How to use Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion to Boost Sales Conversions

Alex Genovese
Jun 27, 2019 · 6 min read

Convert more leads and sales using in the right way the Cialdini’s principles through some examples explained here.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

The 6 principles of persuasions

  1. Reciprocity

1. Reciprocity

It’s based on simple human psychology: we hate to feel indebted to other people! When people do things for us, we feel obliged to repay them. The inner tension created in the gap between receiving and giving is often so powerful we will give anything in return just to reduce this discomfort.

– Example: create a landing page where in exchange for an email address, you’ll share a piece of interesting content with your lead.

Unbounce landing page

Some interesting resources

I found an interesting article on Awwwards about the science behind a landing page design, that explains how the different A/B testing based on colors and text formatting can change the conversion rate.

Some guides for building a landing that converts, you can find on Unbounce website checking out this link.

2. Scarcity

In 1975, three researchers, Worchel, Leee Adewole, wanted to find out how people rated cookies in two identical glass jars. One jar contained ten biscuits, while the other contained only two.

Which cookies would people like the most?

The biscuits of both vases were identical, but the participants attributed a greater value to those in the almost empty vase.

The scarcity appearance affect their perception of value

This example is extracted from the book I read, “Hooked” by Nir Eyal that explains the different methods used in Silicon Valley today to engage new customers through psychological circle hooks.

Scarcity works through anticipated regret, where we think about the future and see ourselves regretting having not taken a decision to act. When we think about the future, we not only anticipate events, we also experience the associated emotions. This present emotion then drives present decisions.

– Example: create a countdown, on the website, e-commerce or whatever, and promote an interesting discount within that time.

There are several methods you can put in place about this persuasion:

Time-based scarcity

You can found out in Groupon and eBay product pages, for instance.

Groupon introduced a strong use of scarcity

Stock scarcity

Booking is a great example

3. Authority

An authority figure among young women shoppers, for example, Jennifer Aniston, is going to see whatever she’s her outfit or what is her latest pair of shoes. Her endorsement regarding a product, in line with the feeling and interesting of the audience, could have a great impact on sales and brand awareness.

– Example: you need to involve a VIP or important influencer, in the niche where you’re interested to invest or promote a product for creating partnership/sponsorship with him/her to obtain a growth sales.

Kim Kardashian endorsement on Shoedazzle — Rolling Stones

There are three factors that trigger the authority principle, and you can use to promote your e-commerce products:

  1. Titles — Dr., Prof., Ph.D., President, Chairman, Founder, CEO, Industry experts;

4. Commitment

We human beings have a deep need to be seen as consistent. This can be explained, from a psychological perspective, by the fact that people have established that commitment as being in line with their self-image.

An important factor in the persuasion that uses this principle is that the person feels they have made a free choice. If they feel coerced or obliged, they can explain their choice by saying they were ‘forced’ into the decision.
When they believe they have made a free choice, they feel personally responsible for their decision and seek to justify it.

– Example: a customer that used a free samples finds out, once used the item, feels more inclined to buy it.

A modal from CXL Institute Website

In the example above, you can see the YES button in red color with little descriptive information to tempt the customer’s choice.

After the newsletter signup, you can proceed to create a nurturing workflow to engage your leads moving on next stage.

5. Liking

It’s based on sharing something you like with people in your circle.

This principle can be applied to conversions in the following way:
a company that wants to boost its conversions simply has to focus on creating impressive content for their customers in order to engage to share it.

– Example: a simple “About Us” page well crafted could be an interesting hook for engagement because its content can tell to potential buyers the similarities between the company and them.

Physical attractiveness: a female model sitting in Lamborghini

Lists of 5 factors that power the principle of Liking that you can use in your e-commerce to boost conversion:

  1. Physical attractiveness — honesty, humor, trustworthiness

6. Consensus or social proof

It works through our needs to be respected by others and to avoid social regrets such as be ridiculed.

In a famous experiment, Solomon Asch showed a group of people three lines and asked which was the shortest. What the experimental subject did not know was that everybody else was in a stooge. When they all chose the wrong answer, most subjects also chose the wrong answer rather than face being different.

– Example: an advertiser shows a happy family in selling goods to people who are likely to have families.


Thank you for reading, feedbacks and claps 👏 are really appreciated.

If you’re interested in reading articles like this, and get guides about real brand case studies, on product design, on conversion rate optimization and artificial intelligence you can follow me to stay updated.

If you want to talk about your project, feel free to contact me through my Linkedin profile or website.

Data Driven Investor

from confusion to clarity, not insanity

Alex Genovese

Written by

Senior Product Marketing Manager | Artificial Intelligence | 10+ years experienced working with companies and startups | https://www.alexgenovese.it

Data Driven Investor

from confusion to clarity, not insanity

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