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Getting Your Visitors To Do Your Bidding

Aug 17, 2007
You probably know by now how important it is to have an opt-in list--but do you really understand the driving force behind it? If you don't, no matter because that's what this article is about--explaining the psychological engine powering your opt-in list.

1. Building A Bond

If a total stranger walked up to you and gave you some pitch about how they've developed some incredible new system that's making them a ton of money--and how, for a small price, they are willing to cut you in on their goldmine--would you bite? Probably not!

Now let's look at that scenario from a different perspective. In place of a stranger, the person giving you the pitch is someone you've had positive dealings with before--someone you know and trust. Aren't you more likely to say yes in this case?

Unfortunately the first scenario is the one most affiliate marketers pursue--attempting to get a total stranger to purchase without any previous contact! No wonder so many fail.

Bottom line--it doesn't matter if what you're pitching is King Midas' touch itself! The plain and inescapable fact is that visitors to your site don't know you from Joe Scam or Joe Fraud and if you want to sell to them you need to convince them otherwise. In other words you need to create some form of bond.

And how do you do that? Simple! Use a newsletter to get your opt-in list subscribers to get to know you.

Okay--that's all fine and dandy, but a bond on its own is not enough! You need your visitors to trust you before they'll be inclined to do your bidding.

2. Gaining Your Visitor's Trust

The Principle of Reciprocation

The eminent archeologist, Richard Leakey, ascribed our humanness as a function of the principle of reciprocity: "We are human because our ancestors learned to share their food and their skills in an honored network of obligation."

Hmmm--an honored network of obligation--what does that have to do with marketing--what does it have to do with you?

In a word--everything! The entire fabric of human society revolves around this principle. Sociologists have determined there is no single culture that is exempt from this principle of reciprocity.

In other words it is deeply ingrained in us. And by proxy that means almost all of us abide by this principle subconsciously day in, day out.

Let me give you an example to clarify what I'm talking about:

In 1985 Ethiopia was struggling from years of severe drought and the ravages of internal conflict. Thousands were either starving or dying. That same year on September 19th, Mexico City was stricken by a devastating earthquake that left thousands dead.

Surprisingly, the Ethiopian Red Cross sent $5,000 as a relief package to the victims of the Mexico earthquake.

$5,000 may not sound like a big deal for an organization, but in this case it was--a very big deal! Ethiopia really needed that money! Everyday people were dying in droves.

That was the year Bob Geldof (from the British band The Boomtown Rats) after watching a BBC documentary highlighting the plight of the Ethiopians, flew to Ethiopia to get a personal perspective which ultimately resulted with him organizing the Live Aid concert--which later spawned the more widely known American version--We Are The World. Those benefit concerts and resulting music albums helped raise awareness and a considerable amount of money for the impoverished country.

So why would a country that was so desperate donate funds that it more than needed itself? The answer is quite simple. This was a classic case of the principle of reciprocity in action. You see, in 1935 Mexico sent aid to the beleaguered Ethiopians, who had been invaded by the Italians.

Fifty years later the Ethiopians still felt a sense of indebtedness--and what better way to repay the favor of 1935 than by helping the earthquake victims?

That's the power of reciprocity--creating an overwhelming sense of obligation and indebtedness!

In this case knowing or liking the individual is irrelevant. What is important is the sense of indebtedness and obligation it fosters.

Consider this--when someone gives you a gift you feel some form of obligation don't you? You probably want do something nice in return--right? Well, now you know why. The principle of reciprocity!

And this is the basis of the well-known marketing mantra--You Gotta Give To Receive.

3. Give To Receive

You want your visitors to purchase or perform your most desired action--right?

The best way to do it is to give them something useful for free. Write an eBook full of information that will save them time by solving their problems (remember the internet is huge--given enough time anyone could find a free derivative of anything being sold for a lot of money elsewhere. But time is money and it's a commodity we all don't have enough of).

That free eBook of yours (the eBook must be useful mind you--not just a bunch of affiliate links to enrich you) has now set the stage for the principle of reciprocity to swing powerfully into action.

With that book, you've not only forged a bond-you've fostered trust--you've also created a sense of obligation and indebtedness. In other words using the principle of reciprocation you've created the perfect environment to make your sale!
About the Author
Ba Kiwanuka is the webmaster of
Internet Business Mart provides marketing solutions and tips . Get Your Free Internet Marketing eBook
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