(This post was also a LinkedIn Pulse article.)

Do-It-Yourself Content Marketing To Get to a “Yes”

Most marketers are serious do-it-yourselfers. They’re learning constantly about all kinds of different facets of marketing and trying to put what they learn into practice all with just one pair of hands.

Most internet marketing guides will tell you to begin outsourcing and managing as early as possible, to help grow your business at the fastest rate possible, but this kind of management role isn’t always feasible if you aren’t entering into your entrepreneurship journey with some startup capital.

Oftentimes, you’ll have to make something work all on your own, and copywriting is no different. There’s a reason there’s an entire industry dedicated to having someone else write your web copy, sales letters, email series, and more – but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a bang-up job yourself with a little bit of know-how.

So What is the “Foot in the Door” Copywriting Technique?

It’s a classic copywriting move that can help you to increase responsiveness by easing into your propositions (i.e. sales, sign ups, referrals, or whatever constitutes a successful conversion for your business).

The “foot in the door” principle is based upon the fact that people are naturally resistant to taking large steps out of the blue. This is, for example, why telephone salespeople have to work through such a large volume of number registries to keep sales at an acceptable level.

That said, this resistance tends to lessen when the ‘ask’ becomes less and less of a hassle or monetary obligation for someone, while offering a benefit like lower prices and cost savings. (Obviously, you would be more likely to try a new type of shampoo if it cost $5 per bottle than if it were $15.)

Starting Small and Making Larger Requests for More Profitable “Yes” Responses

Those studying (anecdotally) copywriting psychology posited that perhaps these smaller actions could be used to build trust, and thus, over time, increase the chances that someone would agree to a larger ask. As luck would have it, they were right.

Here is an analogy to learn the technique:

  • If someone came to your door and asked you to put a large political yard sign out endorsing a certain candidate, you would likely be resistant (even if it came from a party you identified with).
  • But let’s say, instead, campaigners ask you to take just an “I support [candidate name]!” button. You’ll never wear it, but the ask is small and you agree; there doesn’t seem to be any harm in doing so.
  • Let’s say that a week or two later, the same people come by and this time they are asking about the yard sign. You may have said no before, but you already agreed with them once, and the button spurred you into doing a bit of research on the candidate, and now maybe you’re more open to a public endorsement.

Without a doubt, the second strategy will end up with more lawn signs in more yards.

How can you apply this concept and  technique?

No matter what your business is, you can use this same technique. In your own business, think of how you can get someone to agree to something small before you ask them for something big. In sales letters, you’ll notice that copywriters often pose questions with seemingly obvious answers.

  • “Do you want to cure your acne this week?”
  • “Do you agree that acne creates an unattractive, juvenile appearance?”

The purpose of these questions is to bait readers into mentally agreeing and nodding along; if they’ve already agreed with you on one thing, they’re more likely to agree with you on the next thing as well.

You may have heard about this in terms of getting someone to nod in agreement or to get them to utter “yes” to a series of questions.

In your own businesses, think about how you can use this technique to ‘soften’ resistance to any ask you have – you might just be surprised at how dramatically conversion rates change when correctly implementing this strategy.

Of course ultimately to get a “yes”, you may need a solid need  a solid hook.

People are more likely to be drawn in by a story rather than facts and figures. If you feel you still haven’t developed the perfect HOOK for your product, service, or cause, to get that first “yes”, then you may need a storytelling approach.

As an example, you can learn how a dead-broke stand-up comic turned a simple joke-telling formula into a sales hook and how you can use it to get buy in from your customers, clients, or constituents.

To Check out the 60 Second Sales Hook, click HERE now.

Thank you!

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Roberto Ragone

Business, Nonprofit, Arts Consultant
Actor, Writer, Producer

Ragone Enterprises and Productions
Ragone Strategies and Initiatives

Transforming Vision to Value

Roberto Ragone has over 25 years experience in government, nonprofits, and business, working with them on strategic planning, marketing and public relations, fundraising, and outreach. He has also worked on literary, film, and theatre projects.

One of his guiding principles is a determination to help you attract popularity,prosperity, and prestige — fans, friends, funds, and fame. He helps define and disseminate the uniquely compelling story about you, transforming your vision to value so you “REaP” the benefits of your hard work.