Back in 1984, Dr. Robert Cialdini came up with what are known as the principles of persuasion. This isn’t something new and crazy — but tried and true — and when you understand how to use these principles in your own business, everything will change.

When you match up the principles of persuasion with your marketing funnel, you can create a profit engine that attracts clients, students, and customers for years to come.

First things first — get the book called “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” I love the audible version, and I listen to it at least a couple of times a year to remind myself of WHY these things are so darn important.

In his book, Cialdini explains the psychology of why people say “yes” and how to apply these principles in your everyday life.

Now we’re taking these same principles and applying them to your marketing funnel because these will make a huge difference in how effective your marketing funnel actually is for your audience and your own results.

The six original pillars of persuasion are:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Commitment & Consistency
  3. Social Proof
  4. Liking
  5. Authority
  6. Scarcity

All of these principles have stood the test of time since the early 1980s, and in the last few years, Cialdini has added a 7th pillar based on how online marketing has changed us. That pillar is Unity.  

Today, we’re going to tackle the first principle in-depth so that you can start to use it. Over the next several episodes, I’ll go more in depth into each of the seven pillars. I want to make sure we have time and space to really dive into not only WHAT these principles are but also some examples of these principles in use.

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The Marketing Funnel Show, Marketing funnel, marketing funnels, funnel, funnelsBiggest Show Takeaways:

Principle #1: Reciprocity

  • The norm of reciprocity requires that we repay in kind what another has done for us. It can be understood as the expectation that people will respond favorably to each other by returning benefits for benefits and responding with either indifference or hostility to harms. In other words, in many social situations, we pay back what we received from others.
  • The principle of reciprocity also applies in business — think Costco, your local grocer, and farmer’s markets offering free samples. They want you to buy some to take home.
  • Reciprocity is why businesses give out free content — blogs, podcasts, videos, webinars and more. That’s also why online businesses give out a freebie, like a lead magnet.
  • When you offer something FIRST, people will feel a sense of indebtedness, which will make them much more likely to say YES to your requests, asks, and offers.
  • There are three keys to bringing the reciprocity principle into your business:
    1. Offer something first. Sometimes I call this the warm-up content. The basic idea is that you want to GIVE first BEFORE asking for anything in return. Give first, give freely, and give often.
    2. Offer something exclusive. This works especially well with promotional partners and others who can influence and refer potential people your way.
    3. Personalize the offer. This is why I love quizzes. At the free level, it’s hard to get more personalized than your own personal quiz results, but another way you could personalize is to have a blog post for a specific segment of your audience. Also, something as simple as using their name in communications can do wonders.
  • Reciprocity in Action #1: Content Marketing
    • One of the BEST reciprocity strategies you can use in your own business is a consistent content marketing strategy.
    • Content marketing is when you choose your platform and show up on a regular basis to freely give to your audience. Your platform could be:
        • Blogging
        • Podcasting
        • Videos/live streaming
        • Social media
    • The key is to offer something for free FIRST to warm them up, and allow your audience to feel indebted to YOU.
    • According to Hubspot — a HUGE marketing platform online — content marketing receives 3x more leads than paid search advertising.
  • Reciprocity in Action #2: Value-Packed Training
    • Copyblogger is a beast in building up reciprocity with their insanely valuable resources and trainings. Some are even offered before they ever ask for an email address!
    • For people who love to teach and train things like ebooks, how-to guides, webinars, or in-depth training videos/audios these are all great ways to pump up the volume on the reciprocity principle.
  • Reciprocity in Action #3: Free Resources
    • Free resources can take someone from a stranger to a client VERY quickly when you do this right.
    • Two of my favorite examples on this are LeadQuizzes and Interact — both marketing quiz platforms. If you’ve ever thought of maybe doing a quiz for your business, these two platforms have INSANELY valuable resources for you.
    • LeadQuizzes offers 50+ quiz templates which are all 100% free, no email needed. You don’t have to be a client. They’ve put these quiz templates together free for the taking and perusing, and of course, it’s easy to find one, and click “start my trial” to make it right there.
    • Interact does the same thing, and they take it even a step further. First, Interact created a blog post titled “Top 50 Marketing Quizzes.” Second, they put together over 180 quiz templates on a TON of topics and industries that, again, are totally free for you to browse and use. They make it easy to get started right from the template.
  • Reciprocity in Action #4: Free Trial
    • If you have a program, product, or service that people join and pay for on an ongoing basis, a free trial may be a great way to use the principle of reciprocity.
    • Spotify and Pandora both do this really well. You can listen to either platform totally free, BUT on the free version, you get ads, so they’re letting you know that, hey, you can listen to this ad-free for just a small monthly fee. In fact, if you want to try it out, we’ll give you a couple of weeks to see for yourself how amazing ad-free listening can be.
    • When someone says YES and signs up for the free trial, it’s a lot more effort to say NO and cancel it instead of just continuing to pay. It’s nice to listen without ads, so after you test it out and fall in love, you’re now a customer.
  • Reciprocity in Action #5: Offer Something Exclusive
    • If you’ve ever seen a big online marketer launch, like Marie Forleo or Jeff Walker, it seems like suddenly EVERY PERSON YOU FOLLOW is promoting their stuff. That’s because so many people are busy promoting these programs to get their affiliate commissions.
    • What are people like you and I to do when we’re not an 8-figure launch machine? You can still use that same principle of reciprocity to attract your audience of buyers.
    • According to the co-founder of BufferApp, Leo Widrich, they gained approximately 100,000 users for their software as a direct result of 150 guest posts. Buffer created exclusive blog partnerships with other companies who had audiences that would be interested in the Buffer software, and Buffer provided these companies with unique content not found anywhere else (not on Buffer’s blog, for example). These other platforms were more than happy to return this content exclusivity by heavily promoting that blog post among other things.
    • That is a win-win-win. A win for Buffer with more eyeballs on their article for no extra effort. A win for the company because they had this fantastic, exclusive post to promote AND a win for their audience because it helped them in their own business.
  • Reciprocity in Action #6: Personalize it
    • A company named Evergage did an annual study with Researchscape International and released their findings in a report called 2018 Trends in Personalization. They found that:
      • 88% of marketers say their customers and prospects expect a personalized experience.
      • 98% of marketers agree personalization helps advance customer relationships.
      • 87% of marketers report a measurable lift from their personalization efforts.
    • Simply putting someone’s name in an email you send can make a MASSIVE difference. 87% reported a measurable lift from personalizing things. Use your audience’s name whenever possible!
  • Recap: Remember to give first; then you shall get in return.
    • In order to amplify the effects of reciprocity, it is important to:
      • Incite the feeling of indebtedness by offering first.
      • Provide something exclusive and unique to the recipient so they feel special.
      • Make sure they know it’s from you.
      • Don’t just give once.
  • Want to know which marketing funnel is right for you and your business? Take this free and easy quiz, and in less than 5 minutes, you’ll know EXACTLY which funnel is right for you.

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