action if they see evidence that many others, especially people similar to themselves, are doing it too.
  • This is why testimonials are so effective
  • Show how many others have purchased your product
  • Target people who like to spread the word (e.g. social media mavens)
4. Liking/Friendship People prefer to say yes to those they know and like.
  • Yes, this is pretty obvious, but often overlooked
  • Position your company as having the same values and beliefs as your target audience
  • Look for ways to acknowledge, compliment and congratulate your customers
5. Authority People are more willing to follow the directions or recommendations of a communicator to whom they attribute relevant authority or expertise.
  • Use experts to recommend your product
  • Participate in sponsorships where leaders can endorse your company
  • Develop partnerships with influential individuals in other industries
6. Scarcity People find objects and opportunities more attractive to the degree that they are scarce, rare, or dwindling in availability.
  • Make one of your products extremely hard to get
  • Hold an auction for a premium item
  • Take one of your more popular items off the shelf for a few weeks, then reintroduce it (don’t do this often)