Many novice direct response sales copywriters get confused with using the art of persuasion versus manipulation when crafting landing pages, sales letters and emails to sell their products and services.
Manipulation is the exerting of devious influence for one’s own advantage, through means such as lying and being misleading…getting what you want from others even when the others are not willing initially to give it to you.
Manipulation is something that is very tempting for many people. This form of communication can be very effective and extremely powerful, but dishonest, sleazy and just down right wrong. Businesses running such campaigns using this method will be short lived and their reputation will tank extremely fast.
Using manipulation on your prospects won’t win you any brownie points. The prospect will feel forced into a sale and I guarantee they won’t wind up becoming a loyal customer anytime soon.
A good example of manipulation could be one of those telephone solicitor scams who targets the elderly. Convincing fear tactics and ultimatums to swindle them out of their last dollar, or they conduct such a powerful-controlling conversation that forces the recipient out of their personal- confidential information. The person ultimately feels defeated and scared not to do as told.
Persuasion is the act of influencing the mind by reasons offered, a form of social influence. Persuasion is designed to win the other person over, removing obstacles so they can come to their own conclusion, not to defeat them.
This process is convincing your customer to change his or her beliefs and/or behavior through moral or logical means rather than force. Unfortunately, persuasion is both notoriously difficult to pull off and almost impossible to resist when done well.
By applying the persuasion technique in your sales copy, you will gain trust and credibility with your prospects. You allow them to follow their own conclusion about your product or service by being honest and sincerely helping them with a need or problem. In addition, people are more willing to accept your message without considering all the facts if you have certain characteristics that makes them feel safe:
Honesty: Everyone loves an honest approach. It shows off your morals and values, thus earning you credibility with your prospects who will continue to do business with you. When writing your copy, don’t use untrue statements or falsehoods just to sell your product.
Like Ability: People are easily persuaded into doing things by others whom they like. Add your personality or story into your sales piece. Let the prospect know who you are. This ultimately builds trust.
People also love to do things they see others doing. Place personal before and after testimonials into the flow of your copy. This informs your prospect that the “average Joe” is doing it so why can’t I?
You never want to manipulate your prospect, forcing them into buying your product or service, but it’s okay to persuade them into making their own decision by giving them honest reasons and highlighting the benefits of why they should purchase.
Just make sure if you are trying to persuade your prospect in your sales copy to take a specific action, you are using it to influence them in the right direction and for all the right reasons… helping them achieve a desired result or solve their problem.