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The Power Of Persuasion: How To Use Copywriting To Influence People

May 11, 2023
5 min read
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Persuasion has a bad reputation among some people because of the negative connotations attached to the term. One may even consider manipulation and malice. Persuasion, on the other hand, is something that anyone can use to their advantage.

This unfavorable connotation can be explained by the fact that the act of persuasion is defined as the process of convincing someone to take some action. In sales, this means persuading someone to purchase a good or service.

The Differences Between Persuasion & Manipulation


When used metaphorically, it refers to the act of swaying another person in your favor by deceiving or lying to them. In a nutshell, manipulating someone means exerting control over them and persuading them to do what you want them to do.


Using logic and reason to persuade someone to take action, salespeople use this technique to communicate their recommendations for products or services that would benefit the other party. In terms of sales, the concluding step is the purchase.

The Principles Of Persuasion

"Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" was published by Cialdini in 1984, and he introduced his six principles of persuasion in it. Consequently, if you paid attention in psychology class, you may be familiar with the following six terms:

  • Reciprocity
  • Commitment and consistency
  • Authority
  • Scarcity
  • Sympathy and liking
  • Social proof

According to Robert Cialdini, these are the six core tenets of the art of persuasive communication. Especially in today's "information overload," these skills are critical, as they help you stand out from the crowd and teach you how to persuade others of the merits of your product or brand. And this is precisely why the six principles of persuasion are so crucial for copywriters.


If your friends invite you to a dinner or a party, you will not show up empty-handed but instead, bring a small gift. Precisely this is the basis for the principle of reciprocity!

Humans are predisposed to desire compensation from those who have aided or benefited them. You can easily see this in the following cultural practices: The desire to repay even a small amount of goodwill to the other person is often the impetus behind forming romantic partnerships, friendships in the neighborhood, and professional relationships.

And you can utilize this propensity for reciprocity in your copywriting.

Put another way, and you can use the principle of reciprocity to persuade potential customers to take the desired action by first providing them with something valuable.

You probably already are aware of this from the numerous login pages that are located on landing pages. The primary goal is to obtain a person's contact information so that the company can later use that information to gain that person as a customer.

To demonstrate the principle of reciprocity in this situation, you are given a specific piece of content on the landing page (e.g., a free guide, checklist, or a free consultation). The result is that. You'll feel more compelled to give back if you get a lot out of this content.

Commitment and Consistency

One more thing that a lot of people want is for other people to behave consistently toward them. Suppose we have already informed all our friends that we will participate in a half marathon the following year. If that is the case, our chances of training regularly and finishing the race will significantly increase. After all, quitting now that you've told everyone would be embarrassing, wouldn't it?

It is often beneficial to enter into a specific type of agreement, such as a contract, to keep your promises.

If you want your readers to purchase, you should not pressure them into doing so – who does that? With some practice, you can still use this principle to instill a sense of responsibility in your readers.

In this case, you should encourage your readers to begin with small "commitments" that grow in scope over time. Your readers will formulate a clear "yes" and thus make a small initial commitment that they would like to fulfill with the help of questions, for example, consistently. This small "yes" marks the beginning of a long process of getting things approved. It's easier to persuade someone after they've made even a small commitment, so it's worth trying.

Interestingly, the tactic of subliminally asking for multiple "yeses" has been used in sales and phone calls for a long time.

Social Proof

If you're familiar with Cialdini's six principles of persuasion, social proof is likely one of them. It's because it's in your daily life, almost. Do you look at the people around you before you leave the house to see if a scarf is necessary? Demonstration by the general public! It is possible to buy a new smartphone, but only after reading some reviews. Protest by the general public!

So the idea of social proof is all about making decisions based on the thoughts and experiences of other people. To get the most out of our fellow human beings, we must trust them and value their opinions.


The principle of authority refers to the tendency of people to classify an opinion as credible and valid if it originates from a source they believe to be authoritative.

If you're curious, here's a quick way to find out: If you had an engine problem, who would you turn to? A library or a workshop for an engineering student?

Bring your writing skills back to the fore! To persuade readers that your content is credible and thus trustworthy, you must use credible sources and facts.

You can rely on well-recognized statistics or even provide scientific evidence to back up your claims.

For some industries and products, this may not be possible at all. Relying on someone's authority and insisting on their personal opinion can suffice in many situations.

Instagram is an excellent example of social reliability on the go, with many followers and even the blue tick making an account appear more trustworthy. This affects the evaluation of the account's performance and any purchase decisions.


The old saying goes, "You always want what you cannot have," and this is no exception. Alternatively, you may feel compelled to purchase an unnecessary T-shirt. Nevertheless, you must have it because it is the last of its kind!

As soon as a limited and exclusive opportunity presents itself, we all want to be able to claim it as our own. Because of our "Fear of Missing Out" and our desire for scarce goods, we're more likely to buy what we perceive to be valuable. When we are not the only ones interested in this offer but are competing with others, this effect is even more powerful.

Many options are open to you to induce a feeling of scarcity and encourage your readers to want a product. It's up to you whether or not you incorporate the limitation into your copywriting or use it as a basis for exclusive offers.

You’re creativity will be challenged in this part, but you can use AI writing tools like WordHero to help you generate taglines and punch lines.

Sympathy and liking

According to Cialdini, one of the essential principles of persuasion is empathy! Because no matter how great your offer is, many customers will disregard it if you lack empathy. In a nutshell, the more sympathetic a person is, the more likely they will persuade us.

When we have a lot in common or at least appear to have that in common with someone, it is much easier to develop empathy or even a close relationship with that person, which is why this is the most efficient way to gain someone's sympathy. Personal brands and corporate brand messages are becoming increasingly popular because of this.

Highlighting the similarities between yourself and your target audience can be used in your copywriting. For example, you could talk about how you overcame a problem your audience can relate to.

Empathy can also be elicited by using the so-called halo effect. As a result of this statement, it is possible to draw connections between appealing external properties and positive values and properties within the system.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, understanding how to use the power of persuasion through copywriting can be a valuable tool in both your personal and professional life. 

By using techniques like active listening, open-ended questions, and story-telling, you can more effectively influence the people around you to see your point-of-view. The next time you find yourself in a situation where you need to persuade someone, remember these tips and see how they can help you achieve your desired outcome.

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