When You Are Looking for Persuasive Words, Consider Because — Because it Has the Power to Move People to Action
Because has a unique ability to move people to action.
I’ve tried it myself randomly tossing it in when I want someone to do something.
Usually I get a better response than using “please.”
What is it about this word?
According to Robert Cialdini in his classic book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, “A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favor, we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do.”
Cialdini’s belief is backed up by a study with three tests.
Test 1 — I Have Five Pages. May I Use the Xerox Machine?
First, participants in the study asked people using a copy machine the following question: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?
Sixty percent of the people allowed the person to cut in front of them and use the machine.
Test 2 — May I Use the Xerox Machine, Because I’m in a Rush?
This time the participant said: “I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I am in a rush?”
Yes, the request was only minimally changed. And the “because” reason was barely a reason at all!
Almost 94 percent of people allowed the person to cut in line
Test 3 — May I Use the Xerox Machine Because I Have to Make Copies?
In the final part of the study, the participant asked the following question: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make copies?”
Even though “because I have to make copies” is a fairly lame reason, 93 percent of the people let the person cut in front of them.
So what’s the lesson here?
When you are focusing on writing persuasive copy, it all comes down to answering your customers’ number one question: What’s in it for me?
And apparently you don’t have to sweat too much over the answer you provide—because even giving weak reason has shown to be significantly more persuasive than giving no reason at all.
Now, please contact me to write your persuasive content, because I’m looking for new clients!