The Power Of Persuasion In Marketing

Persuasion is everywhere, from commercials trying to sell you a midnight meal to marketers encouraging you to try a product.

“Persuasion” is a term often used in marketing. It involves influencing customers’ purchasing behavior without making them feel like they are being sold to. This is what many businesses fail to realize, persuasion isn’t just about getting customers to buy their product, it’s also about making them feel like they made an excellent decision.

What is Persuasion Marketing?

Persuasion Marketing is developing marketing strategies using the knowledge of human psychology for marketing products and services.

For businesses, it generally refers to utilizing the marketing mix and building on the customer’s impulsive buying behavior leading to a successful purchase.

As an example, ecommerce persuasion marketing consists of web page design and navigation. These are typical example of decision-making influencers that is not consciously controlled. Applying human psychology to web design elements such as layout, typography, and copy along with the right promotional messages impacts the website visitors’ behaviors and encourages them to follow the pre-planned pathways on the site.

Persuasion marketing also ensures that the customers take the necessary and specific actions, rather than just randomly interacting with the website. 

Here is a list of concepts to effectively use persuasion in marketing:

1. Reciprocity

As humans, it is in our nature to pay back what we received from others. This is the power of reciprocity in action.

When you initiate an offer, people will feel the sense of indebtedness, which will make them more likely to comply with your follow-up requests.

In marketing, this is practiced mostly by special discount offers on first purchase, which in turn, may result in many first-time visitor purchases. Some businesses offer discounts to people who sign up that compels many shoppers to register on the website instead of guest checkouts.  

Nike and some software companies apply the concept of reciprocity by discounts and free trials and demos of their product. 

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on

No matter what the offer is, it should be valuable enough for the customer to reciprocate. 

2. Exclusivity and Scarcity

People assume that things that are difficult to obtain are usually better and ignore those that are easily available. In other words, exclusivity is what humans crave. In addition, while shoppers see an item is low in stock, they feel the urgency to take action and purchase right away. 

As a move, you can offer your customers something exclusive and limited that is unavailable in other brands. This strategy is mostly seen with Supreme. The brand is known for collaborations with different artists and only releases a few pieces that causes fans to panic and camp outside their stores before the release date.

Photo by Erik Mclean on

You can learn to trigger your customers’ sense of urgency with these methods:

  • Limited-number of released items
  • Limited-time offer
  • One-of-a-kind Specials (e.g. collaborations, anniversaries)

3. Authority

We follow experts. These authority figures have established their expertise, which acts as proof to us that their advice is reliable. Even influencer marketing is somehow based on the concept of authority. Influencers are people who have established their expertise in their niche.

If someone like Warren Buffet is to provide you with business advice, you would listen and follow that advice. We trust advice from people we see as authority figures in their line of expertise. This is because we believe the decision based on advice from an authority figure is less likely to go wrong.

Work with industry experts and influencers who can promote your products to win the trust of your target audience. You can see this in a lot of online marketing with headlines and blog posts that include phrases like “scientists say”, “experts say”, “research shows”, or “scientifically proven”. With this increased level of trust, you also have an increased likelihood to drive sales. 

These concepts are powerful because they bypass our rational minds, appealing to our subconscious instincts. 

However, do note that while these concepts can help bring more awareness for your brand, the biggest factor that ultimately drives customer satisfaction, loyalty and sales is a great product.


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