Persuasion angles are nothing new, but they are important when considering how to craft personalized messaging for marketing and sales outreach. Persuasion angles aren’t exactly Marketing and Sales 101; they are a good dimension to incorporate in outreach efforts when you have a more sophisticated sense of your persona’s needs/behaviors.
Perhaps the most well-known persuasion angle is FOMO, or fear of missing out. You’ve probably grown up seeing it in infomercials. With the simple phrase, “before it’s gone,” thousands of people would reach for their phone to order an item before it disappeared.
FOMO is simple. It’s effective.
Why does it work? It plays on people’s response to scarcity. When you think something will be gone soon, you go and get it.
And scarcity is just one of the persuasion angles you can use for marketing.
The psychology of persuasion
We can’t talk about persuasion without mentioning Dr. Robert B. Cialdini’s book. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion was published in 1984. Several decades later, its principles are still the bedrock of sales and marketing.
In the book, Cialdini talks about the 6 Principles of Influence. Time and again, these principles are proven to make people take the action we want them to. Aside from scarcity above, the other five are reciprocity, commitment/consistency, social proof, authority, and liking.
This is one of the foundations of content marketing, because delivering free and valuable content will endear you to your target audiences. The psychology behind this: people like to pay off debts, or simply, to give back when they get something in return.
People are more likely to choose your service or buy from you if you’ve already helped them beforehand.
For example, let’s say you have lead magnets of free guides. You get people’s emails. You consistently deliver more tips. Or perhaps they see your helpful videos on Facebook. They know who you are, they know you know what you’re doing, so they choose you and buy from you.
Marketers work this principle two ways: in themselves and in their customers.
Brands need to deliver a consistent message, although what that consistency looks like will look different from one brand to another, and a lot of that can depend on a brand’s niche. For example, brands selling cookware or ingredients might post a recipe three times every week, like clockwork. Or a professional might post a Live video on Facebook or Instagram on a fixed schedule.
On the customer’s side, marketers offer small, risk-free commitments. A 20-minute free training. A free guide. A week-long trial. Or Netflix’s famous 30-days free offer.
Someone who has watched your 20-minute free training is more likely to sign up for your webinar. Someone who downloaded your free guide may engage with you, allowing you to find out how to pitch to them further down the sales pipeline.
And free trials and free days almost always convert to subscriptions.
The root of the referral system. Or in the digital age, the review system. Also known as, “Everyone’s doing it” and the “wisdom of the crowd.”
When you go to WordPress, they make it a point to tell you that they power 28% of the internet. A restaurant, a law firm, or a plumbing service might boast about “Hundreds of 5 stars from Yelp.”
People trust you when other people already do. People also interact with you when other people already do. This is why you get a snowball effect of interaction once you get your community started.
According to research, 41% of respondents said the most important factor in engaging with a local business’s Facebook page is seeing customer reviews or ratings.
Another version of social proof: the proof from an authority figure. Influencer marketing taps into your niche’s influencer’s existing followers. It’s an effective, powerful strategy that can help you grow your target market, if you partner with the right person.
Witness brands paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to celebrities and micro influencers on Instagram.
Liking encapsulates all you do for marketing and sales. You want your target market to like you. You use data to make your marketing messages effective, relevant, and likeable. You use social media to post likeable content. Not “Like” as in Facebook or Insta Like, but real, honest-to-goodness humanity that makes them interact with your brand just because they identify with you or understand that you get them and their needs.
You see likeability used in campaigns like Burger King’s and Wendy’s snarky Twitter accounts. And of course, in About pages where you share your humanity with your audience. Your story and history can make people convert. 52% of site visitors go to your About page. They want to know more about you.
The art of using persuasion angles
Visual harmony for attraction
The visual aspects play a big role here. A marketer’s social media posts and emails should all look good, not for the sake of looking good, but to effectively attract and persuade.
A lot of tactics go into this: the golden mean, the psychology of color, fonts and styles, and even formats: photo, video, graphic or meme, which also change depending on the persuasion angle you’ll use.
For example, commitment/consistency is usually minimalist in design to keep the focus on the CTA buttons. Look at Netflix’s simple homepage.
On the other hand, authority is best accomplished with striking photographs or videos featuring the influencer.
A/B tests and using AI for data collection and analysis of customer behavior can give you insight on what your audiences respond to when it comes to visual assets. Do you get more engagement with videos? Do you get more clicks using this or that color scheme?
Using words to remove friction
This is where AI and martech tools like Wrench can help so much, giving you insight on what words to use.
In the first place, martech tools and AI can help you accurately create your personas to ensure marketing and sales work in sync for the personas and the content.
- Persona: Who is the customer?
- Buyer stage: What do you say to them?
- Persuasion: How do you say it?
Ultimately, insights help you with persuasion. It’s not what you say, it’s HOW you say it.
“The perfect solution to your problem”
- Names the problem and then provide the solution.
- Buyer stage: Awareness and Comparison
- Persuasion angle: Reciprocity
How is that reciprocity? Because the marketer offers a demo of the solution to show you a concrete way it can help you. This content/persuasion angle is particularly effective when marketing services and tools. Messaging might also feature copy like: “You’ll save money” or “Don’t pay more” or “You’ll save time.”
Crazyegg, InVideo, and so on — they all offer free trials or free reports that support their claim of being the solution provider.
OR, if your audience already knows the solution, show them what they should be looking for by naming the pain points and the product benefits that solve them.
Limited time-offers that belong to the scarcity persuasion angle also don’t easily work unless they come with the persuasion of risk-free commitment.
The scarcity isn’t enough. People don’t want to feel rushed. But they will take it on if there’s no risk involved, or if the commitment gives them MORE, like a huge discount, or an exclusive access to, let’s say, a webinar or video chat with an influencer. In that case the scarcity teams up with reciprocity and authority
Using humor and storytelling to convert now or later.
Humor and storytelling are part of the Liking persuasion angle. Your audience are more likely to like and remember you if you entertain them, or evoke their emotions through storytelling.
Laughter makes you happy, and you always have a soft spot for brands that make you happy.
While humor evokes happiness, storytelling is proven to engage your audience so much better and more effectively than facts alone. Dates and names on an About page are hardly interesting, but add a nice story of how the founder founded the company, and you’ve automatically got more clout.
Case in point, Apple was never more persuasive than during the height of Steve Jobs’ charismatic storytelling behind his success and every new development he made.
Persona, proposition, persuade
Persuasion angles are powerful tools to use for your sales and marketing teams. They add more relevance and power to every content you deliver at the right moment to the right people.
However, remember to collect and analyze insights on your personas, and get absolute clarify on your value proposition, so that all your persuasion strategies are aligned.