Principles of Persuasion: what they are and why they work

Principi di Persuasione: cosa sono e perché funzionano

Persuasion and Marketing?

Yes, they go hand in hand.

Persuasion is a powerful tool through which we are able to induce people to carry out a given action .

So, why not use it in a marketing strategy?

And this is where, in 1984, Professor Robert Cialdini , psychologist and professor of Marketing, came into play. He wrote and published a book to which we still refer today: "The weapons of persuasion" , in which he theorized 6 rules to adopt if you want to apply persuasive communication in your sales strategy (or, why not, in your life daily).

It should be underlined that persuasion is not directly proportional to manipulation. Persuading means convincing someone to carry out an action which, however, they are already personally interested in carrying out .

How, for example, to incentivize a person to buy a product or service that they were already intending to buy.

Haven't I convinced you yet?

Well, then let's see together Cialdini's 6 Principles of Persuasion and how it is possible to apply them to the world of Marketing.

Principle of Reciprocity

“We are more likely to say yes to those from whom we have already received something in return'' .

How many times has it happened to help a dear friend and then hear: "I owe you a favor!". This is none other than the Principle of Reciprocity, for which we feel the unconscious feeling of being indebted.

And in Marketing? We can adopt this strategy by offering free e-books, free vouchers and discount codes. Customers will feel compelled to reciprocate!

Principle of Scarcity

“The more scarce a good becomes, the more people are attracted to it'' .

Both in daily life and in sales, we tend to pay more attention to what is about to end.

Do you want to buy a hotel room and find "Only 2 rooms available" written? You will certainly understand that this is a room appreciated by the public due to its limited availability and, therefore, driven by a sense of urgency, you absolutely do not want to risk losing it.

Principle of Consistency

“People want to be consistent with what they have said or done before.”

“Finish the task you started!”. How many times have we heard this phrase? This is how, having unconsciously learned this way of reasoning, we want to always be consistent with the actions we carry out. Therefore, if we put an item in the Wish List, for consistency, we will be more tempted to buy it.

Principle of Authority

“We tend to follow and respect the opinion of the expert or of someone we consider authoritative''.

Since primary school we are inclined to respect and take for granted the thoughts of our teachers, as they are experts and authoritative in the sector.

We therefore continue to trust what is said, if the person speaking is a known expert in the field.

In Marketing, we can exploit this principle by sponsoring the product or service offered through a professor or an authoritative person (such as, for example, an influencer).

Principle of Sympathy

“People prefer to say yes to someone they like” .

It also happens in everyday life that we feel sympathy towards those who pay us a compliment, are similar to us or pursue the same goal.

This is where empathy and trust come into play, tools that must absolutely be used in the world of sales.

Principle of Social Proof

“We tend to act in relation to the behavior of others''.

Reviews play a very important role here. If a product on Amazon does not receive positive feedback, we will not purchase it. So we choose what is chosen by the majority of people.


These were, in summary, the 6 Principles of Persuasion studied by Professor Cialdini. Tools that are still used in Marketing, both online and offline. For what reason? Because they work in all respects and lead to a significant increase in user conversions.

Still don't have clear ideas? Don't worry!

GILBI.CO is here to help you! Contact one of our consultants!

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