As a general rule, there are two main ways to get someone to agree with you: systematic persuasion (when you appeal to someone's logic and reason) and heuristic persuasion (when you appeal to their emotions) (when you leverage cognitive rules of thumb). Suppose you were trying to get your candidate to apply for a job with a systematic approach. When talking about a company, you might list its benefits and features, highlight its advantages, and show how it is better than other companies.
However, suppose you were using a heuristic approach. In that case, you might say, 'This company is so popular, we have nearly finished hiring for this role (scarcity), or 'It's the number one employer for developers (authority). Most persuasion tactics rely on heuristics to help us make decisions because we have a limited cognitive capacity and the systematic approach is more work. I highly recommend reading Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow for a great look at the two systems that underpin these persuasion processes.
You have to start from a place of trust, no matter what you decide to do. Trust is the single most important ingredient for happy, well-functioning relationships. It can make or break a relationship, whether it's between lovers, friends, or a brand and its customers.
– Systematic It can be good for you to take a systematic approach to persuasion if your candidates have a high need for cognition (they like to think, engage in, and enjoy thinking). Make a list of what your company does well, what it does better than other companies, and its unique selling points. Your candidates need to be able to quickly and easily get the information they need. Make it easy for them to get to the specifics if they want to. You can do this by using tabbed or drop-down menus to visually chunk the information, reducing the cognitive load while still making all relevant information easy to find.
– Heuristic: It can be better to take a less difficult path if your audience is short on time and attention (which is most of us) and doesn't need a lot of thought. This means making experiences, messages, and interactions that use cognitive rules of thumb like scarcity, social proof, and like in a way that makes sense to people (among many others).
In our increasingly complicated and fast-paced world, we often use heuristics (cognitive shortcuts) to help us make decisions and move through our environments more quickly if you know how these work, you can use them to change people's behavior on the web.
Take, for example, a comparison heuristic that is very easy to use:
People are more likely to apply to a company if they like it, even if it's not the best choice. If you see someone else apply to that company, you'll be more likely to do the same. This heuristic works in our brains to save us time and money, so we use it.
Copywriting is all about persuading people to like a certain idea, company, or brand. Therefore, much attention is paid to what the object itself looks like and how good it is at what it does. In this case, the goal is not only to persuade people but also to get them to apply.
And that's what we're going to talk about in today's article: how to use Cialdini's six principles of persuasion to write powerful copy and boost your conversion rate!
Liking is a powerful emotion that can easily influence us. When we see a product or service that we like, we are more likely to take action. Formerly known as The Law of Attraction, the principle of liking is one of the most effective persuasion tactics. "Likes attract likes."
We also like people that are similar to us. Therefore, we are more likely to take action for a company or product that we like. This is a principle called the Principle of Similarity.
And then there's the principle of reciprocity. We like to give what we receive.
Let's take a look at how you can use the principles of persuasion to create more engaging copy and increase your conversion rate.
In three experiments, Cialdini and colleagues studied how these six principles influence persuasion. The results were surprising. The more a message is in line with our interests, the more likely we will take action.
And then, there is the principle of authority, which means that we are more likely to take action for a company or product that we believe is trusted.
And then, there's the principle of scarcity, which means that we are more likely to take action when we believe there is only a limited supply of a product or service.
This makes perfect sense: we are more likely to take action when we feel that we have little time to spare.
Last but not least, we have the principle of consistency. This is important because it is a fundamental principle of human psychology: we are more likely to take action when we believe that our actions are consistent with our values and beliefs.
This is important because we are more likely to take action for a company or product that we have previously experienced.
The more consistent the message, the more likely we will take action.
The principle of consistency also explains why we are more likely to take action for a company or product that we are familiar with.
Finally, there is the principle of social proof. We are more likely to take action when we see that others have taken action for the same product or service.
So, what do these six principles of persuasion mean for you as a copywriter?
In conclusion, these six principles of persuasion are simple and effective tools you can use to persuade people to do anything. Of course, you may not need them all the time. However, if you want to persuade someone to buy from you, you should learn how to use them effectively.
I hope that this post has been helpful to you. Remember, writing for the web is about understanding the audience and using the right tools and techniques to persuade them to buy from you.
PS: in our new visual guideline on "copywriting in recruitment," we share way more only persuasion magic - check it out.