The Commitment and Consistency Rule for Digital Marketers

In our capitalist economy, businesses aim to increase their sales in order for profit maximization. To reach their desired goals, they focus their marketing energies on those channels which reap them the highest ROI. Digital marketers use those strategies and tactics which are suitable to convert browsers into definite buyers.

In order to boost your conversions and to persuade your target audience to choose you, we need to understand the 2nd principle of Robert B. Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion that is commitment and consistency.

Commitment and Consistency

According to Robert Cialdini, we have a deep desire to be consistent. For this reason, once we’ve committed to something, we’re more inclined to go through with it.

For instance, you would be more likely to support a charity fund for any non-profit organization if you had shown interest when you were first approached before the idea was executed.

Experiments to Prove Commitment and Consistency

Cialdini spent three years writing his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and during that period he went undercover applying for jobs at different used car dealerships, telemarketing firms and fundraising organizations to better understand persuasion in real life.

In order to prove the rule of commitment and consistency, he conducted an experiment where a researcher would lie on a blanket listening to music on a radio, after some time he would get up and leave, the radio still placed on the blanket. Another person would come by, grab the radio and take off with it.  On average, only 4 in 20 bystanders would intervene.

In part two of the experiment the scenario was changed a bit, this time the researcher listening to the radio would ask the subject to take care of his belongings when he leaves. Now, under the influence of consistency and commitment, 19 of 20 subjects became virtual vigilantes, running after and stopping the thief.

How to apply the rule of commitment and consistency to digital marketing?

The commitment and consistency rule can be very powerful in digital marketing and can help marketers create strategies and campaigns that offer better conversion rate.

Here are some of the strategies where the commitment and consistency rule can help produce better results which are otherwise difficult to achieve.

  • Email Marketing

Email marketing is no doubt very effective but in order to make it more powerful the rule of commitment and consistency should be applied.

The idea is to send a questionnaire that contains questions that focus on the interests, preferred products and the products that the prospect wants to buy in the near future. A multiple choice based questionnaire either from Survey Crest or Survey Monkey is a good idea. The survey should be short (must not contain more than ten questions) and easily comprehensible so there is no room for confusion.

Once you receive the questionnaire data, sort the data in groups and craft customized emails for each group.

When prospects receive the marketing email which is crafted in a way that it highlights their answers and choices, more chances exist that the prospect will convert into a buyer. Such emails will prove to be more effective than the ones you send generally.

  • Link Building

The commitment and consistency rule opens new doors of new link building opportunities for link builders.

Let’s say you are in the SEO industry, you put a question up on your website (like a poll) that asks ‘Would you like me/us to interview Danny Sullivan on content marketing?’, with two options available: yes and no.

Once you have conducted the interview and made it live, try to send an email to all those people who answered yes and you will witness these people will play a hand in the promotion of your content. More promotion means more eyeballs on your content and if they find your content worth sharing you will notice links coming back to your website naturally.

I have discussed two examples of how digital marketing can use the commitment and consistency rule to enhance their conversion rate.

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Previous post of this series:

–          The Rule of Reciprocity and Link Builders

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