A few times a year, everything in this town gets covered by a thin film of fine red sand.
It gets carried across the Mediterranean sea when the wind is just right, and it actually is sand from the Sahara.
I got on my motorbike, started, and drove away to a horrible crunching sound.
It was the Sahara sand on the chain, and it causes massive wear on the chain, so on my way out of town I stopped at a workshop to have the guy clean off the sand.
I don’t really like the guy though.
He’s an ok dude – good mechanic, friendly, helpful – but he has a habit of driving an incredibly loud bike through my street, several times in a row.
ROAR ROAR ROAR!
I resent that. Bloody noise.
But, he’s the closest to my house, so it’s him I picked.
He cleaned and greased the chain, and I pulled out my wallet. “How much?”
“Nothing, don’t worry about it.”
I thanked him, hopped on, and drove off.
On the way, I felt bad.
I’d let him do me a favour by not taking payment.
And that means that I, as the automaton that human beings are, am now inclined to go back to him next week,
to get new brakepads installed.
And I really don’t want to go to him, because he pisses me off while I’m working, several times a week. Roar roar.
And yet, the mechanisms of the psyche are infallible: He did me a favour, so I now feel I should reciprocate – whether I want to feel like that or not.
Doesn’t mean I’ll go there, necessarily. But he did set the mechanism in function.
Smart of him.
Marketers use this – the principle of reciprocation – all the time.
You should too.
People have a natural and unavoidable urge to ‘return the favour’ – you, me, everyone
We don’t always act on it, but psychologically and emotionally, it works in all of us.
It’s been researched and confirmed – Robert Cialdini was the first to gain fame with his findings, as reported in his book Influence.
Click-whirrr he calls it.
You push a button, you get a predictable reaction.
You do someone a favour, he’s going to feel a desire to reciprocate.
How to do it, what kind of favour, the value of it?
All that depends.
Doing a favour, offering a freebie such as an eBook, mini-consult, 30-day trial or what have you, means you’re out of pocket to some extent.
That means you need a reasonable expectation of effectiveness
Figuring out what to offer as free extra in a way that makes business sense is something that often happens automatically when people hire me to write copy.
So that’s it: copy+smarts. Details here: http://martinstellar.com/high-conversion-sales-copy/