How can you persuade visitors to your site to sign up for your newsletter or download that resource you painstakingly put together?
How can you convince potential customers to buy your products and services?
Or urge people to show up to your events or log into your software?
Converting is about so much more than the quality of your product.
It’s about the way you make people feel and just how persuasive you can be…
That’s why marketers, conversion optimizers and copywriters use specific persuasion principles. These principles let you tap into your lead’s psyche and gently encourage them to take action.
Because let’s face it. Most of us are master procrastinators. We put off doing things until the last possible second…
But when you leverage persuasion correctly, you can get past that and inspire the person on the other side of the screen to take action.
In this workshop, we examined Cialdini’s 7 principles of persuasion. We looked at each one in turn (with specific examples!) and discussed how you can apply them to get your leads and customers to act.
Here’s what you don’t want to miss:
- A thorough breakdown of each of the seven key principles of persuasion
- Specific examples that highlight how The Principles work in the wild – along with practical applications
- An intro to Cialdini’s 7th principle
If you haven’t already, grab the worksheet below. In it, you’ll find over 30 psychological triggers and cognitive biases along with examples of exactly how to use them to increase conversions and keep your customers coming back for more. It can help you apply the principles of persuasion we are about to discuss.
Download the complete list of psychological triggers
Watch the recording below:
Transcript and slides:
Today, we’re talking about how to use Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion which … actually, seven principles of persuasion to boost conversions.
I have been using these techniques for many years now. I think they’ve become a real big part of most of the marketers that I know. You actually might be using some of these techniques and some of these principles in your marketing without knowing. Today, we’re going to cover these six different principles and see how you can use them to increase conversions on your landing pages, your websites and everything, so it should be pretty interesting.
Meet Dr. Robert Cialdini
Now, the reason we’re talking about him is pretty simple. As I mentioned in my previous workshop, if we want to increase conversions and grow our business, we have to understand how our audience makes decisions, what influences them, what their real intent is, and their desired outcomes. Scientists and psychologists have been researching the art of influence and persuasion for decades. One of the most famous researchers in this area is Dr. Robert Cialdini. He’s known mostly for his book Influence, which you can see here on the screen.
In his original book, he actually maps out the six most important factors that influence us to say yes to the requests of others, so what actually moves us towards a yes versus a no when we’re considering products, when we’re considering services. These principles have been written about in almost every marketing blog you could think of. They’ve been tested by many companies, and they are referenced by some of the top scientists in the world. Now, as I said recently, he added a seventh principle to his list so, hopefully, we’ll also have enough time to cover that one.
How to Leverage Cialdini’s 7 Principles of Persuasion
1. The Principle Reciprocity
Let’s just get started with the first one. The first one is reciprocity (which I can never pronounce correctly). The first principle is all to do with our fundamental need and obligation to repay or return favors, so essentially perform certain actions for people who gave us a certain service first. In short, we basically feel obligated to treat others the way they treat us, which is a good thing, right? Someone does you a favor, and then you actually owe them a favor. If someone invites you to a party, you’re more inclined to invite them to your own. In that context, I guess, people are more likely to say yes to those who have helped them in the past.
Now, how do you actually use this online? Here are two ways you can do that. Basically, you can offer free webinars, resources, ebooks, articles, and workshops, and many other things to help people out. In the examples below you’ll find Forget the Funnel (on the right), and they do a wonderful job creating free content, workshops, and webinars for SaaS marketers. Now, if any of you are SaaS marketers and you haven’t heard of Forget the Funnel, I would urge you to definitely check them out after our workshop today. They are brilliant. It’s run by Gia and Claire, two fabulous women who have run entire marketing departments in very big companies, in very interesting startups, and they’re now helping SaaS marketers become better marketers. It’s a really cool service. What’s cool about them is that they’re so informative. They’re so actionable. They have such amazing free content that people are far more likely to enroll into their paid courses later.
Now, on the left-hand side, I’ve put the example from my website, which is an entire page dedicated to free conversion optimization resources. I did that because I think that too many resources and information is paid for or requires a lot in order to get it, so every single piece of resource or worksheet that we have is on this page, and it’s given to people for free. It’s just another way to kind of help people out before asking them for anything. I think that’s always been a guideline for me. Even now when we’re setting up our courses and the things that we’re doing, I try to never ever promote things too soon. I want people to feel the value, to get value from me before I ask them or offer to take it to the next level and try our paid content, our paid courses and stuff like that.
Other options for using the principle of reciprocity include offering a free trial of your product, giving pre-customers, prospects different vouchers or coupons for their first purchase, creating free tools for your visitors. For example, HubSpot, I think, has a free keyword tool. You first would use that tool. You get it for free, and then you’re more inclined to try out the paid product. You want to recognize the challenges your visitors and your customers are facing and offer assistance. Also, even if it’s in chat, by just allowing them to tell you their problems, what’s challenging them, you can always help them out first.
Let’s just recap. In marketing, like in life, remember to give first and provide people with meaningful, valuable solutions that they can use. All these really contribute to people feeling the need to reciprocate and create a meaningful connection with your brand. It really is a great one to start with thinking about what you can offer for free, and I don’t think it means that you have to give away your product or your solution for free. That’s not what I’m saying. It’s just taking that step back and thinking about the initial ways that you can help people before asking them to take action because, again, we’re far more likely to help people out after they’ve helped us.
2. Consistency and commitment
Number two is consistency, commitment. This principle is based on the fact that people like to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done. We want to be ourselves and to be seen as consistent. Cialdini once said that his behavior tells him about himself. It’s a primary source of information about his beliefs and values and attitudes. Essentially, this is very similar to foot-in-the-door technique if you’ve heard of it before. We’ll talk about it later on this month too and the different cognitive biases, but once people have taken one step with you, as small as it is, they’re far more likely to perform another step. People want to feel good about their decisions, and they want to feel consistent, so when they make a decision they try to follow through because it basically helps with their self-image and their social image.
There’s a few ways that you can actually leverage the principle of consistency. The goal is to essentially get prospects to voluntarily and publicly commit to certain actions with you. Yes, ideally get those commitments in writing. For example, when inviting people to a webinar, provide them with an easy way to add it to their calendar.
This is a very simple tip, right, first making them essentially commit to showing up because they’re adding it to their webinar. You can see this with Kissmetrics. In their email, when someone kind of signs up to one of their webinars, one of the first things they do is offer a way to add the webinar to your calendar. That is them making them essentially take the first step in commitment and wanting them to follow through. I love that quote [inaudible 00:08:58], “It is easier to resist in the beginning than at the end.” I definitely agree, and it definitely also applies to this principle.
Another cool way which is cool looking at is HeForShe, so getting people to essentially publicly commit to things and take certain actions is another great way to get people to follow through. You can see over here they’ve tweeted that this person has committed to doing something. They’re out there. They’re showing themselves. Getting people to even commit in comments, and sharing, and all these different little ways is a great way to get people to take a next step with you because they want to feel consistent, because they want to feel that. They want to commit to things.
Now, you can also get people to take small steps at first. I mentioned this before. It’s called foot-in-the-door technique.
Essentially, you get people to agree to something simple. For example, here, Social Media Examiner has a popup on their website, and they say, “Send me a free copy of the Social Media Marketing Industry Report.” What they’ve done here is they’ve divided it into two. The first part is where you commit to saying, “Yes, of course I want to improve my social media skills,” or, “I don’t want the research.” That’s kind of the first commitment that you make. Once you click on that button, it says, “Okay, so send me the free copy. Now enter your details.” It’s a small thing. You’re asking them to choose something simple, to make a decision, to commit to improving themselves, and then asking them to perform a bigger task, which is adding their details.
There’s millions of ways of doing this, of kind of getting people to take the first step, so whether if it’s you want them to perhaps subscribe to your list, to your email marketing list, then maybe you first ask them what they’re interested in, what content they would like to receive, and then you ask for their email. There’s all sorts of cool ways to use the foot-in-the-door technique to essentially use this principle and increase conversions.
3. Social Proof
Next, we have social proof. As the old quote goes, “I’ll have what she’s having.” That’s basically the basic of social proof. It’s one of the most famous and well-known principles that … It’s essentially people’s tendency to want and choose products and solutions that other people like, other people recommend, or other people promote. There’s an art to social proof. It’s not just any person who recommends or any person who promotes a certain product, and we’ll get to that but, essentially, the most important thing is … The simplest way to explain this is you’re searching …
For example, let’s say that you’re searching for a place to eat, so you’re looking for somewhere. You’re walking in the street, and you’re looking for a place to have lunch. You see two restaurants one after the other. One has a very long queue of people standing outside waiting to be seated, and the other one is completely empty. Now, assuming you have all the time in the world, which one would you choose? Let me know in the comments, by the way. I’d be really interested to know. Would you choose the one that has a queue of people standing outside to be seated or the empty restaurant that has no one in it? What would be your move?
Most people are going to say, “Always choose the busy one,” right, where the queue is either … Shia says the same, Sophia, Nedza, Allison. Everyone’s saying, “Yes, we will go for the one that is the most busy that has the biggest queue outside,” because it tells you something. It tells you, oh, okay a lot of people really like this place and favor it over the other one. That’s kind of a way of looking at social proof.
Here’s a few ways you can do it. Now, the one thing that I do want to say, and I think it’s probably the most important thing, is that, many times, social proof is used as a way to just say, “Hey, we’re really cool. We’re amazing.”
I have an entire blog post on this, and I really recommend you read it because social proof isn’t meant to just act as self praise. It’s not just about you saying … getting people to say that you’re amazing, but it’s about addressing people’s specific roadblocks. I think Andy Crestodina, who is the guru of content marketing, once said, “Everything you say is marketing, and everything they say is social proof.” When someone else says it about you, it definitely makes it more authentic, and that is social proof.
However, the reason you use social proof is to actually address specific problems that people have. If you’ve done your customer research from the first month that we went through these workshops and you’ve realized that one of the biggest issues people have is they’re really worried about, let’s say, the durability of your product or if they’re going to have support to help set up the product that they’re getting from you, let’s say that that’s what you found out. What you want to do with your social proof is get people to talk about the fact that you help them set up, that you help them with customer service, that customer service is around 24/7, that we help with onboarding or whatever it is. It isn’t just saying, “Oh, this company rocks,” or, “This company changed my life.” It really is addressing specific roadblocks of people. I see Sophia has already pasted the link to our blog post. That is amazing.
Okay, so let’s look at the different ways that you can leverage the principle of social proof. Number one, and I think this is a really cool one, so you’re in good company. I think this is by Slack. “Millions of people around the world have …” Yeah, it’s Slack. “Millions of people around the world have already made Slack the place where their work happens.” They have testimonials. Actually, when you open them up, they’re video testimonials, and there’s a whole case study in there on how each company uses Slack. I think it’s a brilliant approach. I actually really suggest you go into Slack’s website after the workshop, and you’ll see that, when you click on one of these, you’ll get an entire drill-down of the different channels they’re using, how they use it, who’s using it. It really is a very cool way to use social proof.
What you can see here is a few things. A, they’ve got the logos of very well-known companies. Plus, they’re showing you how people use it. Plus, they’re saying, “Millions of people around the world have already made Slack the place where their work happens.” They’re saying two things here, millions of people are using Slack, and they’re saying that Slack is the place where work happens. It’s a great way to not just say, “Hey, you know, all these amazing companies are using us,” but, this is why. “21st Century Fox uses us for faster, real-time coverage from the field to the fans.” Autodesk uses it to driving Open Source principles in product and at home. It really is very specific to pains and challenges that people are facing on the day to day.
Another way is obviously test and [inaudible 00:16:54] with those images so you have the different people kind of saying, “Hey, you know, this is how Copyblogger has helped me,” or, “This is how this company has really contributed to my work and my day to day.”
Another cool way to leverage social proof, by the way, is to talk about numbers. “In 13 years, we have created five amazing products used by 16,000 companies. We’ve tracked more than five million transactions worth over $1 billion.” It’s a way of using numbers and leveraging them to your assistance. Last but not least, of course, “Our customers have been featured in …” and we’ve got all these amazing logos.
There’s lots and lots of ways you can use social proof. Social proof is not just that line that says, “As seen on …” with the logos like I have on my website, unfortunately. It really can be used in so many brilliant ways. As I said, Sophia has already posted that article in there. If you really want to nail social proof, I suggest you go into that and you spend some time reading and learning how you can create really awesome social proof on your website, landing pages, and emails.
Okay. Principle number four is authority. Now, this principle is all about our tendency to believe and feel more comfortable with authoritative figures. In short, basically, we tend to follow people with authority even if they ask us to perform actions we don’t necessarily feel comfortable with. When I talk about this, the example that I give that I always imagine is this. Imagine you’re at a crossroad, at a zebra crossing if you’re British, and you’re waiting for the light to turn green. Now, while the light is still red, a kid in front of you on roller blades starts crossing. Do you cross too? That’s my question for you. Most people will say, “Heck, no. Of course not.”
However, what if it were a man in a business suit, or a woman wearing a doctor’s robe, or anyone who looks more authoritative? Good for you, [Neha 00:19:26]. Anyone who looks more authoritative. Research actually shows that most people would cross, so when you see someone that looks to you like an authoritative figure, you would actually cross after them, so not Neha and many other people here who are very responsible. I probably wouldn’t because my toddler would follow me, and I don’t want him to learn to cross at red lights, but most people would cross. Yeah, that makes sense. We trust with people with authority more easily.
I want to show you how you can use authority in your website to increase conversion. There’s a couple of ways. Here is an example of GenXtreme, a great … We were just talking about Germany, so this is a German website that sells clothing for work men and work women, all sorts of different things. They’re using phots and images of authoritative figures. What I mean by that is people wearing the uniforms, like soldiers, doctors, policemen, celebrities. The use of images of people who have an authority to them is great. Because this company is selling work wear, so it’s working clothes for people that actually work, that’s their whole thing, their images are of people working, using these clothes, and showing them, giving them that feeling of authority.
Another thing you can do is quote and testimonials by people who have high authority titles like doctor, professor, PhD, president, CEO, founder, industry expert, whatever. This is another screenshot from Slack. It says, “Faster real-time coverage from the field to the fans.” At the end, it says, “Paul, CTO, 21st Century Fox.” They’re using his title in order to show you the authority that you should feel from this.
Now, another thing that you is you can maybe mention the authority figure’s resume. For example, you could say, “X company was founded by two previous Facebook employees,” or, “David Sacks, former PayPal COO who is now the founder of Geni.com and Yammer.” Everything you use in your copy, that could be in an email, or if you’re using images, or if you’re using the titles and their job as kind of an authoritative figure. You don’t have to have Kim Kardashian or Barack Obama on your website to have that authority. You don’t have to have someone who’s a celebrity to do that. Just by placing the people who are authoritative in your industry, not necessarily even famous, but people that project that in terms of their images, or their name, or their title is a great way to do that. Yeah, Obama wouldn’t hurt. Plus, he would never cross a red light. Okay.
Number five is liking. I think someone mentioned this in the chat before, but it was going a bit quickly so I couldn’t … I didn’t pay attention to it, but I think someone mentioned liking a few minutes ago. Liking, simply put, is the more you like someone, the more prone you are to say yes to them. It’s that simple. What people do we like when we think about it? We like people who are similar to us, right? We like people who compliment us, and we also like people who like us, right? Think about the immediate reaction you have when you find out someone doesn’t like you. We tend to, almost immediately, find reasons not to like them back, right? I mean it’s just kind of this automatic thing that happens. We also like people who work with us towards achieving certain goals.
We like people who are similar to us. We like people who compliment us, and we like people who work with us towards a certain goal. Liking is actually one of the coolest principles that you can use to increase conversions, and I really like using it. Here’s a couple of ways you can do it.
Number one, introduce yourself, not your business or its goals. Just introduce you, the people behind the screen. If you can share some personal stuff, that’s even better. Simple As Milk, this is the company in front of you. They introduce their agency, their team in a fun way and what they do after work. They also end every sentence with, “But we still love them,” or, “We still love her.” It’s just a cool way of introducing the people behind the scenes.
Now, I actually have a blog post about how to write a high-converting About Us page. Let’s see how long it takes Sophia to find that one. It’s a really in-depth guide to writing high-converting About Us pages, so writing pages that people tend to connect with you better and like you. That’s number one, essentially, introducing yourself.
Number two is showing the audience how similar you are to them. By the way, this is another one by Simple As Milk, that they show you what they do after work, so each one kind of has their image of like, “I walk my dog. I play music. I’ve got a baby,” and stuff like that. As I was saying, number two is show your audience how similar you are to them. For example, have you ever experienced the challenge that your prospects are facing? That’s something that I would mention. You should share similar experiences, emotions, and thoughts that you have to increase the similarities between you and your audience. As a result, it affects your feelings towards you.
This is a cool example by Alfred. Alfred, the founders, they share how they use their own service. Alfred is a really cool service that kind of … you sign up, and they send professional people to your house to perform all sorts of different tasks for you. They basically share how they use the service, how it helps them with their daily challenges. This is another way to increase likability because, essentially, you’re saying, “Hey, I’m very much like you.” Remember we said people like people who are similar to them. Jessica Beck and Marcela Sapone share how they use it, so moving, dry cleaning, mail, clever notes, and stuff like that.
ThinkGeek actually shares their manifesto, and it shows you exactly how similar they are to you and in a way … or maybe me, and the way you live your life. They say, “We believe you should live long and prosper with the Force,” or, “We believe that pi never ends at 3.14. We believe that it’s perfectly okay to have crushes on comic book characters,” and so on and so on. What they’re doing here is they’re talking about themselves, but what they’re actually doing is talking about their audience because the people that buy from ThinkGeek, most of them are very similar to the founders, and it’s a great way to increase your liking. Reddit does the same, by the way. I don’t have that example in here, but they have a really cool About Us page, which also talks about how similar they are to their audience.
Here’s another way you can increase liking. My question is can you compliment it? Can you compliment the people that you are serving? Mention their qualities, their success, their positive attributions. They go a very long way in increasing their liking for you. Proof Eyewear, which you can see in front of you right now, they feature their fans on their social media campaigns. They say, “Here’s our fan of the week,” and they feature them, and they talk about how amazing they are, and what good work they’ve done, and stuff like that. That’s just a way of kind of complimenting them because, remember, we said we like people that compliment us.
Now, the last thing I said about people liking and who do we like is I said that what we like is also people that sometimes just work towards the same goals as us. Sometimes we like brands not because of who they are but because of what they stand for. I’m sure that I can ask you all here if you have a brand like that that stands out to you that you may not necessarily like their products as well, their products are amazing, but you like what they stand for and what they have … kind of their manifesto and what they stand for.
For example, Dove stands for being a natural you. Follow the Frog, if you guys have … hopefully, you’ve heard about Follow the Frog because it’s probably one of the best commercials I’ve ever seen in my life. It stands for saving the rainforest.
The example that I have in front of you here is United Colors of Benetton. They stand up for equal rights for women. Again, it’s not always about the brand itself or the product. Sometimes it’s just about the fact that you believe in their cause so you’re going to like them more just because of that.
I mentioned Follow the Frog. If you haven’t seen their video, I’m going to look for it on YouTube after this session, and I’m going to link to it. It’s a really, really cool video about a father that decides to throw everything away and go … oh, of course, Sophia’s got it … and go and save the rainforest. It’s brilliant. It kind of uses all the emotional triggers you can think of. It is fantastic, and it’s a good cause.
Okay, moving on from liking to scarcity. That is the sixth principle that we have today, one of the most well-known principles. When something is in limited supply, we want more of it. It’s just as simple as that. Essentially, when there’s less availability of something, it’s value and our need of it suddenly tends to go up. The more limited something is, the more it’s valued. The perceived value goes up. It’s actually really interesting.
They did research about this about 20 years ago where, in London, they told people that they were running out of mustard, and people rushed to the stores to buy mustard because there was going to be a shortage of mustard. Now, how much mustard can one person use? I am a very big fan of mustard, but I don’t know why people would need boxes and boxes of mustard just because they were told there’s going to be a shortage of it.
The most common uses you’ll see of this principle are within sales, sales periods when items are running out or when a product is about to go away forever. That’s basically a quick call back to the cans. You remember Coca-Cola, last week’s sessions, if you watched it. In last week’s session, I spoke about Coca-Cola’s huge mistake and how they announced that they were removing the classic Coca-Cola from their lines and, immediately, thousands of cans were purchased and sold to the highest bidder. It’s just a very interesting thing that Coca-Cola created.
Here are some examples for you so you can use scarcity. Let me see. Okay, right. Number one, I would leverage loss aversion. Now, loss aversion is a cognitive bias. We’re going to be talking a lot about next week in our next workshop but, essentially, what it means is people’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. In fact, most studies suggest that the discomfort that we feel with loss is twice as powerful as the pleasure we gain when we … as the pleasure we gain. Sorry. We try to avoid lost at all cost. We may not need these products, and we probably weren’t even thinking about buying anything. However, somehow, they grabbed our attention. There’s a limited-time sales. It creates a sense of urgency, and it triggers that loss aversion.
In this email that I put in here for you guys, you can see it says, “Today’s the last day. Don’t miss out. Last call to order,” and it says, “Order all pillows, blankets, canvas prints, and totes today to receive by Christmas.” This is kind of just an example of how you can use it. Yes, it’s very much like FOMO, the fear of missing out, just FOMO isn’t listed as a cognitive bias. Let’s see. Todd says, “Last day to chat with me. It’s the fear of missing out.” Yes, it’s definitely fear of missing out.
Here’s another example by Booking.com. Booking.com also uses many different terms to tell you that an offer is running out. For example, we have, “Budapest is a top pick amongst travelers on your selected dates, 79% reserved,” and you have 66%, 66, 67, 69. Then it has, “There are only two like this,” so all these fantastic ways that they’re using scarcity to basically kind of increase their conversions.
Socialcam is actually known for surpassing one million users in four months by launching their app to a small, selected group of people. You may know all of these techniques now, but it was quite new when they went up with it. Companies ask people to join a waiting list or to join and see a countdown until they’re allowed to get the product, access to the product. It’s just kind of this thing that really promotes, gets people to sign up and engage.
Now, other techniques include daily deals, numbered bonuses. For example, we at Emotion Sells, for the course, one of the bonuses that we offer people when they enroll is to get a landing page critiqued by me, but it’s only available for 24 hours because I can’t afford to do it for everyone, so it’s one of the biggest bonuses that we give. That’s a use of scarcity. We have limited-time offers. You have holiday sales, clearance sales, and many, many more. All this is about scarcity, FOMO, however you want to call it.
Okay, number seven. This is the seventh principle that was added last year, and this is unity. Now, I guess, in a way, the seventh principle is all about the sense of belonging. It’s our need to be part of a group or a community or a family. I think the best way to explain this is we do, we categorize ourselves according to our gender, our nationality, our friends. It helps us relate to others. It helps us feel connected, feel a part of something bigger than ourselves.
For example, my family’s identity is Arsenal fans, and I identify as a Potterhead, so like a very, very crazy obsessed Harry Potter fan, or a Star Wars fanatic, or whatever it is. Each person kind of identifies their certain thing, but it helps you connect to something bigger, to be a part of something bigger. I think our need to be a part of something bigger, know people, and belong to the group is bigger than us.
A good example of this, by the way, is I don’t know if you’ve ever gone traveling and spent an hour with someone you have no idea. You’ve never met them. You just met them like half an hour ago or an hour ago, and you spend an hour trying to figure out how you know each other. You’ve never seen each other, but you think you know each other, and you spend an hour saying, “Maybe we went to school together. Maybe did you do ballet? Are you from this district? Are you from this county?” We constantly ask each other questions to try and find that sense of belonging to someone even if, by the end of the conversation, we’re like, “Oh, yeah. We served in the same base,” or whatever, and then it just ends. There’s no continuation to it, but you felt that connection with someone, and you spent a lot of time trying to find that sense of connection. We go on and on and search for these connections.
Your goal with this principle, essentially, is to form a bond, a group, or an exclusive group of people who share common beliefs, needs, or common characteristics. That’s one of the biggest things that you can do as a brand, which is create those groups, create those, let’s see, families and groups of people who have something in common. Let me show you a few examples.
For example, form a connection between you and your audience. Similar to liking, your goal is to show the audience that you have similarities and yet how different you all are from someone else, right? For example, this is a popup that we designed many years ago for a company, and it says, “Join the club. Access this premium service, exclusive party décor, and more.” It really kind of sits on that exclusivity. It’s a small group. Only a few people can be in this club.
Another way of doing it is leveraging social identity theory so, essentially, exclusive clubs, groups, and teams. What you can see in front of you is Nextdoor. It’s a fantastic example of how they establish themselves as a private community. Only certain people can get invited and take part in this community, so you want to be part of that community. Maybe you have a Facebook group for just the people in certain areas or certain countries and stuff like that.
Another cool way, by the way, to use this principle of unity is in your pricing plans. If you have any pricing plans, you can actually differentiate between us and them. Basically, you self-identify. In the example that I gave you here before, before you it says, “Hobbyist, developer, or professional.” What’s really cool is that you look at this and, without reading anything, without knowing what the product is, you immediately can say, “Oh, okay. I am a hobbyist,” or, “I’m a developer. I’m a professional.” It helps you kind of identify what group you fit in with. This is more than just when you say, “Oh, we have premium, or pro, or premium plus, or gold, or silver.” Those are the kind of names that normal, usually, pricing plans have, but this helps people categorize themselves and easily choose a pricing plan.
Unity is really about just forming those relationships, so creating a Facebook group, creating a Slack channel for everyone, for all your clients, which is, I think, what 21st Century Fox does with their Slack group. There’s just so many different ways that you can leverage the principle of unity.
Okay, we’ve covered all the seven principles, and I am going to stop showing my screen now, and I am going to come back on camera so that you guys can see me. Hi. Whoops, that’s not what I wanted to do. Let’s see. I’m going to open Q&A, and I’m going to open chat and see how I can help. Let me see. Hopefully, I didn’t miss any questions. I saw there was a lot of chat going on. Wasn’t four missing? I think I missed … I think it was just the numbering that I missed. Sorry about that. Okay. No, there’s no mustard shortage in Israel, guys. Don’t worry. There’s two people here [inaudible 00:42:19] asking me. No, there’s none.
Okay. Do you guys have any questions about any of the principles, of using them specifically in your emails, in your landing pages, in your websites? I think that, at the end of the day, you don’t have to constantly be thinking, “Wait. Am I using all seven principles? Is it all tied together?” It’s very hard to think that way, but one thing that you can do that is very helpful is simply reach out to or look at one of your pages. Let’s say you’re looking at your About page and you’re trying to figure out if you could optimize it with one of these principles. Read it, go over it, and see, “Okay, can I introduce liking in here? Can I introduce social proof in here? What other options, what other principles can I add into my About page or into my pricing plan that will help with increasing conversions?” because you’re using these persuasive principles.
Oh, that’s cool. Craig says that he feels the unity principle right here. I do too. Group of optimizers.
Applying Social Proof to Boost Conversions
Gabrielle says, “You mentioned social proof and showed some examples of applying it, but how shouldn’t it apply?” I guess the biggest thing, and it think I mentioned this while I was talking about, is that, to me, with social proof, I wouldn’t use it to just self praise because when you’re just talking about yourself and how amazing you are … When you look at social proof, you will notice that most companies are just saying … just have quotes about, “Wow, this company is amazing,” or, “This company is a lifesaver,” but there’s nothing concrete. I think that actually does serve as pointless air on your website, which you could use that space better.
When you’re using social proof, it really is important that it has that sense of really addressing a specific challenge or roadblock or problem that you have come across that you know that people are really worried about, because you can say that you’re trustworthy as much as you want, but if you have someone that says, “I was really worried when I got started about privacy or whatever, but it turns out this company is so trustworthy. I’m so happy with it. I would never switch over,” that is so much better than you talking about yourself and saying that you’re trustworthy.
Todd says, “Could exclusivity be helpful for a local media email newsletter?” Yes. I mean I guess you could leverage it as the fact that it’s local and using that group of it’s exclusive, it’s only for the local stuff, but I’d need to know a bit more of that in order to really understand it.
Wait. Some of you guys are sending messages in the chat just to panelists, so we’re the only ones who can see them, which is fine, but if you want everyone to see them, then make sure that it says, “To all panelists and attendees.”
Let me see. Okay. “Do you have a form or template for your cuts to …” oh, customers, sorry, “to fill out to ensure you get proper social proof from them or just hope or cope with them somehow?” No. Here’s the thing. What we do is we’ll do the surveys on our customers, so we’ll do survey customers, prospect surveys, so on the visitors, for visitors on their website. We’ll do polls on the website. We’ll do competitor analysis, all this good stuff that we spoke about in the past few weeks, and then we start pulling out those biggest pains. We’ll see, oh, the top three pains or the top three challenges people mention that were really problematic before they signed up, before they enrolled, before they bought a product were these.
Now I’m going to send a list to my client saying, “These are the three roadblocks, the challenges that I want to address in social proof. Do you have testimonials that talk about these specific challenges?” Or even better, you use the surveys from customers who said, “Well, my biggest challenge was that I was really worried about the onboarding process,” and then later on in the survey they say, “The customer success team is amazing, and I was so pleasantly surprised about how helpful they were throughout the entire onboarding process.” You use that as the testimonial.
It really is cool to … You don’t have to ask your clients, “Hey, what do you think is going to be the best testimonials?” You use your voice of customer research and everything that you have done to piece all that together, and you have so many testimonials and quotes anyway from all these surveys and, if you’re doing interviews, then that too. All of this stuff is in the blog, so you can definitely watch all that, but I think you’ve been present on all of them if I recall.
Okay. Shia says, “Do we need kind permission to use their quotes and testimonials?” Yes, you do. When I do surveys, I usually add a question at the end, “Is it okay that we share your answers on our website or feature you on our website?” If they say yes, then what I’ll do is I’ll put the quote together, and I’ll email them saying, “Hey, thank you so much for agreeing and answering the survey. Here’s the quote we’re going to use. It’s your answer to X question. Do you approve?” It’s just really important to get people’s approval for these testimonials, but as Nicki says, if it’s a public review that someone left on a product then, of course, you can use it because they’ve already given you the consent to using it.
Okay, questions. “How soon is too soon? I’ve signed up for a free stuff in past only to get blasted with email offers immediately after.” Well, I think that is too soon. If that’s how you feel, that you signed up for something, and you got something for free, and then immediately after you got bombarded, to your feeling, with offers, then it’s too soon. You need to know your audience and understand when is the right time to ask for something back.
Now, granted, when you’re signing up for something for free, it’s not really for free. You’re giving away your email. That’s something that you’re doing, so you’re taking a step and performing that, so I wouldn’t kind of dismiss that entirely, but getting people to immediately … Immediately signing up for something free and then immediately getting promotions, it’s a technique, and it works, but you have to know your audience and how they’re going to feel about it.
I, myself, as me and GetUplift, I don’t feel comfortable blasting people with offers immediately, and I intend to invite you to other things and get more free stuff, or more worksheets, or learn more before I’d ask people to check out the course or check out other offers that we have because I really do believe that creating a relationship with your subscribers and your audiences is far more important than anything else and, even if it might take longer, it does pay off. That’s my personal belief.
Leveraging the principle of unity
Okay. Let’s see. We have time for two more questions. “How can I incorporate it in landing pages?” Joseph, you’re going to have to be more precise about what do you want to incorporate? Is it all principles or just one principle that you’re looking into? When you’re thinking about a landing page, essentially, when it’s done or when you are just writing the new landing page and you want to think about these seven principles, maybe print them out, look at them, and ask yourself, “Am I using these in the right way?”
You say unity. Unity on a landing page you can use as a … incorporated with social proof. For example, if you’re saying, “Hey, we have a million users,” and you’re going to say, “We have an exclusive club of a million users already,” which doesn’t sound so exclusive but, “We have an exclusive club of 1,000 people,” then you’re already using social proof and unity because you’re saying it’s exclusive or you’re saying it’s a club and all of that kind of good stuff. There’s ways of you incorporating it. It’s just it might be easier for you to write everything, to create the entire page, and then go back and review it and see, “Can I add some of these persuasion principles to my landing page, to my email looking back?”
Okay, last question. Stephen says, “I want to offer a free chart on my website. Do I just put, ‘Get your free blank chart,’ or, ‘Click here for your free chart,’ or … and then get an email to send it to and send it or should I ask them what they are between one and two?” Okay. You’re incorporating two principles here. The first principle is essentially when you’re doing something, giving something for free to get something back later on, not in that instant, so you don’t have to ask people what they care about, what they’re looking for in order to do that. If you’re offering a free guide, then you’re just offering a free guide and then, later on in the sequence, you can send them something or ask them for something.
However, if you also want to get the foot-in-the-door technique, which is getting people to perform a small step before a bigger one, then you can also say, “Hey, what do you care about? What content do you care about?” For me, that’s actually a big thing. I used to do that for many years, ask people, every subscriber that joined, what content they’re interested in so I could get ideas for blog posts and content and workshops, but that’s when I was just getting started. It really just depends on your goals and where you’re going with it.
Okay, guys. We have reached the hour. Thank you so, so much for attending today and for taking the time to learn. This recording and everything to do with it will be live in the next two days, and you can continue asking us all the questions on the blog, and we’ll be happy to answer. Yeah, thank you very much. Stay awesome, and I’ll see you next week when we talk about cognitive biases. Bye, guys.
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