Want to get better results from your marketing? If so, there are a variety of different ways that you can apply persuasion in your marketing messages. In this post, we’re going to cover 15 persuasive marketing techniques you can use to boost your promotional efforts. Depending on your industry, business, product, service, or other goals, one or more of these techniques should be applicable to your marketing.
1. Build Anticipation
Whether you are about to launch a new blog post, ebook, lead magnet, product, service, or webinar, the first persuasive technique you can use is to build anticipation. You don’t just want to spring something new on your audience and make them decide if it’s something they want right at that moment.
Instead, start your marketing efforts by piquing their interest. Share some teasers before you make a big announcement. If you’re not sure how to do it, just take the lead from the movies and major brands. No one just releases a movie or a new product. They all get people hyped up through short yet memorable messaging.
Do the same for your next launch. Get people excited about it so that by the time you launch, they are chomping at the bit to consume.
For example, “next week in our masterclass, we’re sharing three methods of rapid weight loss. Be sure to sign up for our webinar to get our supplement cheat sheet and workbook so you can follow along with us!”
The reason this is one of the best persuasive marketing techniques is that by whetting the appetite of your readers, not only will they be excited to sign up for the class, but they may also head to your website to see if they can glean any knowledge ahead of the event. In fact, it may be a good idea to add links for your top blog posts or even products and services to your registration thank you page to get some website visits and purchases before your webinar occurs.
2. Invoke the Law of Reciprocity
Do you know why so many people share such great information for free in blog posts, ebooks, lead magnets, and other forms of content? Because reciprocity is one of the strongest persuasive marketing techniques. When you so something nice for someone, they feel obligated to reciprocate.
In the business world, this means that the more free stuff you give someone, the more indebted that person feels to you. So when you pitch them your product or service, they will be more likely to buy it because they already feel like they owe you for the great free information you have given them so far.
This is why creating highly-informative automated webinars for your business is a winning marketing strategy. Throughout the webinar, you are giving value to your attendees. At the end of the webinar, they should feel the need to reciprocate by making a purchase so they have paid for the value they have received already along with the value they will receive from their purchase.
3. Be Likable
Think about the last time you were asked to do something for someone. Did the fact that you did or didn’t like them play into your decision? If so, then use that as a lesson in why you need to be likable.
It’s a lot easier for someone to say yes to someone who is likable than to someone who is not likable. A few ideas for being likable when trying to increase sign-ups, and to increase sales during a webinar include, but aren’t limited to:
- Make your presentation about the audience – If you focus too much on yourself, you instantly come off as a person who cares more about yourself than your potential customers.
- Give the information long before ever mentioning a sales pitch – Webinar hosts who open with a sales pitch or even talking about the products and services they will be selling at the end are far less likable than those that first focus on serving their audience.
- Break things down, but don’t talk down to your audience – While you may understand all the jargon of your industry, your audience might not. Therefore, you should explain things in a way they will understand the concepts you are teaching. At the same time, do your best not to talk down to them because that will turn them off from you in a flash.
- Answer questions and take the time to acknowledge your audience – People want to feel seen and heard. If you’re live, start by asking people to chime in with where they’re tuning in from, and what they hope to get out of watching.
If the webinar is automated, you can still reach out to your audience by asking them any questions in correspondence prior to and after your webinar.
If you have given the presentation previously, odds are some of the questions that came up in that previous webinar, are ones your current audience will have as well. The simple act of taking a moment to address those frequently asked questions can improve your likeability significantly.
4. Tap into Emotions
Have you noticed that a lot of commercials, sales pages, and ads tell a story? The story of someone just like you who had a problem similar to one that you have. A problem that caused them to suffer. But then they found the solution to that problem, and it changed their lives.
In sales, and in driving charitable donations, this is one of those persuasive marketing techniques that connects the heartstrings to the purse strings. The feeling that their life can be changed too, compels them to buy. It’s why it’s so important to get your audience emotionally involved with your content, your products, or your services. If you can make people feel like your solution is the one that will change their situation, then yours is the one they are going to buy into.
5. Incite Controversy
Nothing gets people’s emotions on tap like controversy. While it’s a tough line to balance, if you can find the right way to get controversy into your marketing, you can attract an audience that is not only going to be pulled into your marketing, but who is also going to talk about it wherever they go.
Controversy regarding your competitors is something a lot of businesses like to tap into. Local dentists let people know they didn’t like to hunt when Walter Parson’s received national outrage for his extracurricular activities. Hosting companies created “we love elephants” discounts and messaging to flow with the outrage Bob Parsons of GoDaddy received when he went elephant hunting. This is why it’s a good idea to monitor the news about your competitors. When one gets in trouble, no matter what the reason, you will likely find a hotbed of new customers willing to come to you if you jump on the controversial bandwagon as your competitor’s opposition.
6. Appeal to Logic
If you are focused less on emotions and more on logic in your business, use that as one of your persuasive marketing techniques. It’s hard to argue with logic, and if your customers can’t argue with your offer, they will find it hard to refuse.
For example, everyone needs toothpaste. So how do you make sure your brand is the one that most people choose? Make sure yours is the one recommended by the American Dental Association.
Logically, who can argue with a recommendation by the organization of dental health? Not selling toothpaste? Then find out who the authorities are in your industry and find a way to be endorsed by them. That will ensure that your business’s solutions are the ones that are the logical choices in your industry.
7. Denounce Enemies
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to form a bond with someone through mutual dislike? That can be applied to your marketing. When you are communicating with your audience, it’s important to denounce the enemies you have in common.
For example, if you were selling search engine optimization services, you can easily denounce the big-bad Google for their changes in rules that make it even harder for small businesses to get traffic from search engines without having to pay for advertising. The result is small business owners will agree with you that Google is making things difficult for them. They will feel like you really understand their troubles, and they will trust you to help them fight the common enemy together through the use of your services. Instead of feeling making them feel like you are their service provider, you will make them feel like you are their partner in crime.
Like the inciting controversy technique, however, you’ll want to use caution with this one. Though you might be ready to pounce on the “enemy,” your audience may see through that as an inauthentic ploy to get their money. It can certainly work, but you just have to be careful how far you go with your messaging.
8. Counter Objections
To persuade someone to do something, you have to get past the roadblocks in their mind about it. Those objections might be myths or they may be factual. They may feel like something is going to be too hard to implement, when the reality is that it wouldn’t be. They may feel like something is too expensive, when the reality is that it will save them more in the long run.
If you have been selling something for a while, you will likely have received a lot of your customer’s common objections through pre-sales emails and phone calls. Address those as a part of your marketing message. Persuade people by letting them know they can, in fact, benefit from your products and services, and spell out how.
For example, let’s say you’re delivering a webinar about using your social media software to increase your customers’ reach online. If the concern is that it will be too difficult to use your software you could walk them through how fast and easy it is to set up as part of your webinar, or you could offer a free tutorial and account setup with purchase.
9. Tell Hard Truths
Marketing isn’t always roses and rainbows. Sometimes, you have to be the bad cop in your marketing by telling people the hard stuff. No one wants to hear that the reason they are having a tough time is because it’s their fault. But by letting them know that, you are putting the ball in their corner.
Let’s say that you are selling an exercise product or service such as a book, video, or class. You can tell people point blank that there is a solution to them with getting in shape, and the only reason they are not getting in shape right now is that they have not made the decision yet to do so. The solution is right in front of them. All they have to do is take advantage of it.
10. Show Proof
Of course, you can’t blame people for not taking advantage of something if there is nothing to back it up. This is why you need solid proof to share with your potential customers. This proof should come in the form of specific numbers or testimonials from specific clients. Few persuasive marketing techniques are as effective as real people using their real names and faces to sing the praises of whatever it is that you’re selling. If you can’t share testimonials, share photos of before and after.
If you don’t have this kind of proof just yet, you can start by being your own customer. Use yourself as a case study. Alternatively, find some people you trust to try your product or service in exchange for them giving their review of it. Once you have the proof, persuading your audience to buy will be simpler.
11. Get Endorsements From Celebrities or Influencers
Not everyone knows a celebrity, but most people know a celebrity in their industry. If you don’t have concrete proof for the things you are marketing, or if you simply want to enhance your current marketing efforts, getting endorsements from celebrities and influencers in your industry is the way to go.
You can start by looking through your emails, testimonials, recommendations, or other communications to see if any big names have given you their seal of approval in any way. If it’s directly linked to your promotion, such as an endorsement for the product or service you are selling, that is perfect. If not, reach out and ask celebrities and influencers to test out what you’re selling and report back to you. This may require that you pay them for their time and promotional efforts, or that you make them an affiliate partner, but it could yield significant increases in sales.
12. Tell Stories
Stories are one of the most powerful ways we can communicate. When we communicate through stories we are tapping into a built in power that has been based on thousands of years of history. Since the beginning of time, humans have relied on the power of stories to both entertain as well as teach. When we utilize stories we are benefitting from that history. You can use stories for all different purposes including to break through objections, inspire, present testimonials, teach, etc. No power is as easy to use or as powerful as the power of storytelling.
13. Assert Authority
Your marketing should be focused mostly on your customers. When you talk about products or services, you shouldn’t talk about features but about benefits. The only time you should make marketing about you is when you are at the stage of asserting your authority.
For example, whether you are selling a course, a book, or a service, you want to establish yourself as an authority in your market. What makes you the person to trust to deliver the product or service? If you’re the most knowledgeable, then where did you get your training? If you’re the most recommended, then who do you get your recommendations from?
Assert your authority through credible sources when possible. This is the part of your marketing where you drop specific names: certifications, celebrity endorsements, media spotlights, testimonials from other recognized names in your industry, etc. Don’t be shy or humble. Persuade by making it known that you are the person or business to turn to.
14. Promote Scarcity
Think about the popular expression FOMO (fear of missing out). It’s popular because it’s true – no one wants to miss out on anything. Phrases like “only the first 25 people to buy will get this discount,” “limited supplies remaining,” or “we’re retiring this product at the end of this month,” tell your audience there is a limit on how many units of your product are available.
Scarcity is one of the best persuasive marketing techniques because if someone thinks it’s their last chance to buy something (either for a long time or forever), they are going to take a little less time to really weigh other options. In other words, they will have less time to talk themselves out making the decision to purchase.
In short, make something scarce. Whether it’s the full product or service you’re selling, or just a feature or bonus, make it something that only early action takers can get. The fear your customers will have of not getting one of the last deals or specials can increase your sales.
15. Create Urgency
If you’re not a fan of scarcity, go with urgency persuasion instead. This allows you to keep selling your product or service indefinitely, but makes the buyer feel they have to buy it sooner than later to enjoy the benefits the product or service will give them.
Simply put, if you have listed out the main benefit of your product or service, remind people that the longer they wait to make a purchase, the longer it will be before they can feel the satisfaction of having that benefit. And the longer they wait, the more people will experience it before them.
For example, let’s say you’re selling a meditation audio that will improve the quality of your customer’s sleep. Your urgency copy could include phrases like “Don’t go another night without restful sleep” or “Do you really want to spend more sleepless nights tossing and turning?”
Perhaps your product or service you’re promoting in your webinar provides a life-changing benefit, like better health, a fatter wallet, or something similar. You can make that a part of your urgency messaging too. Tell your customers that they can’t afford to wait any longer to purchase your product or service. After all, the longer they wait, the longer they will stay unhealthy or stay broke.
And since we want to give maximum value here too, we’re sharing another one of your favorite persuasive marketing techniques …
16. Remain Persistent
Marketing is not a one-time effort. If someone doesn’t consume your content or make a purchase, you can’t give up on them. Persistence is persuasive.
Maybe your potential customer is just not ready to buy today. Maybe they won’t be ready to buy whatever you’re selling next week either. However, once they have seen lots of great information coming from you over the long haul, they may get to the point that they are ready.
All you have to do is make sure that you are there in their inbox, on their Facebook news feed, or in their Google search results when they are ready. If you are persistent in your outreach and promotional efforts, you might just be able to persuade them to choose your product or service when the time is right.
While these are not all of the persuasive marketing techniques out there, these are some of the easiest to explain and some of the most proven. Find the ones that fit best with your business’s goals, mission, products, and services. Then start implementing them throughout your marketing strategy, both online and off. What are your favorite persuasion techniques?
**This article was originally published October 13th, 2015 and was updated October 22nd, 2019.