Why You Can’t Resist Persuasive Techniques (Even When You Spot Them)

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I am such a sucker.

Every year around the same time, the catalog comes in the mail. And every year, I think “maybe I’ll skip ordering this year. Maybe I’ll take a break.”

And then, I make the fatal mistake. I decide to take a peek inside.

And before I know it, I’m placing an order for the most expensive oranges I’ll eat all year. I cannot resist.

Even though I understand full well all the persuasion techniques they employ to make their product irresistible, I cave.

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Why We Overestimate Technology and Underestimate the Power of Words

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Many experts assume that Amazon’s social recommender system is its killer feature. But what exactly about this feature makes it a killer?

What — in fact — is the magic sauce of Amazon?

Sure, there is some predictive value in keeping track of many different variables. There always is. It’s probably Amazon’s best kept secret. But I am guessing it’s not only a secret for people outside of Amazon.

If you would ask me what the most persuasive ingredient is of the sauce, I would say it’s copy.

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3 Ways to Get What You Want by Giving People What They Want

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We all long for something.

  • Love that will last.
  • The ability to influence people.
  • Scenic vacations.
  • Financial, political, or psychological independence.
  • Less anxiety.
  • Stunning creative achievements.
  • Organizational excellence.
  • Relief from the sting of rejection.
  • World-class athletic performance.
  • Retaliation for when we are wronged.
  • Invitations to the most popular parties.
  • A savings account that never runs out.
  • An impossibly broken family finally reunited.
  • Recognition for your hard work.
  • A Cosmopolitan body.

Marketing that actually works hinges on connecting your product to one of these mass desires.

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Do Pop-Up Forms Really Work?

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What’s your reaction to a pop-up box that appears over a blog post or article you’re trying to read?

In my opinion, there are few things in the online world more annoying than pop-ups advertising the latest trendy widget, free report, email list signup, or other offer.

Now, there’s no doubt that pop-up ads “work.” Many readers will sign up for free offers when they appear in pop-ups. And, because they do work so well, pop-ups are practically irresistible to web publishers.

Trouble is, pop-ups also have at least one huge downside, and you should face it directly before deciding whether or not to implement them on your site.

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3 Modern Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

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Traditional marketing isn’t inherently flawed, but it hasn’t evolved much despite changing technologies.

Even with so many new tools with which to convey our messages to prospective customers, especially social media like Facebook, Twitter, and beyond, few businesses are actually doing anything markedly different than they used to.

Facebook is a fancy photo scrapbook for many businesses. Twitter is often just a tiny press-release machine.

Let’s look at three common marketing mistakes and how you can fix them using the principles in my new book Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype.

I present a defensible plan that will win hearts, minds, fans, and customers in a viable and repeatable way. That plan is Youtility.

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How Good Copywriting Can Benefit You, Even if You’re Not a Writer

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I have a secret to tell you. It’s a secret that can improve the lives of every single person who reads this post … writers and non-writers alike.

A secret that Chip Kelly would appreciate.

Who’s Chip Kelly? He’s a proud, notoriously pithy football coaching wizard who cast a four-year spell on college football with his special brand of offensive alchemy. Kelly conjured up an astounding 46-7 record at the University of Oregon before becoming the head coach of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.

The key to Kelly’s success is his “fast break” style of offense. And if the phrase “fast break” seems odd to use in the context of discussing football, it should. It’s a basketball term.

Yet Kelly found a way to apply a principle from basketball to the football field by attacking opponents with a quick tempo and an efficient choreography of movement.

What does any of this have anything to do with copywriting?

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