^^ we need to get people from “where they are now” to “where you need them to be” – yep, it’s up there.


We’ve talked about the “push” model of marketing already – the brute force approach, where the goal is to “convince” as many people as possible to buy.

Understandably, the success rate is pretty low. 

Instead, we use a “pull” model which attracts the RIGHT people at the RIGHT time. And when we combine that with a strategy of influence, the results sky-rocket.

In short, you’re not trying to “convince” people to buy something they don’t want. You’re finding people who want what you have, and influencing their decision to buy – by presenting your work in a way that encourages positive action.

Influence, in this context, is your ability to affect a desired outcome without using force or coercion (or any other scammy “tricks” you might be tempted to try). 

Note: this is different from “persuasion” where the subject (eg, your readers) may not necessarily “want” the outcome you’re attempting, but are convinced in some other way.

As you can imagine, influence is the way to go for maximum results. And influence is something you can build by structuring your marketing and sales process in a specific way.

“There's a critical insight in all this for those of us who want to learn to be more influential. The best persuaders become the best through pre-suasion - the process of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it... What we present first changes the way people experience what we present to them next.”

— Robert Caldini - Pre-Suasion

In other words, you’re positioning yourself in a way that makes readers WANT what you’ve got before you even offer it for sale. It makes them trust you, rely on you for their source of entertainment / knowledge / inspiration (delete or amend as necessary).

So, how do we do that?

Again, it all starts with attracting the right people in the first place (see previous pages). And then offering something THEY want (see page 3). The next step is to get “buy in” and create a mutual value exchange.

In other words, for your readers to get what THEY want, they need to do something YOU want. 

In this context, that doesn’t mean exchanging money. It could mean any number of things.

Most commonly, it would be a situation where a reader could get a free book in exchange for signing up to your email newsletter. But it could also be something else – filling in a survey, promoting you on social media, reading your articles, listening to your podcast…

Whatever you choose, the goal is to present a small barrier for your readers – small enough not to turn off the right people, but enough to weed out the “mildly curious” or the “people who just like to click stuff” crowd.

Those who engage at this point have already proven themselves worth following up with. 

Consider the differences in terms of traffic -> sales. These numbers are pretty typical for an online information business:

  • Signed up via a paid ad = 2% bought
  • Signed up after a search for you on Google = 6% bought
  • Sat through a 2 hour webinar = 30% bought

Of course, the numbers go up and down depending on price, industry, etc. But the principle sticks – the more a reader is committed to you, the more they have “bought in” to what you’re offering BEFORE you offer the sale, the higher your chances of success. The less “interruption” you cause, and the more upfront value you deliver, the better the results.

So the goal is to focus on the audience that brings you the highest success rate. And while you might not be able to replicate a webinar environment, you can replicate the psychology. 

For example:
  1. Define your target audience. Who are they? What do they want? What drives them?
  2. Create something of value THEY want (eg, a reader magnet)
  3. Put your offer in front of the right people at the right time.
  4. Require “micro commitments” before sending your “item of value”.
  5. Deliver on your promise (eg – send the gift).
  6. Follow up in the right way, to the right people and lead them “down the path” to the sale.

So if you can’t “do a webinar”, which is true for most authors, you can certainly adopt the same framework. That is, paying attention to those readers who prove their commitment and position themselves as likely buyers (eg – they WANT what you’ve got). And you can still use video in just the same way to draw in the right people (Facebook live, youtube, etc, are easy ways to do this).

This all relies on you having a system to deliver readers in steps 1-5. Without that – eg, you’re attracting the wrong people in the first place and doing nothing to set their expectations – the follow up won’t work.

Now, a lot of authors who use email marketing resort back to the “push” approach. Even if they get everything right in steps 1-5, many fall back on bad habits.

Just because someone signed up to your email newsletter doesn’t mean they’re anywhere near ready to buy anything from you.

You’ve set the scene for the sale, but you skipped all the juicy plot details and hammered straight for the ending. 

Remember that quote from the top?

“What we present first changes the way people experience what we present to them next.”

— Robert Caldini - Pre-Suasion

There is a very specific job your emails need to do. A very specific set of objections that you’ll need to overcome before money can change hands. In fact, you’ll need to overcome them before the reader even realises he or she has them. And we’ll cover the last piece of the puzzle on the next page.