Science of Touch: A 30 Second Selling Trick

A while back an interesting bit of convergence happened to me and it focused my attention on a powerful direct marketing strategy that we can all use on the Internet – engagement.

The ah-ha moment occurred right in the middle of the big Stompernet Launch of Formula Five — with all of its great free launch videos and Andy Jenkins repeatedly encouraging viewers to ‘put these free bits of information into action’ — when I come across this article on

Study: You Touch It, You Buy It

I’ll give you a quick summary of the important bit of the study, but you should definitely check out the article. For the purposes of this article, this is what you need to know. You can go back and read the rest at your leisure.

The key information is that people place a higher value on items they feel ‘attached’ to and will go to greater lengths to keep those items (as in purchase and own) than items they feel less attached to. And, this is the important bit, attachments can be very quickly and strongly established by simply getting a person to interact with a product.

In the study, the subjects were asked to hold a coffee mug for just 10-30 seconds and then bid on it in an open auction. They knew the retail price of the mug before bidding. Those people who held the mug for 30 seconds consistently outbid those who held it for 10. In fact, 57% of the time they bid more than the retail price.

What’s going on here?

The more involved you get with a product, the more you feel like you own it. It’s part of the commitment and consistency principle of persuasion I teach in The 6 Secrets of Persuasion course (Sign up for free immediately below the end of this article). If you feel like the product is yours you will continue to behave like the product is yours and make decisions that lead you to actually own it.

Old school mail order folks did this all the time. Remember those record/tape/cd clubs that had you sticking labels on the order form for all the ‘free’ albums you wanted to get as part of your membership?

The physical act of scanning the pages of stamps to select the albums you wanted meant you had already made the decision (on some level) to accept the membership offer. You were, after all, picking out your selections and not pouring over the terms of the offer.

Even if you didn’t send in the order form for that particular mailing, the likelihood that you would accept a future offer went up every time you licked a stamp. (I joined a few of these clubs myself over the years.)

So, what does this have to do with Formula Five and the so-called ‘Free Line’?

Since the first StomperNet product launch, Andy Jenkins and company have talked about the concept of ‘moving the free line.’ This means you give away content that is as good or better than what your competition is selling. That freely shared content is a portion of the product they are promoting – and it’s not just something interesting to read. This content is specifically chosen as something you can put into action right away and experience results (just like the people who own the full product!)

The end result is that a huge percentage of the people who come in contact with these free promotional items will use them and begin to feel ownership over the full course. Then, they will find a way to actually own it.

So, how can you put this to work for you?

Look at the products you are promoting. Ask yourself a few questions. How can you get your prospects involved with your product before they buy? Can you provide a free sample that allows them to derive some benefit from your product before they buy? Can you provide a sample chapter or course module that involves them in your content and then leaves them waiting for the next step?

Creating a multi-step promotion (like a product launch) where you give prospects free content, let them use it, then contact them again and move them closer to the sale (maybe giving away a little more before trying to close the sale.)

This involvement strategy, and the rest of the psychological principles taught in The 6 Secrets of Persuasion course, can have a powerful impact on the conversion rates for your products.

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