How a single sentence can drive more response to your marketing

friday, 9 december of 2016

By Tom Trush

It's among the most frustrating challenges in business...

Persuading prospects who know they should take you up on your offer -- but don't follow through for some reason.

Maybe it's a money situation ... a lack of information ... a trust issue .. or possibly they're just frustrated with part of your sales process ...

Whatever the case, adding one piece of social proof to your marketing can help fix this problem.

Now, I'm not talking about something as common a testimonial, case study or review. What I'm sharing with you today targets a far deeper desire.

In fact, it hits at the heart of three fundamental human motivations (as detailed by Steve J. Martin in The Small BIG: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence):

1. To make accurate decisions as efficiently as possible
2. To affiliate with and gain the approval of others
3. To see oneself in a positive light

You see, our brains are wired to follow the crowd. So mimicking the actions of others is often seen as a shortcut to good decisions and acceptance (see motivations #1 and #2).

As such, it's critical that you explain in your marketing how many others similar to your target audience already took action on your offer.

Of course, you must be honest. Please don't fabricate numbers to create fake appeal. Doing so only leads to lost credibility.

One example Martin shares in his book comes from Britain's Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs, the agency tasked with collecting the country's taxes. Martin and his team were brought in to help reduce the number of late-payers.

Previously, most efforts focused on repeated threats of fines and legal action.

Martin and his team, though, tapped persuasive science by simply adding one sentence to the agency's standard letter. It told recipients of the large number of citizens who paid their taxes on time.

This single line led to collecting 86% percent of the outstanding debt. For comparison, in the previous year, just 57% of the outstanding debt was collected.

One sentence that explained what most others are doing literally brought in billions in overdue revenue.

Incredible, isn't it?

You may have seen a similar concept carry over to hotel towel use. After all, how many times do you see signs suggesting you do the environment a favor and reuse your towel?

Well, researchers Dan and Chip Heath from Stanford University discovered a way to actually get more people to take this action.

The change in behavior only required (again) a single sentence. In their study, they increased towel reuse by 26% with a sign that said:

The majority of guests at the hotel reuse their towels at least once during their stay.

Notice again how this sentence tells what many others are doing.

So think about it ...

How can you incorporate the actions of others into your offers?

Tom Trush is available at


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