Last week, you learned about the first principle of persuasion, Liking, which states that people that like you are more likely to say, “Yes” to you. In order to exert more influence, your direct mail piece must establish you as a credible authority that is both knowledgeable and trustworthy.
All people, including your prospects and clients, are more likely to be influenced by those who are authorities. There are a number of ways to assert yourself as an authority. Quoting known authorities who have made beneficial comments about your product or service is a great way to establish your position as an authority. Those with experience and expertise in your field, those with strong credentials, and those who have been successfully converted from an opposite product, service, or lifestyle to the one you are promoting appear more credible and thus more authoritative. In this age of narrow specialization, your prospects are more prone to look to credible, trustworthy experts.
Direct mail pieces show weaknesses before strengths
One of the more effective ways to establish your authority in your direct mail piece is to present a weakness in your case or product before you present your strongest points. This may seem counterintuitive, but the effect that is has on establishing your authority is twofold. First, it shows that despite this weakness, your product is powerful enough to overcome the shortcoming and perform well. Second, and most importantly, this shows that you are honest enough to present the weaknesses of the situation before you present the strengths and benefits of your product. Citing experts and studies in your direct mail piece also helps you to be seen as an expert and better understood in the context of credibility.
If you would like to see examples of direct mail pieces that establish authority and implement the other five principles of persuasion call us at 800–648–3107.