6 Principles of Persuasion: Leveraging Psychology to Boost Conversion

Here’s a question for you. How much information are you subjected to each day?

A lot, right? 

We are constantly bombarded with email notifications, social media posts, and messages — so much so that we feel overwhelmed by it. 

Most people nowadays don’t have the time nor the mental capacity to process all of the information they need to make well-informed decisions. So how can we as marketers persuade people to read our content, sign up for our newsletter, and buy our products? 

Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion

Dr. Robert Cialdini wrote a book called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion back in 1984 in which he discussed the 6 principles of persuasion. Since then, it has been dubbed as a must-read book for marketers and business owners who are looking to increase their conversion rate. 

In this book, he discussed that to deal with information overload, our brain will search for certain signals that will help our decision-making process. These signals or as Cialdini called them “shortcuts” if used properly, can be the key to converting your leads into customers of your business. 

#1 Reciprocity

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Giving something valuable in exchange for something valuable in return

Reciprocity is based on how people naturally feel obliged to return favors and treat others as they’ve treated us. Because apparently according to psychologists, humans hate feeling indebted to others. 


To apply this principle, you can create free blog posts, videos, and eBooks with highly actionable tips and relevant information. Based on the principle of reciprocity, they will be more likely to return the favor and purchase your product.

#2 Commitment

People want their beliefs to be consistent with their values

Once a person has publicly committed to something, they will be more likely to fulfill that commitment because human beings want to be seen as consistent. From a psychological point of view, this can happen because people aligned commitment with their self-image.


Marketers can use this principle by getting the audience to commit to something relatively small. Like downloading a PDF guide for free! Doing this can slowly change the audience’s self-perception — making them start to see themselves as your customers. Similar to the “foot in the door” technique, after getting them to commit to this one thing, it will be much easier for you to get them to buy your products afterward. 

#3 Social Proof

People want to belong and be validated by others

Have you seen the social experiment where a person is in an elevator with a group of people who are all looking at the back of the elevator? Can you guess what happens next? Yes, that person eventually copies the behavior of others — no matter how silly it is. 

This can happen because human beings are constantly observing how others behave and they will most likely copy it, so they won’t stick out like a sore thumb. 


The easiest way to apply this principle is by including testimonials in your website, social media, or other marketing collateral. When your potential customers see that people love your product, they will be more likely to do business with you.

#4 Authority


People will be more likely to obey an authority figure

Have you ever wondered why we listen to certain people but ignore others? The key lies in how much of an “authority figure” that person is. Job titles and social presence, infuses an air of authority to a person, making them seem more knowledgeable, trustworthy, and dependable. As a result, you will be more likely to accept and follow what that person says. 


In order to inspire customer trust in your business, you need to either become an authority figure in your field or figure out who the authority figure in your industry is and collaborate with them. For example, you can get doctors to support your claim, or influencers in your industry to promote your brand. 

#5 Liking

People are more likely to be persuaded by someone they like

Yes, according to Cialdini, liking someone affects the chances of you being influenced by that individual. It can be based on something superficial, like physical appearance, or having something in common with that person. 


Nowadays, there’s more to a company than just their product. You need to get your customers to see the “human” side of your brand and get them to like you. One way to do this is by finding a common ground with your target customers. Or you can also highlight your story, culture, and team. When your target customers like you, the chances of them becoming a loyal customer is much higher!

#6 Scarcity

When people believe something is in short supply, they will want it more!

The principle of scarcity states that when a product’s availability is limited, people will see it as more attractive and are more likely to buy it. People hate missing out on things, and that fear can be leveraged as a powerful motivator to get your potential customers to take action.


To create a sense of urgency, you can try various approaches. You can state that your “special deal” will expire today, or there are only 2 remaining products available. This will give your potential customers the push to quickly secure their spot and get their hands on your product — thus boosting your conversion!

Need help applying these principles of persuasion to your copy? Get in touch with us today!

Source: https://cxl.com/blog/cialdinis-principles-persuasion/

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