You’re watching late night TV when you encounter the inevitable infomercial. The pitchman is asking you how much you’d be willing to pay for the super-new-thingamabob, and then it comes…
But wait, there’s more!
Then you discover you’re getting not one, not two, but three super-new-thingamabobs for only $19.95, plus a mechanized back scratcher and a wearable blanket that also makes great fries.
This technique keeps getting used because it keeps working.
But the marketing gurus of Ginsu and Veg-O-Matic didn’t come up with this technique. Nope, it’s been around way before Ronco made a fortune with late night ads for amazing kitchen products you just couldn’t live without.
This technique has worked for over two thousand years. All you need to do is apply it in a context-appropriate way for your audience.
Pump Up the Volume
But wait, there’s more! is the application of a rhetorical tactic in the amplification family of techniques developed by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Amplification makes your argument or offer more enticing by progressively “turning up the volume” as you proceed with the case you’re making.
The official name for this old-school persuasion technique is dirimens copulatio (and yes, this will be on the test). But you don’t have to be a high-hype informercial type to put it to use.
In fact, you can use it in a couple different ways without sounding like the ShamWow guy. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Two Non-Cheesy Ways to Use Dirimens Copulatio
The easiest way to think about this technique is that you’re presenting an assertion followed by an even greater reason or benefit, as in “Not only this, but also….” That’s the classic “But wait, there’s more” application.
So, whether you’re selling your ideas in a blog post or creating a sales page, you want to progressively amplify your case until it becomes irresistible. Rather than leading with your best argument or benefit, you want to hook people in and then continue building momentum with bigger and better points or benefits until it becomes a no-brainer to see things your way.
In a sales context, a few ways to do this are:
- providing ridiculous amounts of value for the price
- building up an amazing array of benefits before revealing you’re offering a free trial
- standing behind your offer with a rock-solid, risk-removing, unlimited money-back guarantee.
Another common application of dirimens copulatio is where you balance one statement with a contrary, qualifying statement. This in effect enhances the power of the initial statement (and your credibility) because you’re making it clear that your assertion or offer doesn’t apply to everyone.
And that’s key — by strategically qualifying your argument (as opposed to timid qualification), you’re appealing on a stronger level with the people you’re trying to convince. Reaching consensus with your intended audience is what persuasion is really about.
Here’s an example from the “Join” tab of the Third Tribe website:
And finally, the simplest point of all: Not everything is free, nor should it be. Premium education, advice, and connections that lead to great businesses are valuable. If you don’t see it that way, that’s okay… but you likely won’t fit in here.
The people who agree with that assertion are the people we’re trying to reach with Third Tribe. And those people are likely nodding their heads and thinking they might be in the right place with other like-minded people.
What About You?
I made a bit of fun of those late night offers at the beginning of this article. But for the intended audiences, a whole lot of value was provided to a whole lot of folks thanks to the ability to sell directly to the right people.
That’s what you’re doing with online marketing. And my guess is plenty of you have been using this type of amplification technique without needing to know it was invented by old guys in funny robes.
How do you slip your own version of “But wait, there’s more!” under the radar to make your offers and arguments irresistible? Let us know in the comments.
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