Category Archives: Persuasion

Use a No to Get a Yes

Slightly abridged with the author’s permission from Neuromarketing. Can an initial rejection actually help you get the “yes” you really want? Surprisingly, if you create the right first and second requests, it can. Persuasion expert Robert Cialdini conducted a classic experiment that demonstrates the technique by soliciting volunteers to work with troubled kids. When college [...]

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The Science of Persuading With Stories

Most of us who write persuasive copy have heard many times that stories do a better job of connecting to and persuading audiences than flat, rational arguments. It is a pretty central assumption of marketing and advocacy writing. So I was surprised to learn that while social psychologists have been studying rhetoric-based persuasion for 60 [...]

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The Value of Thank-You Notes

Reprinted with the author’s permission from Wiep.net. Just recently, I used crowdSPRING’s creative community for designing the logo of a new project website. The process went according to plan; there were a few good entries and I picked a winning logo. Shortly after that I received the files I requested, and as soon as I [...]

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Many Roads Lead to "Yes"

Last year, The Editorial Advantage took a long look at Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion, with posts on scarcity, keeping it simple, calling attention to your faults to get your audience to invest in your strengths, and priming your audience for a large request by first making a small one. We were [...]

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Must Winners Really Take All?

You can skip this if you’ve read the book Nudge and you’re already incensed about the proliferating “most popular” lists on the Web. But maybe you want your organization to present “most popular” information in a positive way and need some more ammunition. Carl Bialik, “The Numbers Guy” of The Wall Street Journal, recently slammed [...]

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Now for Something Completely Different

When it comes to persuasion, Robert Cialdini has no illusions. That’s why everyone in publications should pay attention to his work. We recently wrote about Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion. Now this, from Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It’s called the contrast principle, and it’s frighteningly simple. If two things are presented [...]

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A Road Map to Common Ground, Part 2

Magnificent Publications specializes in persuasive publications. We just read a book on the subject from the Harvard Business Press, Persuading People by Harry Mills. The book is meant for oral presentations, but it applies just as well to written persuasion. As discussed in the last post, Mills suggests different approaches to persuasion depending on the [...]

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A Road Map to Common Ground

Magnificent Publications specializes in persuasive publications. We just read a book on the subject from the Harvard Business Press, Persuading People by Harry Mills. The book is meant for oral presentations, but it applies just as well to written persuasion. What does it take to persuade an audience? Among other things, Mills says, it requires [...]

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Four Steps to a Unique Value Proposition

Magnificent Publications specializes in persuasive publications. We just read a book on the subject from the Harvard Business Press, Persuading People by Harry Mills. The book is meant for oral presentations, but it applies just as well to written persuasion. Most developers of persuasive communications appreciate the difference between features—what a thing consists of or [...]

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How to Get Givers to Keep on Giving

I just led a Birthright tour to Israel, and I learned a few useful things about keeping short-lived groups loyal to the cause. Birthright provides a free peer group educational trip to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18-26 who have never participated in a peer group program. The program’s purpose is to strengthen participants’ [...]

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