I’ll admit it. I manipulated you.
And as a result, you were 3X more likely to click on the link at the bottom of my email on Tuesday than the average email I sent you.
The lesson in what I did is hugely beneficial to you if you’re in any type of selling situation.
So… That’s what we’re going to talk about today!
— What I did to manipulate you…
— The secret psychology of why it worked, yielding a 3X higher click through rate than my average email…
— And how YOU can apply it in various marketing, selling, and negotiating situations…
Sounds good? Good…
My book recommendation on Tuesday was flat-out “takeaway” manipulation, a variation on the old reverse psychology approach…
Now, a couple quick notes…
My average click through rate is respectable, but low. Because many days when I send these content-focused emails, I don’t even ask for a click. But still, 3X boost in click-throughs is very respectable!
Also, this does NOT apply in every situation. It worked particularly well on Tuesday because 1) it was totally true, and 2) the method has not been abused. If I were to use this to try to get clicks every day, you’d think it was a gimmick (rightly so) and ignore it.
But this is the power of maintaining an internal collection of persuasion tricks, having them ready when the need arises to insert into any particular situation.
What am I waiting for? Let’s dig in…
Here’s the text of the book recommendation, that contains the manipulation I’m talking about…
Now here’s a quick book recommendation if you want to learn more of these “magic words” that help you get more of everything you want in your life, easier…
Now this book is a little bit old. And there aren’t a ton of copies floating around. So if you want it, you should expect to pay a bit more than your average book.
And even when you get it, you may at first be turned off. Because things like getting a free upgrade to first class — quite possible in 1995 when the book was published — have become much more difficult today, no matter what magic words you use.
But there are many lessons in the book that still apply. Certainly including everything about how to write effective sales copy.
In addition to a ton of content on writing sales letters and ad copy, there’s suggestions for what to say to get priority treatment at your favorite restaurant, be attractive to members of the opposite sex, have employers salivating over you, get investors for a new business, land high-quality speaking gigs, get great deals while shopping for jewelry, and score high-paying consulting gigs — and more!
The book is by one of the direct marketing legends of today, Ted Nicholas. And you may not know it yet, but you already know its title… Magic Words That Bring You Riches.
Have you spotted what I’ve done here? Let me lay it out for you…
The novice approach to persuasion is to lay out everything you can to make your case. To try to avoid objections, and just focus on the benefits.
Here’s where the takeaway and reverse psychology comes in — the really advanced-level stuff.
I’d already, in Tuesday’s lesson, laid out a specific story where knowing the right words to use helped me get $185 in merchandise returns I shouldn’t have necessarily gotten.
I even used the book’s title as the title of the lesson.
I’d shown you the power of the principles, rather than telling them to you. (Breaking this rule today!)
Then when it came time to recommend the book, I started off by arguing against it!
The book’s old. It’s mostly unavailable — so you’ll have to pay more. And then once you do so, you’ll think you got stiffed because some of the content is already outdated.
What I did there was to reveal flaws in the book. To insert objections, rather than countering them.
Afterward, I brought that back around. I also explained the things in the book you’d probably like. A whole host of different situations content in the book is applied to.
But what I’d done before highlighting the positives of the book was to establish credibility. By revealing flaws, by making it harder to get and a little less desirable, I actually made it more so.
And without me revealing those flaws, it would have been harder to claim the book had “magic words” that would apply to all sorts of areas of your life, from sex to business, to dining out and more.
I gained credibility for my praise by leading with criticism, and it led to 3X as many people clicking through to getting the book on Amazon, AND increased sales…
Here’s what you need to do to apply this…
Whenever you’re in a selling, persuading, or negotiating situation, you need to know both the positives AND negatives of your side.
And you should be just as ready to bring up the negatives as you are the positives.
Now, my email — almost unintentionally — followed a very good approach for doing this.
I offered an anecdotal story to show the benefit that could be had by lessons like those taught in the book (although my particular “magic words” weren’t out of that book).
I then said that there was a book that taught what you needed to know to get similar results as in the anecdote, but very quickly listed off everything BAD I could think of about the book.
And it was only after listing off the bad things that I turned around and listed the benefits.
The bad was sandwiched in between the good anecdote, and the good benefits list.
This has elements of Dan Kennedy’s takeaway selling, and of the principle of reverse psychology in general…
(That is, when your 3 year old tells you everything is bad even when it’s good, and you say, “I bet you had a bad day at school today,” and he tells you, “NO! I had a GOOD day!”)
Speaking of Dan Kennedy, he’s a master at using takeaway selling, and similar techniques.
(Now, let’s see if I can do this again.)
Here’s what you need to know about Dan though… Many people don’t like him. They hate him for his politics — he self-identifies as “Somewhere to the right of Atilla the Hun.” They hate him for his style of marketing — ugly, aggressive, ballsy, “hypey.” They hate him because he’s ALWAYS selling, even books and other products that you PAY FOR often read like sales letters for even higher-priced products. Or they just hate him because he doesn’t tolerate B.S. — or much at all!
But here’s something else you should know about Dan. He’s a bona fide sales and marketing expert (Titan!) who walks the walk, not just talks the talk. Greg Renker, founder of the $1-billion+ Guthy|Renker, attributes much of their success to Dan’s marketing. Dan’s teachings have made countless millionaires. And you’re more likely to make money with your sales and marketing by following what Dan says to do than breaking his “rules.”
There’s one particular book where he teaches takeaway selling, as one of the core principles behind his more than three decades of success selling in any and every media (in-person, on-stage, in the mail, via phones, via video and audio recordings, on TV and radio, and so on, and so on).
The book is No BS Sales Success In The New Economy and it’s the topic of Part V: “My Biggest Secret To Exceptional Results In Selling: Takeaway Selling.” Get the book. This is a total breakthrough concept.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets