Ever get one of those fundraising letters with a sheet of pre-written address labels with your name on it?
That’s not by accident. It’s by scientific design.
As noted in Monday’s Campaign Hot Tips, I just finished reading Scott Adams’ (of Dilbert comic fame) excellent “Win Bigly” book explaining Donald Trump’s historic 2016 victory and exactly how the “Master Persuader” pulled it off.
If you’re in politics and haven’t read “Win Bigly” yet, get thee to Amazon, stat.
To give you a taste, here’s Scott’s Persuasion Tip #2…
“Humans are hardwired to reciprocate favors. If you want someone’s cooperation in the future, do something for that person today.”
It’s known as the “Rule of Reciprocity.”
“Reciprocity is a big thing in persuasion,” Scott writes. “When you do someone a favor, it triggers an automatic reciprocity reflex in the recipient.”
This powerful persuasion technique was first explained by Prof. Robert Cialdini (who Scott refers to as “Godzilla” for reasons that’ll become clear when you read “Win Bigly”) in his own must-read book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”
In it Cialdini writes about an experiment by another professor who “sent Christmas cards to a sample of perfect strangers.” The response, he reports, was “amazing.”
“Holiday cards addressed to him came pouring back from the people who had never met nor heard of him,” Cialdini writes. “While small in scope, this study nicely shows the action of one of the most potent of the weapons of influence around us – the rule for reciprocation.”
“By virtue of the reciprocity rule,” Cialdini continues, “we feel obligated to the future repayment of favors, gifts, invitations, and the like.”
And that’s why you get those address labels. The organization gives you something first, hoping you’ll return the favor with a donation check.
Are you using something similar in your own fundraising appeals?
“Influence,” by the way, is practically the bible for direct response marketers in the business world. And as Scott Adams knows, it translates 100% to the political world.
Order it when you order “Win Bigly.”
Dr. Chuck Muth, PsD
THE CAMPAIGN DOCTOR
Professor of Psephology*
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* Psephology (see-follow-gee): The study of campaigns and elections