Why Persuasion Matters
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini is perhaps the most iconic in the world of consumer behaviour. It is, in fact, so iconic that our team at Flipdish has received it as a Christmas gift! Ironically, I have already had this book before this and can swear by its principles working indeed.
I worked in sales in a large phone shop and struggled at first. Thus, it was hard as I closed only every 8th customer. After reading about only one of the principles in the book, reciprocity, I had to try it out for myself:
We had a box of free pens on the shop floor for our customers to sign paperwork. Very few took them, but lo and behold – they were the perfect reciprocity-inducer! I would give my customers two pens, one for themselves and one for a relative, as a gift when sitting down. Suddenly, I managed to close every 3rd customer! A dramatic improvement, all thanks to me presenting a cheap pen as a gift.
As effective as the principles of persuasion are in sales, they also are in marketing. Numerous articles already exist on their application in content marketing. Consequently, this neglects the PPC side of things. Read on to find out how to implement the principles of persuasion in your PPC ads and drive more clicks:
Principle 1 – Reciprocity
Life is all about giving and taking.
Assume that you are working on a Google Search campaign. Now, how can we gift something to a prospect through a mere text ad?
The gift does not have to be any particular product and might as well be a discount. For example, many restaurants at Flipdish discount their 1st order. Promotion extensions allow you to advertise this!
Further, think of value-added benefits such as free delivery. They are great for inducing reciprocity too. When people see the word free, it practically guarantees clicks!
Principle 2 – Commitment/Consistency
I am sure that it was the right decision to make!
I will break down the act of the prospect committing to an ad into two categories:
- Leaving a lead within a lead-form/ad; and
- Merely having clicked on the ad.
We can use retargeting campaigns to evoke a sense of commitment.
Here, we aim to make the prospect question them abandoning our website after clicking on our ad.
Essentially we want to deliver the message that we are indeed the best. The prospect should feel that the first decision to click the ad was the right one; We can achieve this with a well-crafted retargeting copy.
Principle 3 – Consensus/Social Proof
If they liked it, I don’t see why I would not?
Say you have the choice to order from two restaurants. One has plenty of positive reviews, whereas the other only has very few. Which one would you choose?
The former? I am not surprised! However, how do we represent a consensus in PPC ads?
The trick here is to convey that a large population trusts the brand. For instance, here are two descriptions for a Google Search Ad:
- ACME will competently handle your legal matters. Call us for a free consultation.
- Realtors in London trust the legal competence of ACME. Call for a free consultation.
The first description has a clear call to action and describes the offering. The second one does that, plus it paints ACME as a well-trusted legal firm!
PPC marketing is highly competitive and restrictive in ad space. Thus, it is critical to show prospects that people trust your brand.
Social proof is critical. Use it in your PPC copy, and do not forget to take it forward through on-page testimonials!
Principle 4 – Liking
They seem so nice!
If you are reading this, you are great because you want to improve your PPC performance! No, you are. I admire your dedication to the craft!
So how did it make you feel reading this? Good? Well, compliments are a powerful tool in PPC marketing.
Many prospects see your PPC ads at the same time. Thus, compliments on an individual level are tricky. Instead, you can compliment indirectly by showing that you care.
We make our food fresh because we want you to feel good & happy. This line is just wholesome! You read it and feel good all-around. We can use flattery advertising to boost sales by boosting the self-esteem of our prospects.
Try this principle of persuasion out because you are a witty marketer, and you deserve great results! See what I did there? 😉
Principle 5 – Authority
I will buy the favourite tea brand of the Queen. Call me royal!
Social media marketing frequently makes use of influencers and celebrity endorsements. With PPC, it is a different story altogether.
You cannot show a photo of David Beckham if all you have is a text! You have creatives with Facebook Ads – hence it might be easier there. But worry not, because we can aptly adapt testimonials to ad copy!
For instance, take the story of the favourite pie and mash place of David Beckham.
The best way to transfer authority to PPC ads is by staying true to the message. Example:
David also loves jellied eels – but he does not like the stewed version.– Tony Lane, Tony’s
Copy saying David Beckham’s favourite pie & mash place is OK. However, we could better encourage prospects this way: Try the jellied eels. David Beckham loves them! Will you?
The more specific we are with what the authority endorses, the more trustworthy/legitimate we can come across.
Well-respected organisations and conglomerates are other examples of authority. For instance, when marketing a marketing course, we could draw upon the following headlines:
- CIM-Approved Diploma
- Noticed by The Big 4
Principle 6 – Scarcity
Let me grab that – the sale is almost over!
This one is practically self-explanatory. We want to have stuff other people can’t have. By this, I mean stuff that is running out. Quick! Get that last discounted shirt! Limited availability only!
Scarcity relies on commodity theory. We perceive what’s readily available as less valuable than what is more scarce.
In the world of PPC marketing, we can either use time-based or quantity-based scarcity.
Following are examples of time-based scarcity headlines:
- Free Delivery in March Only
- 20% Off in February
And some examples of quantity-based scarcity headlines:
- 40% Sale on Limited Stock
- Clearance on Last 300 Shirts
Using scarcity essentially forces the prospect to decide right there and then. Better not miss the offer if you want to use it!
Persuaded by Persuasion Yet?
To conclude, it’s easy to implement Cialdini’s principles of persuasion in your PPC marketing ad copy. Hopefully, you can effectively adapt the examples throughout this article to your campaigns.
So make your campaign stand out by tapping into human, psychological triggers!
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