How to use 6 triggers from Influence by Robert Cialdini

How to use 6 triggers from Influence by Robert Cialdini for online business

If you’re a marketer, then there is one book you simply must read: Influence by Robert Cialdini. It’s probably the most comprehensive book on the art of influence translated into the language of marketing.

Some find it a bit too simplified (and I am one of them), but despite all, it is probably the first book you want to read to enter the fascinating world of psychology. If you haven’t read it yet, you can get it from Amazon(affiliate link).

I have covered 5 main techniques to persuade others discussed in the book Influence in my previous post.

Today, we will look at the 6 triggers that Cialdini describes as the main drivers to influence others. More importantly, we will look how to use 6 triggers from Influence by Robert Cialdini for online business.


Influence by Robert Cialdini - reciprocity

We feel obliged to return the favor

The rule states that if we do a favour for another person they will feel obliged to return it. In other words: favour for a favor. There is a strong social pressure to square up. Interestingly, a small initial favour can lead to a much bigger return favor.

How to use it in online marketing: Give your subscribers or prospects something for free. Be is a pdf report, video, report – offer it as a gift. That will make your audience feel comfortably giving you money for your product, subscribing to your list, or returning a favour in any other way you’d like (ex. comment on a page, share with friends, etc).



Influence by Robert Cialdini - commitment

Smaller commitments (like signing a document) lead to bigger commitments

Once we commit to something, we stick to it. We feel a pressure to be consistent with our initial behaviour. It takes more energy to break with the initiated behaviour – if you ever tried to quit smoking or stop eating unhealthy foods, that you know exactly what I’m talking about.

To get another person behave in a way you want them, ask them to take a small initial step in that direction. This small steps is all that is needed to create commitment after which you can ask for another step, this time bigger and bigger and you will keep hearing yes from your prospects.

How to use it in online marketing: Your ultimate goal and a marketer is to sell a product or service. But you can’t just ask your prospect to buy something from you right away. So to help them feel comfortably about that decision, you guide them in the direction of purchase by asking for smaller commitments. These include: giving your email address, liking, tweeting or sharing a page, leaving a comment, reply to an email, do an assignment.


Influence by Rober Cialdini - authority

We are taught follow authorities from early years

We are wired to follow authority. Our whole lives we are though to follow them: first your parents, then teachers and then the law, police and government. This is why we are much more likely to say yes to a favour coming from a person of authority.

You can build authority by: showing your expertise with testimonials and logos of brands supporting you, dressing like authority (suit) or using expensive gadgets (watches, cars). All of these are symbols of authority and they successfully bring about a feeling that a person must be an authority.

How to use it in online marketing: In the online world, there are many individuals who do the same things as you do. If you want people to buy from you, you have no choice but to show your authority, It is essential for your success. If you fail to do it, your prospects will go to somebody else – somebody who dedicated time to building their authority.

But no worry, it is easier that you think! You can do it by using a borrowed social proof – quote others, show research on the topic you write about, share testimonials of people who worked with you, show logos of the companies you were involved with.

Make sure your website looks professional, and that you use qualitative images of yourself.


Influence by Rober Cialdini - social proof

We look up to others for the right way of behavior, especially when uncertain

We look up to others for the right way of behaviour. We have a tendency to assume that other people know what’s right and correct. The effect will be stronger in moments of high uncertainty, the more people engage in a particular behaviour, and the more similar or the more we want to be associated with that group.

How to use it in online marketing: Always make sure your website includes testimonials from happy customers, and add any logos of the companies and brands who support you. For testimonials to be the most efficient, you want to include the pictures and pick those who are similar to your target audience.

You also want to keep your audience engaged so you can score high on social media (number of likes, tweets, shares and comments).


Influence by Robert Cialdini - scarcity

When something becomes scarce, we desire it more

When something becomes scarce, we desire it more. It is link to our aversion to losing If something is in limited quantities or available only for a limited time, we feel we need to hurry to get it or we might lose a chance to do so forever.

How to use it in online marketing: In direct marketing it is already a standard to time special offer: get the product for 50% off if you by before this Friday or offer valid for only 3 days.

Another way to do so is limiting the number of product available at a special price. Clearance is yet another way – special offer is valid only till the stock lasts.

Whichever way you chose, make sure you don’t fake it. If you want to make something scarce, make sure it really is.


Influence by Robert Cialdini - likeability

We agree with people we like more

I’m sure you’ve experienced this one for yourself many times. We find it much more difficult to say no when a request comes from our friends. You can make somebody like by using a few simple techniques: be around them to create a feeling of familiarity, point similarities between you, mirror their behaviour, do small favours for them and show that you like them.

How to use it in online marketing: Use the language of your audience. Inside words, phrases and slang common for the group will work even better. On the other hand, if you use the words that your audience doesn’t use or does;t understand, you are creating a distance between you and give them nothing to relate to.

Social media and emails are perfect to interact with your audience. make sure you reach out to them without asking them to do anything – just like you would with you friends.


Knowing and understanding these 6 triggers as presented in influence by Robert Cialdini gives you a significant advantage over your competition. There are many easy ways to start implementing them, as shown in this article. Many of them don’t require much additional work, and once you add them to your business you will soon see the results.

Want more tips on persuading other? Click the button below to get even more:

Get more tips >>

Leave your comment below

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field