Monday, April 13, 2015

6 Highly Effective Advertising Persuasion Secrets

We are constantly being bombarded with messages imploring us to change our attitudes and buy products. These persuasion attempts can range from logical arguments to graphic pictures, from peers who try to intimidate us to celebrities who try to charm us.

Persuasion involves an active attempt to change attitudes. This is of course Job #1 for many marketing communications. Today we will share some basic psychological principles that influence people to change their minds or comply with a request.

1. Reciprocity - We are more likely to give if first we receive. That's why including money in a mail survey questionnaire increases the response rate by an average of 65 percent over surveys that come without financial incentives in the envelope.

2. Scarcity - Like people, items are more attractive when they aren't available. In one study, researchers asked people to rate the quality of chocolate chip cookies. Participants who only got one cookie liked them better than did those who evaluated more of the same kind of cookie. That helps explain why we tend to value "limited-edition" items.

3. Authority - We believe an authoritative source much more readily than one that is less authoritative. That explains why the American public's opinion on an issue can shift by as much as 2 percent when the New York Times (but not the National Enquirer) runs an article about it.

4. Consistency - People try not to contradict themselves in terms of what they say and do about an issue. In one study, students at an Israeli university who solicited donations to help disabled people doubled the amount they normally collected in a neighborhood if they first asked the residents to sign a petition supporting this cause two weeks before they actually asked for the donations.

5. Liking - We agree with those we like or admire. In one study, good-looking fundraisers raised almost twice as much as other volunteers who were not as attractive.

6. Consensus - We consider what others do before we decide what to do. People are more likely to donate to a charity if they first see a list of the names of their neighbors who have already done so. To illustrate, think about how many brands claim to be "America's favorite (fill in the blank)?"

This principles are applied in most every form of sales, bear in mind that they can also be applied in many settings of everyday life. So next time you need to persuade someone you may be able to pull a new trick from your sleeve. Happy persuading!

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