How To Use Reciprocity In Marketing
In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini’s first principle of persuasion is reciprocity.
Sometimes referred to as the rule of reciprocity, this is a powerful persuasion trigger that can be applied in sales and marketing to influence people.
The basic premise is that people tend to feel obligated to reciprocate when someone does a favour for them.
Basic Examples of Reciprocity
Imagine if you’re travelling to the airport to catch a flight in two hours. You were going to drive and park at the airport but your car has broken down. You try to catch an Uber there aren’t any available for another 25 minutes, which would be too late.
Fortunately, your neighbour is outside and offers to drive you to the airport.
If that same neighbour came to you three weeks later and asked if you could look after his dog while he’s away, you will likely feel obligated to reciprocate and help him out. That is reciprocity in action.
Reciprocity is often applied in sales. Imagine you visit a car dealership and the car salesman offers you a free drink when you arrive. This small act alone may not be enough to persuade you to purchase a car. But you may feel more obligated to at least give him the opportunity to sell to you than you otherwise would.
Reciprocity in Facebook Ads
Businesses and marketing professionals will try to use this to their advantage. There are numerous strategies that can be used to engage the rule of reciprocity. And these can be applied in your Facebook ads.
In the ad above from Carluccio’s Middle East restaurant, the advertiser attempts to engage reciprocity through this birthday offer.
If you were to redeem this birthday offer, you would likely feel compelled to give back to the restaurant by buying some extra drinks, bringing friends along or returning to the restaurant in the future.
This offer also utilizes another one of Cialdini’s principles of persuasion – scarcity. I’ll explain scarcity in more detail later.
More Examples Of Reciprocity In Marketing
In this article, I explain how internet marketer Anik Singal triggers reciprocity by offering free training to his audience.
Russell Brunson’s $3.2 Million Presentation
In this article, I discuss how Russell Brunson (the founder of ClickFunnels) provides everyone in the audience with a free gift to trigger the rule of reciprocity. As well as various other persuasion principles he uses to influence the audience.