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The key to reaching these “real people” is triggering what persuasion expert Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: Science and Practice calls “judgmental heuristics.” Heuristics are “mental shortcuts” that allow you take advantage of humanity’s love of “simplified thinking.”

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Scarcity
  3. Consistency and Commitment
  4. Authority
  5. Liking
  6. Clustering
  7. Social Proof
  • ES

    Edward Stephens

    over 4 years ago #

    Robert Cialdini's stuff is great.... good share thanks Katy!

  • RO

    Robert Obrien

    over 4 years ago #

    For all of you who like Cialdini's work I'd also like to recommend the research of Dan Ariely. You'll be surprised by many of his results.

  • JE

    jonah engler

    over 4 years ago #

    Nice share! Great read :)

  • JM

    James McAllister

    over 4 years ago #

    Stellar post. You see these triggers implemented everywhere by top marketers, and looking back it's easy to identify them now. However, to someone new, they may not know exactly why these marketers do what they do or how they can begin implementing similar tactics.

    I really love how clear this article was and how it tied the triggers to real examples. It really takes us readers by the hands and says, 'hey, here's how it's done, it's not hard, and here's why it works.' I love that.

  • VK

    Volodymyr Kovalenko

    over 4 years ago #

    I feel very excited when I get such articles. I can see more and more examples showing that just regular, grand theory of consumer behavior doesn't really work in digital (well, at least not always). Thus, I enjoy reading content that speaks about such psychological tricks. Thanks!

  • JH

    Joy Healey

    over 4 years ago #

    I'm in the middle of reading the Cialdini book and learned so much from it. Once you're aware of these methods you spot them everywhere.

    I "fell for" a scarcity purchase only the other day, even KNOWING it wasn't really "scarce" - it was a digital product for goodness sake LOL - yet I was still watching the countdown clock as it ticked over.

    I'm less susceptible to testimonials and celebrity endorsements and I did manage to just prune my DropBox rather than splashing out a whole $9.99 :-)

    Thanks for sharing this Katy. I'll be finishing off that Cialdini book soon.

  • LS

    Lisa Sicard

    over 4 years ago #

    Great post, so interesting. Loved the examples shared in this one for the 7 principles. I really like the cluster principle and will use in the future. Amazing how some things change and some things don't, humans are humans after all. (Whether online or not...)

  • ZS

    Zoe Summers

    over 4 years ago #

    I always find applied psychology fascinating. Very insightful read! Of course, there are some principles that I already applied (with great results) like "Scarcity" and " Social Proof" for example. But also new ones like "Clustering" that I will use in the near future for sure.Thanks!

  • MF

    Mike Fiorillo

    over 4 years ago #

    Solid overview of Cialdini's principles with some good examples. BTW, for anyone who found "Influence" a little bit of a slow read, I just read "Yes! 50 scientifically proven ways to be persuasive" which is also outlines all these persuasion levers but in a blog-style bite size piece format.

    I view these principles as "bare minimum" types of influence levers that are necessary to even begin to be competitive in the SaaS or e-commerce market. The trouble is, these tactics are so ubiquitous and widely followed that they don't give you any sort of competitive advantage (can you imagine the advantage the first company to discover the power of free trial or freemium business models had?).

    So, even though we all know we should use this stuff, the real challenge is finding the right formula that works for your visitors and your business model. E.g., at what point in the customer journey is social proof most persuasive? Should you use freemium or free trial? And for your audience, which press endorsement or customer logos will deliver the most authority? That's where the fun starts :)

  • MK

    Michael Kawula

    over 4 years ago #

    Such a great post and so timely.

    Redoing our companies site and we've tried to hit on each of these with the new look and feel. Was hard with "Clustering" as we have our normal monthly subscription price but for those that go through our trial a special offer. Was thinking of making 2 separate checkout pages for each.

    This was definitely a great read.

  • EJ

    Evan J. Andriopoulos

    over 4 years ago #

    Good stuff here. Some are less easy to implement for smaller SaaS companies so it becomes somewhat of a pick and choose priority strategy. Adding as required (down the road). I also see "simplicity" in selecting a service, finding info as key. If I have to click and fill out a form for everything I do... yeah it sounds great when read to from PowerPoint or Keynote eg. growth hacking but in reality I will go elsewhere where it is easier to acquire that info.

  • MS

    Margaret Smith

    over 4 years ago #

    Social proof is really a quite popular phenomenom so is authority and scarcity, as for the others it depends on the type of personality one has

  • TG

    Timi Garai

    over 4 years ago #

    I love detailed articles that don’t just explain the psychological aspects of human nature, but also include actionable tips on how marketers can take advantage of these findings. The last point - social proof - is what I found most interesting in this post. At my company, Antavo, we run loyalty programs and 70% of loyalty members actions are started from our “Recent activities” list. When a customer sees what others are doing at a loyalty program, the chances are higher that the customer will follow their steps. So it’s a really inspirational article…thanks!