.Now, for the theory. It's simply that people will do anything for those whoEncourage their dreamsJustify their failuresAllay their fearsConfirm their suspicions, andHelp them throw rocks at their enemies.That's it. In one 27-word sentence:People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemiesTo understand why people buy, we...should know people and have a keen sense of human nature. We should know how people think...how people live, and be acquainted with the standards and customs affecting their everyday lives.... We should fully know their needs and their wants and be able to distinguish between the two. An understanding of why people buy is gained by a willingness to acquire proved and tested principles of commercial psychology to selling.According to Haldeman-Julius, the two strongest appeals were sex and self-improvement. Surprised? Neither am I. So again I ask you: How many of your current ads contain either of these appeals? When you tap into these innate desires, you harness the unstoppable momentum of the emotions that drive people every second of every dayPeople buy because of emotion and justify with logic. Force an emotional response by touching on a basic want or need.—“Seven Principles of Stopping Power,” The Young & Rubicam Traveling Creative WorkshopNow here’s an especially interesting fact, of particular importance to us advertisers. Not only is it pleasant for us to satisfy our eight primary desires, but it’s also pleasant for us to read about how others have satisfied them. It’s a form of vicarious LF8 desire fulfillment. Fascinating, isn’t it?The Life-Force 8 Human beings are biologically programmed with the following eight desires:1. Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension.2. Enjoyment of food and beverages.3. Freedom from fear, pain, and danger.4. Sexual companionship.5. Comfortable living conditions.6. To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses.7. Care and protection of loved ones.8. Social approval.The Nine Learned (Secondary) Human WantsUsed as tools of influence, they’re not as bankable as the LF8 because we’re not biologically driven to satisfy them. (Read that again.) Perhaps you read the list of eight primary wants and thought, “Heck, I want more than just these eight things!” Of course you do. We have many other wants. We want to look good, and be healthy, well educated, effective, and so on. (Don’t you?) These are called secondary, or learned wants, and nine have been identified:1. To be informed.2. Curiosity.3. Cleanliness of body and surroundings.4. Efficiency.5. Convenience.6. Dependability/quality.7. Expression of beauty and style.8. Economy/profit.9. Bargains.But what exactly is desire? It’s a type of tension you feel when a need isn’t met.This vicarious pleasure is where the persuasion begins, because the first use of any product is inside the consumers’ mindsIf you’re hungry, for example, the tension to eat arises and the desire for food (LF8 #2) kicks inTension → Desire → Action to Satisfy the Desire.But for now, to sum up this chapter, just be aware of these five things:1. People have eight basic wants—the LF8 (survival; food and drink; freedom from fear, pain, and danger; sexual companionship; comfortable living conditions; to be superior; care and protection of loved ones; and social approval).2. The strongest advertising appeals are based on these eight basic wants.3. The most effective way to create an appeal based on these eight wants is to write ad copy that causes your prospects to visually demonstrate your product or service inside their heads, sufficiently enough to build desire for the satisfaction of the want(s) that your product promises to provide...and then to choose your product to attain it.4. Now that you’ve got them wanting fulfillment, your next job is to influence them to believe that your product actually delivers what you say. It’s credibility time, and we’ll discuss this in Ad Agency Technique #15: The Psychology of “Social Proof,” and Ad Agency Technique #33: Guarantees that Guarantee Higher Response.5. They believe you. They want it. Yippee! Time to count your money, right? Wrong! You now have to push them to act. We’ll discuss howto do this in Ad Agency Technique #19: Battling Human Inertia. And I’ll give you a slew of quick tips in the following Chapter 4 Hot List sections: “22 Response Superchargers,” “13 Ways to Make Buying Easy,” and “11 Ways to Boost Coupon Returns.”How to Get Inside Their Heads: The 17 Foundational Principles of Consumer PsychologyPrinciple #1: The Fear Factor—Selling the ScareBottom line: if it’s possible to use fear to effectively sell a product or service, it means that inherent in that product or service is the possible resolution to that which is feared. If not, no matter how much fear you try to conjure up, your appeal will fail miserably. Make sense?Principle #2: Ego Morphing—Instant IdentificationBy representing your product through carefully chosen images and personalities, you can persuade your prospects that, by purchasing or using your wares, they’ll immediately become associated with these images and attitudes. Persuading this way is not difficult. You don’t have to work hard to persuade a woman to want to be sexier and more in control, or for a man to be more powerful, self-confident, and appealing to women." appearing" as millionaire will draw both the wanna be and the real onesYou don't have access to social proof - wrong !!! Do free work for powerful and famous or beautiful people and then namedrop them as customers.Principle #3: Transfer—Credibility by OsmosisScience and Medicine. Using generally accepted images of medical and scientific authority could also produce the transfer effectTransfer is a strategy that involves using symbols, images, or ideas—cues, if you will—commonly associated with people, groups, or institutions of authority or respect, in order to persuade your prospect that your product or service is in some way acceptably endorsed.And if it’s something you want and can afford, you’ll start digging for your Visa card. (Social Proof). Socialization ensures that most people respect institutions such as the Church, the medical establishment, national agencies, and science.When you incorporate images or symbols from any of these groups into your ads, the trust you gain can offset your need to present as rigorous a persuasive argument. The ideal strategy? Get a respected institution to provide its official endorsement. Doing so instantly transfers their authority, sanction, and prestige to your product or service.Simple. Think about which person, persons, and organizations in your industry have a reputation that carries sufficient respect that if you got them to endorse your business, product, or service, you could capitalize on the transfer of credibility it would create.For specifics about how to do this, see.Ad Agency Technique #15: The Psychology of Social Proof, later in this book.As the transfer technique shows, strategies that appeal to a broad range of the population can be highly successful. Next, let’s explore a technique of group persuasion.Principle #4: The Bandwagon Effect—Give Them Something to Jump On (NEED TO BELONG)Fact: Humans are social beings with a powerful psychological need to belong.Psychologists tell us there are three primary types of groups, regardless of the group’s purpose:1. Aspirational—Groups to which you’d like to belong.2. Associative—Groups that share your ideals and values.3. Dissociative—Groups to which you do not want to belong.By linking products and services to any of these three reference groups, you can persuade your prospects to make decisions based upon the group with which they identify, or want to identify.This strategy uses the peripheral—superficial thought—route to persuasion. (Remember we discussed this earlier?) That’s because the consumer’s purchase is based primarily on his or her sense of belonging, and not entirely on the merits of your product.That’s because the consumer’s purchase is based primarily on his or her sense of belonging, and not entirely on the merits of your product. The need for group membership is a strong psychological drive, and in its pursuit, most consumers will forego the need for an active, deep analysis of what you’re selling. Aha! We’ve found yet another shortcut to persuasion.psychological concept causes a “bandwagon” effect, which ensures that if a large enough group holds a favorable opinion about a product, then that opinion must be correct. We’ll discuss this finding in Principle #17.But to which group do you attempt to link your prospects? Here’s a rule of thumb:If seeking aspirational group influence—people your prospects aspire to be similar to—you must make sure your prospects can easily identify with them.(If you sale expensive seats for bicyclist lets say 1000$ each , don't go for someone mediocre bicyclist , get very famous bicyclist , and winner to advertise them. They will recognize their hero and will be ready to pay you the crazy cash)associative group influence is more complex. This strategy requires that you link your product to a certain societal group, while often alienating others. This can be done in two ways, either by (1) closely associating your product with the target group through advertising that specifically appeals to the attitudes and values of that group, or by (2) disassociating your product from other groups within society, in order to make it appear more accepted, or, in the cases of younger audiences, simply more “cool.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc9suroywFoYou can successfully appeal to your prospects’ desire to belong in several categories: age, class, sex, geographic, politics, and education, for example. As supported by Cialdini’s studies of comparison cues (Influence: Science and Practice, 1980), by associating your products and services with one or more of these groups, you can successfully persuade an entire category of the public to immediately identify with the attitudes and values of that group, and compel them to purchase your product as a way of showing the world that they now belong to that group. Fascinating, this “psychology stuff,” isn’t it?Think. Does your product lend itself to using the human need to belong appeal? If it does, don’t just think about ways to describe its features and benefits. Put at least equal effort into telling your prospects how buying your product makes them (aspirational), keeps them (associative), or helps them show the world that they’re not a part of a particular group (dissociative).But before your prospects are willing to buy anything, they must first be motivated enough to do so! The next technique is based upon one of the classic psychological theories of motivation.Principle #5: The Means-End Chain—The Critical Core“Don’t buy my product for what it does for you today—buy it for what it will do for you tomorrow!”That’s what this principle says. And the strategy is based on the theory that many consumer decisions are taken not to satisfy an immediate need, but for some future objective. For Joe, your buyer, the product, or service he purchased is merely a means to an end.Luxury goods and services are often advertised using the Means-End Chain. The strategy is to persuade your prospects that your product—although desirable in its own right—will provide additional secondary benefits to them or their family.Buying an expensive car will make appear person X as successful in their JobUsing the Means-End Chain, you simply do it by shifting the consumer’s focus to your product’s ultimate value or benefit. I call it the “benefit of the benefit.”The formula for activating the Means-End Chain mindset is simple. Your copy and images should always represent the positive end results. In this way your prospect is less likely to critically analyze the pros and cons of the actual product, and base their purchase decision on the ultimate benefit it will provide them.Just remember, for most products, it’s not the product itself that people want, it’s the bottom-line benefit they’re buying. If people could snap their fingers and magically have a hole appear in the ground, you’d be out of the shovel business. If they could cook their food in seconds by wiggling their nose, bye-bye Microwave Warehouse. And chances are if you could teleport yourself from point A to point B like Mr. Spock on Star Trek, auto malls and gas stations would be converted into drug stores and condos.But no matter what you sell, the major difficulty with persuading consumers is dealing with their varying degrees of product knowledge. The following technique uses these differences to its advantage.Principle #6: The Transtheoretical Model—Persuasion Step by StepSTAGE ONE: Precontemplation—People in this stage are either ignorant of your product’s existence—“What the heck is a Bloopo Burger?”—or they’re unaware they need it. STAGE TWO: Contemplation—Prospects in this stage are aware of your product and have thought about using it. “Hmmm...I should check out those Bloopo Burgers someday.” STAGE THREE: Preparation—This is the planning phase. Your prospect is thinking about buying from you, but needs more information about your product’s benefits and advantages. “I’d like to buy a Bloopo Burger...it sure looks good, but what the heck is in it? Is it healthier? Better tasting? What’s it cost?” STAGE FOUR: Action—Success! Your prospect has arrived at the coveted action, or purchase phase. “Here’s my credit card, gimme my damned Bloopo!” STAGE FIVE: Maintenance—A nice place for your prospects to be. In this phase, your product has become part of their everyday lives. They continue to buy your Bloopos without giving it a second thought. It’s their burger of choice. Simply put, when they want a burger, they buy a Bloopo.According to the evidence provided by psychologist James O. Prochaska (1994), the aim for advertisers who use this technique is to move the consumer through the stages one at a time, until using your product becomes a habit. The challenge? Dealing successfully with consumer groups at different stages of the process. Some of your prospects are in stage one, while others wouldn’t think of eating any other burger, in stage five. You have two options to tackle this:1. Create ads that address all five stages. This lets your prospects focus on whatever stage is personally relevant to them. Simply include all the details someone would need to be fully informed about a product they might know little, if anything, about.2. Create a series of ads that, throughout a period of time, progress from stage one to stage five. Stage one, therefore, introduces your product to the marketplace. Each successive ad builds upon the last, and can begin highlighting key features and benefits. The objective of both strategies, of course, is to provide your prospects with enough information and motivation to move them through the five stages at their own pace, until they ultimately become regular customers.No doubt about it. It’s far easier to reinforce existing consumer attitudes and behavior than to change those values. The next strategy recognizes this fact and uses it to cement your customers’ loyalty.Principle #7: The Inoculation Theory—Make Them Prefer You for LifeDeveloped by social psychologist and Yale professor William J. McGuire, the Inoculation Theory is used to reinforce a consumer’s existing attitudes toward a product or service by presenting a “weak” argument that tricks the consumer into defending his position and therefore strengthening his attitude. The three steps are:1. Warn of an impending attack.2. Make a weak attack.3. Encourage a strong defense.Let's say we work together and you prefer brand Motul and I prefer brand Kaufland.I researched that the boss prefers brand Kaufland and that the boss tends to fire employees who disagree.I will work towards discrediting you.The plan: inoculate you. First, according to the strategy, I’d warn you of an impending attack to ready your defenses and get your mind swirling with possible counterattacks. I might say, “Hey, did you hear that boss is thinking about buying crappy Kaufland instead of Motul to save a few pennies?”Then I will support it with a weak argument.“Come to think of it, maybe we could get away with using Kaufland by adding a little extra Z to our recipes.” And, “I wonder if people would really taste the difference. After all, most of our competitors use the Motul brand.” (That will really fire you up!)And finally, I’d encourage you to mount a strong defense by getting you to verbally express what you’re thinking, rather than keeping your thoughts to yourself. “So...what do you think?” Psychological testing shows that the more actively the recipient defends against the attack, the more vigorously he or she will defend the closely held position.By attacking your ideas and decisions (or brand preferences, as in this example), inoculation encourages you to use critical thought to defend them. Basically, it tricks you into thinking more deeply about your own position, which reinforces your thoughts and feelings. That’s because in an effort to prepare yourself for the impending attack you were warned about in step one (“Boss is going to buy Kaufland!”), you’ve begun to plan your counterattack and sharpen your defenses, so when the real attack (from Boss) comes, you’ll be prepared to tell him where to put his cheap Kaufland.Important: Consumer psychologists warn that your attack must be weak. Otherwise you risk having the opposite effect and weakening, or changing your prospects’ attitudes. One way advertisers use inoculation is by publicizing their competitors’ criticisms of their company, and turning them to their advantage in the form of weak attacks that—thanks to the Inoculation Theory—serve to reinforce and ensure their consumers’ loyalty.Inoculation is a favorite among politicians. Their stock line goes this way: “My opponent will tell you there’s no way to bring down skyrocketing oil prices...he’ll tell you that the only way to balance the national budget is to raise your taxes...he’ll tell you that it’s good enough to provide health insurance for most citizens, not all of them. But I tell you this is definitely not the case, and here is why....”Do you see what’s happening? This candidate is inoculating his audience by (1) warning them of an impending attack, (2) presenting the weak arguments his opponent will say during the campaign, and (3) encouraging a strong defense by giving them a little ammunition to help prepare for battle.An auto body shop might take aim at the competition by adopting a consumer-advocate-type position by telling prospects to be wary when getting quotes from competitors: “Our competitors will tell you that the little dent in your fender costs over $1,000 to fix. They’ll quote you $800 to replace your windshield because of that tiny chip in the glass. What they won’t tell you is there are many ‘insider’ secrets in our business for getting these jobs done for a fraction of the cost. For example....”So how can you quash your competitors’ sales arguments by launching a preemptive strike using the Inoculation Theory? The key is to prep them in such a way so that your prospects process your competitors’ claims though your filters! Like the auto body shop owner in the last example, tell them what to look out for; what’s good; what’s bad; what’s suspect. Doing so implies that you’re so confident in what you sell that you’re inviting closer inspection. You want them to compare! Ads similar to these create more critical consumers that are predisposed to your products. This “Ralph Nadar approach” builds great trust and credibility. Take a real hard look at what you’re selling. What do you do better, faster, easier? Inoculate your prospects by bringing these advantages to light and watch how you’ll win them over.Principle #8: Belief Re-ranking—Change Their RealityChange the Focus of the Beliefs.In order to influence beliefs, advertisers use images and statistics that appeal either to emotions, such as fear, humor, or guilt (affecting the right-hemisphere, creative brain), or to the consumer’s intellect, through factual evidence and examples (affecting the left-hemisphere, logical brain). When you do this, you present your audience with an alternative view of reality—one that’s not supported by their currently held beliefs. In other words, you might feel a certain way about a product, but your beliefs can be changed if you’re given new ways to think about it.Change the Importance of the BeliefsAnother approach is to change the importance of beliefs, rather than the beliefs themselves. That’s because it’s easier to strengthen or weaken an existing belief than it is to change it.The most successful method is to strengthen your prospects’ current beliefs either by supporting them with factual evidence (pouring on the stats, reports, studies, testimonials), or by using everyday examples (success stories from other users, for example) with which your prospects can identify. Many advertisers take this technique one step further and reinforce additional beliefs, which are unlikely to meet with resistance because they don’t conflict with existing beliefs.The strategy of manipulating current beliefs, either through reinforcement or undermining, is far easier and more likely to succeed than attempting a wholesale change of basic beliefs. That’s why it’s the more popular persuasion strategy.How do you avoid this? By either (1) reinforcing the beliefs of thoseprospects who already hold a positive view about your product, or (2) by subtly offering an alternative set of beliefs to those you wish to convert.Remember: we don’t want to cause any negative reactions. Our goal is not to fight with our prospects. We don’t want to tell them they’re wrong. We want to change their beliefs without causing a negative, defensive reaction.For instance, rather than blatantly stating “Milk is healthier than soda,” you should present images and factual examples of the potential health risks posed by soda, and compare that with equally graphic and persuasive evidence for the health benefits of milk. See the difference? This way, you avoid a head-on collision with your prospects’ existing beliefs. You weasel your way in, so to speak.Now listen carefully. Regardless of what technique you use, your prospects must remain unaware that you’re attempting to influence them. You want them to think they’ve made their own decision. This way there are no bruised egos; they claim the decision as their own, and it’s far more likely to become cemented in future new behavior.“Gotcha, Drew...but how do I do this?”You do it by removing your prospects’ need for cognitive (critical)thinking. The following technique makes it easier for you by dividing products into those that require a lot of cognitive thought, and those that require little.Principle #9: The Elaboration Likelihood Model—Adjust Their AttitudeThe Elaboration Likelihood Model, or ELM, suggests there are two routes to attitude change: the central route and the peripheral route. Here’s the difference: The central route: Persuading using logic, reasoning, and deep thinking. The peripheral route: Persuading using the association of pleasant thoughts and positive images, or “cues.”The ELM Rule of ThumbWhen advertising your peripheral route product, don’t neglect including the features and benefits, of course. Just realize that most consumers won’t rack their brains over which brand of sugar, paperclips, or thimbles to buy.These things—and many others—are simply not “deep thought” purchases and therefore don’t require deep-thought ad content.Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t say you don’t need to do anything but show some smiling faces and a photo of my cute flat-coated retriever Joey to rake in sales. You should still give basic data to satisfy their fundamental data needs. If you sell ink-jet paper, for example, you still want to state its size, color, weight, sheet quantity, and even the TAPPI Brightness Standard rating. If you have competitors—and most of us do—and your product is better than theirs in some way, for heaven’s sake, say it!Principle #10: The 6 Weapons of Influence—Shortcuts to Persuasion.Posing as everything from a used car salesman to a telemarketer, he studied the words and behaviors that move people to comply...and buy. From this, he developed his Cues of Life model that describes how people are persuaded using six general “Cues of Influence.”These cues are mental shortcuts, and are effective in many different situations—especially when your prospect isn’t using careful, “considered” thought. Use these cues when you’re writing an ad using the peripheral route to persuasion, but fuhgeddaboutit if buying your product requires lots of thought, reasoning, and maybe even a little justification, such as a luxury item or a high-cost anything at all.Known by the mnemonic CLARCCS, Cialdini’s six cues are:1. Comparison: The power of your peers.2. Liking: The Balance Theory. “I like you...take my money!”3. Authority: Cracking the code of credibility.4. Reciprocation: What goes around comes around...profitably!5. Commitment/consistency: The “Four Walls” technique.6. Scarcity: Get ’em while they last!Cue # 1: ComparisonLet’s first look at comparison, which is similar to group persuasion—or the bandwagon effect—and is an extremely potent weapon in your advertising armory.The question, “Everybody else is doing it, why aren’t you?” exerts a powerful effect on consumers.Human psychology teaches us that no one likes to be left out, and that we’re all driven by a need to belong (See Principle #4: The Bandwagon Effect)As an advertiser, this is a godsend. Because if I can successfully convey the message that my product is the one that a certain group should choose, then my sales could snowball simply from creating this mindset.Cue #2: LikingLiking says, in effect, “Because you like me, you should do as I say: BUY!” This potent cue applies whenever a consumer feels a connection with a representative of a company, the characters or personalities in an ad, or another user of the product.Remember: The lynchpin of the sale is liking—you must like the person for it to work. And this liking could be focused on anyone involved in the transaction, whether it’s the person handing out flyers on the street corner, the celebrity whose face adorns an ad, or the friend who purchased the same brand last week and is now urging you to do likewise.The Better They Look, the More Others Like“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a great expression, but that’s exactly what people do when they look into the eyes of a person they consider attractive.And here’s another interesting fact: Contrary to popular belief, men are most attracted to pictures of other men, and women to pictures of other women. Why? Psychologists say: Identification.Cue #3: AuthorityDoctors and ScientistsThink! What authority in your industry does your target market respect? Do whatever you can to get a testimonial or full-blown endorsement. Then get permission to use this person’s image in your marketing. Pay the authority to do a short video you can use on your Website or on a DVD. Then add a list of persuasive facts, figures, and scientific-looking graphs, and the authority cue can help you make a lot of money. Cue #4: ReciprocationAlways appear more giving then taking.What can you give away to start the reciprocation ball rolling? I’m not talking about some junky little trinket, like a cheap key ring featuring your logo and phone number. You want to give something of value. Something that makes your recipient think, “Hey, wow, wasn’t that thoughtful?” Can you give a free sample? A gift certificate? If you’re a consultant, how about giving 30 minutes of your time with no obligation? Many attorneys offer free first consultations, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. The reciprocation mindset is initiated when you give something to someone as a gift. It’s not something they should have to request from you. (If I have to request it, it’s a favor.) And it’s not something you give me in return for something I’ve done. (That’s a thank you.)Here are some examples of what I’m talking about. Are you a dog groomer? Give a free flea and tick collar. Are you a bakery? Give a free rye bread or a box of chocolate chip cookies. Are you a bike shop? Give a free water bottle. Are you an old-fashioned shoe repair shop? Give a free shine. Are you a karate school? Give a month of free lessons. Are you a printer? Give 50 free photocopies. Are you a florist? Give a free bunch of flowers. Are you a cigar shop? Give a free lighter. Are you a pizzeria? Give a free slice.Whoever you are, give away something...and let the magic of reciprocation turn mere prospects into profitable, perhaps long-term customers.Cue #5: Commitment/ConsistencyCheck compliance getting strategies.In Disney’s popular Haunted Mansion, an eerie voice threatens, “Look around you. Your logic cannot deny that this chamber has no windows and no doors. Which offers a rather logical challenge...to find...a way...out.” (Cue demonic laughter.)That’s the object of the commitment/consistency cue, also known as the “Four Walls” technique—not to scare buyers away, but to box them in, cause them to take a stand, and make a request that would demonstrate their commitment to their stand. You create an ad that poses four questions to your prospect, with each answer leading logically to the next, until, at the end of your ad, your prospect is all but committed to making the purchase (Cialdini, 1980).Get them to place the signature under support of the humanitarian cause and then ask them for donations."Are you afraid to walk the streets alone? Don’t you wish there was an easy way to protect yourself against muggers and other low-life scum who prey on innocent people? You know the ones I mean: The dirtbags who step right into your face and ask—threateningly—“you got some spare change?” Wouldn’t it be great if there was a safe, effective, and easy way to stop thugs cold at the push of a button? A way that gives you instant and total control over even the most savage 350-pound, drug-blitzed maniac who has the gall to try to intimidate—and possibly terribly injure—you and your family? Introducing The Tesla Sizzler...the world’s first personal anti-mugging microwave force field...."The idea is to elicit a string of “yes” responses from your prospect, each successive answer adding momentum, creating a snowball of interest and desire, and presenting your product as the path to fulfillment. Because there’s no human interaction, there’s also no social pressure for you to be consistent with your answers, meaning to buy. Just because you’re interested in preventing getting mugged and you find the whole idea of cooking local muggers with personal microwave guns fascinating, there’s no one interacting with you to escort you to the next step in the sales process. Without this social pressure, the ad relies on a multitude of copy and design techniques to encourage you to read the whole sales pitch and then pick up the phone and place your order. Effectively written long-copy direct-response ads do exactly this.Cue #6: ScarcityMake it limited and very difficult and it becomes more desirable.If you can’t have it, you suddenly want it. The most common manifestation of the scarcity principle is the use of lines such as one-day sale, limited offer, only while supplies last, or first come, first served, all which make the product appear in short supply, and therefore increases consumer interest. The success of this technique is apparent—every business uses it! Using the scarcity cue is like using a deadline, except scarcity also suggests exclusivity, not simply limited supply. Ahhh...now that’s a powerful one-two punch if I ever saw one.In a twist of the scarcity cue, I’ve seen several business consultants announce, “Steve is finally available to accept three more clients. But hurry! Because once his roster is full, his services won’t be available for another two years.” In this example, consultant Steve is emphasizing scarcity by telling you he’s now available...with an added zinger that warns you that you better act fast.Principle #11: Message Organization—Attaining Critical ClarityThat’s why ad agencies and the psychologists they employ are careful to ensure that, whatever the strength of the message, it must always be well organized and easily and accurately understood. Simple is better, but simple isn’t necessarily easy. Communicating clearly and plainly takes practice. But fret not. I devote an entire technique to this topic in the next chapter, in “Ad Agency Secret #1: The Psychology of Simplicity.” After reading it, you’ll know exactly what to do and how to do it.Which of these—example or statistics—is more appealing to you? Which whets your appetite for more? Most importantly, which really sells you? If you’re like most people, the example did the trick. Sure, the stats are nice to know, but when it comes to making the cash register go ka-ching, you should always place your money on the example. Why? In a word: emotion, the key to sales.Principle #12: Examples vs. Statistics—And the Winner Is...ExamplesThe example you just read—and the emotion it elicits—puts you smack behind the wheel of a brand new, $403,000 Rolls Royce Phantom ultra-luxury “saloon” automobile. And did you notice what happened when you read it? I caused you to test drive—to demonstrate—the product inside your head! In fact, no matter what you sell—even a $10 mouse trap—until you can get your prospects to imagine themselves using your product or service, they’re not going to take the next step and buy it. Featuring colorful examples causes what I call “self-demonstration,” and boosts your prospects’ desire to own and motivation to buy.Some people do want to know facts and figures!” Of course they do. And depending upon what kind of product you’re selling, you should include them. But not to the exclusion of strong, emotionally provoking examples. And a good case can be made for including both examples and statistics in your ads. The proportion of each should be carefully considered so you don’t alienate either group. “But how do I know that?” Simple: Your product will tell you.Do you sell beer? Forget the stats. Show attractive people, barely dressed hardbodies, and good times.Cars? Play up the examples and include some stats for the performance, safety, or efficiency enthusiasts, whichever category of buyer to whom your particular model appeals.Laser printers? This is primarily a utilitarian product, isn’t it? So tell how much paper it holds, how fine its resolution, how long the ink lasts, its maximum monthly duty cycle, and other relevant stats. No one gets turned on thinking about ink jets. (At least none that I know, and many of my friends are professional writers!)Landscape services? Your product is all about beauty, self-image (how your property looks to the neighbors), and convenience (never having to mow your lawn on those hot, sweaty summer days). Plenty of opportunity for examples here!Gym memberships? Pure emotion here. Show photos of lean and attractive men and women, before and after shots, and testimonials from happy members. Sure, you can say how many exercise machines you have and the square footage of your facility, but it’s those photos that’ll hook ’em.Principle #13: Message Sideness—Dual-Role PersuasionThere are two sides to every story, right? Well, the same is true in advertising. You can present just your side of the story...or you can present your side and your competitor’s side in a head-to-head product comparison.Although one-sided messages are simpler (because you’re discussing only your product), studies show that two-sided messages are more persuasive, but only if they stick to the format of defending their own position while also attacking the competition (Allen, 1991).The key is to present both sides and still advocate only one—your own. How? By making your two-sided message appear to the reader as fair-minded and balanced. For example:Congrat the other side , and emphasize how you are better.Compliment what’s good about your competition. It might even make you feel good. Then say why you’re even better. The persuasive impact resulting in additional sales will definitely make you feel great!You can even play both sides yourself. You’ll recall back in the Preface I said if you’re afraid of the words persuasion and influence you should “stop reading” because “this book is not for you.” I was playing take-away, telling you that you couldn’t have something in an effort to make you want it even more. Don’t ever be afraid to tell people why they shouldn’t buy what you’re selling. Not only does it boost your credibility, but if they’re true prospects, it’ll also add fire to their desire.Principle #14: Repetition and Redundancy—The Familiarity Factor.“People don’t start seeing your ad until you run it seven times.”Run them by slightly changing the argument of the message.Remember: The aim of all advertising is to create marginal differences in consumer attitudes and perceptions. Through repetition, these small differences can build into larger differences, and can often tip the balance in favor of the advertised brand.If, for example, you hear one women tell you how healthy it is to eat chocolate every day, you’ll either believe or not, depending how the idea strikes you at the time. (And how long it’s been since your last bar of—yum—Perugina!) However, if five different people approach you throughout the day and tell you a similar, but slightly different version of this argument, chances are it’ll have serious impact on your belief system, and you are much more likely to adopt this delicious idea as your own.Principle #15: Rhetorical Questions—Interesting, Aren’t They?The Art of Rhetoric - AristoteleDial soap commercials asked, “Aren’t you glad you use Dial? Don’t you wish everyone did?” In 1926, newspaper ads for the laundry detergent Rinso asked, “Who else wants a whiter wash—with no hard work?” Rolaids posed the question, “How do you spell relief?” And W.B. Doner—the largest independently owned advertising agency in North America—is apparently a fan of the rhetorical, in its catchy, “What would you do for a Klondike Bar?” campaign.(Personally, I’d do plenty for anything covered in chocolate, but let’s stay on topic here.)Bottom line: The listener or reader makes a conscious attempt to consider the advertiser’s message, which increases the likelihood of successful persuasion.Sigh. With all this research, isn’t there anything on which we can all agree regarding rhetorical questions? Perhaps just this: the use of rhetorical questions may be beneficial for increasing message retention. Questions designed to emphasize a point, rather than to persuade, are likely to cause your audience to remember your message. Makes sense, right? The more you think about something, the more brain cells you devote to it, and the more likely you are to remember it.Principle #16: Evidence—Quick! Sell Me the Facts!“Wow...look at all these facts and figures. It’s got to be true!”Whenever I sit down to write an ad, I know that, unless I can convince you to believe me, you’re not going to log into PayPal and make my bank account grow fatter. That means that my words are responsible for taking you from your present state of belief, disbelief, or ignorance, and convincing you that what I’m selling is worth more than the money in your pocket.In order to influence our peripheral-thinking friends, make sure you present your evidence in a clear and easy-to-grasp manner. Peripheral thinkers will not take the time to figure out what you’re trying to say. They’ll look at your data, and—boom!—make a decision as to what it means. Therefore, you should feature colorful charts and graphs, and facts, figures, and quotes from respected intellectuals and professionals.Once a salesperson has you “cornered,” he can unleash his full arsenal of sales techniques on you. In print ads, you have a limited amount of space to make your point, and a limited amount of time to grab your readers’ attention and hold it throughout your sales pitch. The final principle exploits these time limitations by encouraging the reader to use psychologically powerful mental shortcuts called heuristics.CA$HVERTISING Tip: In order to influence our peripheral-thinking friends, make sure you present your evidence in a clear and easy-to-grasp manner. Peripheral thinkers will not take the time to figure out what you’re trying to say. They’ll look at your data, and—boom!—make a decision as to what it means. Therefore, you should feature colorful charts and graphs, and facts, figures, and quotes from respected intellectuals and professionals.Once a salesperson has you “cornered,” he can unleash his full arsenal of sales techniques on you. In print ads, you have a limited amount of space to make your point, and a limited amount of time to grab your readers’ attention and hold it throughout your sales pitch. The final principle exploits these time limitations by encouraging the reader to use psychologically powerful mental shortcuts called heuristics.Principle #17: Heuristics—Serving Billions of Lazy Brains DailyFirst, let’s overcome our fear of the strange word heuristics. Pronounced “hyu-RIS-tiks,” it’s a derivative of the Greek word heuriskein meaning “to discover.” Heuristics pertain to the process of gaining (or discovering) knowledge, not by critical thinking and reasoning, but by intelligent guesswork. We referred to this process earlier by the less tongue-twisting term, cues, when we specifically discussed the six-cue CLARCCS model popularized by social psychologist Robert Cialdini.Well, not to be outdone, researchers Stec and Bernstein (1999) put forth their own brand of persuasion heuristics, three of them to be exact: the Length-Implies-Strength Heuristic, the Liking-Agreement Heuristic—affectionately known as Balance Theory—and the Consensus-Implies-Correctness Heuristic. We’ll explore only the first principle—Length-Implies-Strength—because we already covered the other two in our discussion of Cialdini’s six weapons of influence: liking and comparison, respectively.The Length-Implies-Strength Heuristic is a principle that exerts an influence similar to evidence. It’s based on the assumption that a product or service is more likely to be viewed favorably if the ad is long and contains numerous, credible facts and figures. It causes your prospect to say, in effect, “Wow...look how much is here. It must be true.” It’s similar to listening to someone speak at length about a particular topic. Eventually, when you’ve heard enough—as long as the presentation was reasonably polished—you’d probably feel that the speaker knew what he was talking about. After all, “He went on for so long!” Of course length itself doesn’t mean something is truthful, but that is exactly how this principle works.Loading your ads with testimonials is one way to tune your prospects’ brains to “Heuristic Channel #1.” Another way is to write long, engaging. copy. Not only does long copy give you more opportunities to persuade, but it also has the effect of causing prospects to believe that because there’s so much copy, there must be something to it! This is the very essence of the Length-Implies-Strength heuristic.