Mastering Email Content Using Cialdini's 6 Principles of Persuasion - Bumper Leads

If you’re an online marketer, chances are you’ve heard of Dr. Robert Cialdini and his scientific research behind what motivates people to take action and buy. His research was published in a book called 6 Principles of Persuasion. Well, Cialdini’s principles of persuasion can also be applied to your email campaigns that feels more authentic and relevant to your customers, which in turn, will move customers into action and make purchases.

Regardless of what type of business you have or the type of customers you serve, Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion are universal and can be applied in any scenario – both online and offline.

There are 6 Principles of Persuasion every marketer can master and these are:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Scarcity
  3. Authority
  4. Consistency
  5. Likeability
  6. Social Proof

By leveraging Dr. Robert Cialdini’s principles in email content writing, you can boost engagement, increase conversions, and build lasting relationships with your audience.

In this blog post, we’ll explore Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion and discuss how each can be applied to create persuasive and impactful email content.

Let’s dive in!


1. Reciprocity in Email Content Writing:


The principle of reciprocity revolves around the idea that people are more likely to respond positively when they receive something of value.

As an online marketer, you would be familiar with having pop-ups on your site or forms that collect leads. This is called a lead magnet. And a good lead magnet is designed to deliver something of value to your visitor, to entice them to join your newsletter or download your white paper.

Once they enter your database, your first email content can be about offering them something of value. For example, this can be an insightful research in your industry, a discount for their first order or a free trial of your software. By offering something of value, you are practicing one of the 6 Principles of Persuasion – Reciprocity.


2. Creating Scarcity in Email Content:


Scarcity taps into the fear of missing out, motivating recipients to take immediate action. Use persuasive language in your subject lines and email content to highlight limited-time offers, exclusive deals, or limited stock availability. This technique encourages a sense of urgency and can drive higher open rates, click-throughs, and conversions.

We find that this principle is the most effective when used in launching new products or running promotions. One of my good friends runs a brewery and has seasonal products that are launched in limited quantities – this is one sure way to sell out of inventory quickly without ever needing to discount your products.

If you are planning to use Scarcity as your persuasion tool, be sure to not mislead – be honest. These days, consumers are a lot smarter than you think.


3. Establishing Authority in Email Communication:


The principle of authority emphasizes the importance of credibility and expertise. Showcase your authority in the email content by referencing your qualifications, achievements, or industry recognition. Using data, case studies, or testimonials can further strengthen your position as a reliable source, instilling trust and confidence in your email subscribers.

This is a huge one if you are a coach or a service based business. We’ve worked with a few business coaches, and while the coaching industry is very competitive, the ones that have written books or hosted podcasts appear to be more in demand than the ones that have no authority in their space. Likewise, if you run an ecommerce store, partnering with influencers is one example of leveraging authority in an industry – and you can also share email databases so you can leverage email communication and promote products to their lists. Building brand or personal authority can be a slow process, but it does provide high leverage even when it comes to email communication.


4. Consistency in Email Messaging:


At Bumper Leads, we have a rule for email content writing that we call the 5-C’s of marketing. The 5-C’s of marketing stands for Clear, Consistent, Communication, Creates Conversions.

So I’m glad to see this backed by research and is also one of the key principles Cialdini’s has included, which can be easily mastered by all marketers.

Consistency is about repetition of your message and reinforcing the reason why your subscriber has made the right decision to join you. You can use this principle to remind them of their past engagement with your brand or content, reinforcing the consistency of their behaviour and making it more likely for them to comply with your call to action.

You can also use automations in your marketing automation platform or your chosen CRM to build a succinct picture of your customer or lead. These automations are designed to track behaviours. For example, for an ecommerce store, you can track their product browsing behaviours and trigger an automation to let them know the product they have just viewed, is now on special – or – you can offer them a limited coupon that expires in 48 hours. Now you are using both Consistency and Scarcity to convert them into a shopper.


5. Building Likability through Email Content:


Everyone likes to be liked. Liking is a powerful factor in influencing decisions.
Writing emails that are friendly will help you find common ground, show empathy, and demonstrate genuine interest in your subscriber’s needs and concerns. By fostering likability in your email content, you can increase the receptiveness of your audience and improve engagement rates.

We’ve all heard the term – people buy from people they know, like and trust? If you’re using emails to sell your products or services, you may want to consider including some personal things about yourself, something that others might like to do and would find interesting too.

This will spark a conversation and garner replies from subscribers, which in turn will help boost your email open rates and sales.


6. Leveraging Social Proof in Email Writing:


We are all humans and being social is a human trait. Social media is built on this principle. Social proof is one of the most tried and tested principles of persuasion in marketing.

Social proof relies on the idea that people are more likely to trust and follow the actions of others. To apply this principle in your email content writing you can include customer reviews, testimonials, or success stories in your email content to provide evidence of the positive impact your product or service has had on others.

This social validation can sway recipients’ decisions in your favour and drive higher conversion rates.


In Summary


By incorporating Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion into your email content writing, you can transform your email campaigns into highly persuasive and effective tools.

Remember to use reciprocity to offer value, create a sense of urgency through scarcity, establish authority, align with consistency, build likability, and showcase social proof. These strategies will not only improve your email marketing performance but also strengthen your relationships with your subscribers. Start applying these principles today and watch your email engagement soar to new heights.

We have also written another blog on how to use Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion for your product launches – click here to read more.


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Further Reading


How to Learn Marketing Automation For Your Business

Email Marketing and How to Avoid Another Social Media Meltdown

Done For You Sales Funnels

A Simple Customer Journey Map For Your Business



Jovana Vujnic

Jovana Vujnic

Head Honcho | Marketing Automation Expert | Evil Twin Sister


Jovana is the Founder of Bumper Leads - a marketing automation agency that helps businesses simplify and automate their sales and marketing systems to help them save time and money.

She is a former body builder turned fast food junkie turned automation geek.

When she is not watching Cobra Kai on Netflix, she shares interesting marketing advice on our podcast called Marketing Automation Made Simple. This is where she helps overwhelmed business owners build smart marketing growth systems so they feel excited and in control of growing their businesses.

You can always follow her on social media to see what she's up to.

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