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Copywriting Takeaways from Dr. Cialdini and Friends

Published by: David Garfinkel on 06-07-2021

Every marketer has their favorite books and experts. One of mine is Dr. Robert Cialdini, who wrote “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”

It’s a classic and I’m sure many of you have read it and found it incredibly useful.

That’s not his only book, though. Dr. Cialdini got together with a couple of friends… a prof and consultant from the UK, Steve Martin -- no, not THAT Steve Martin -- and a prof from the UCLA biz school, Dr. Noah Goldstein. They put together a neat book called “The Small Big.”

It’s unique as far as I know because it lists tiny little things you can do, or changes you can make, that turn a no into a yes.

For some reason it was very hard to find when I got my copy a few years ago. Luckily, today it’s really easy to buy on Amazon. Even as a Kindle.

OK. So what we’re going to talk about today is a little different than what we usually talk about, or what I’ve heard anyone talk about in the area of copywriting.

This is not about hooks or bullets or storytelling., Or smart hacks to make an upsell bring in more revenue.

Now before we get into this, I want to point out that these little hacks, by themselves, are not designed to make money for you. They’re not.

Instead, these are what I would call “strategic tactics.” By that I mean, little things that can turn the tide.

What’s so appealing about them to me is that they have all been proven through research experiments AND they ring 100% true to repeated experience on my part.

These tactics were not originally developed for copywriting, but for persuasion at large — often in large organizational settings. But it’s easy to see how they can be transformed into powerful boosters for any copy that’s fundamentally sound to begin with.

Here are the tips we explore in detail, with easy ways to apply them to copy:

1. Creating Maximum Credibility for an Expert

One small thing you can do to massively increase your prospect’s confidence in the expert in your copy — or, if you’re writing the letter for yourself, boost confidence in your own expertise.

2. How to Keep ’Em Keeping On

This tip gives you a way to maximize getting other people to take action and follow through. It’s useful not only in sales copy, but also in online courses and live trainings.

3. Getting People To Join The Group of “Rebel Individualists”

This one’s pretty cool, because it takes advantage of two contradictory aspects of human nature: Going along with the crowd, since we are, after all, herd animals; and, being an individual, not a sheep.


Plus, a surprise bonus tip on one simple thing you can do to instantly increase your creativity!

The book we talk about on today’s show:

The Small BIG: small changes that spark big influence — by Steve J. Martin, Noah Goldstein, and Robert Cialdini

Keywords: Cialdini Influence copywriting

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