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The Art of Ethical Persuasion • White Hat Crew
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How Do Customers Decide to Buy?

You've heard it said that people decide with emotion and then justify with logic. So your marketing copy should appeal to emotions first, and then once someone has all but decided to buy, give them logical reasons to feel good about their decision.

If that explanation makes you feel dirty as a marketer, keep reading...because...
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Are Business Ethics Profitable?

Last July, I posted an article, inspired by Seth Godin, entitled Do Only Cheaters Prosper? Something one of my Twitter followers, Robert Medak, wrote recently brought the question back to mind yesterday. He said:

Treating customers ethically and honestly is good for your bottom line, customer retention, and word of mouth advertising.

What you are...
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Before we get to internet marketing, let's talk about the "Stupid Tax". According to the Urban Dictionary, it's:

The cost associated with engaging in any state sanctioned form of long odds gambling, i.e. playing the lottery.

Why "Stupid Tax"? As I wrote back in July:

I once calculated that winning the lottery is about like...
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I'd like to hear your opinion on what I'm going to talk about today. Do you think this technique is ethical?

Over at Persuasion Theory this morning, Matt Fox wrote:

In research, students went door-to-door selling note cards for charity. In the some households they said a packet of 8 cards was "three dollars; it's...
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This morning, my wife was watching the movie "Season of the Witch". Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman were fighting in the Crusades. With each stroke of their swords, their enemies fell dead.

The inconvenient truth that nearly all movie makers ignore is that people don't die instantly when cut or stabbed. In real life, if...
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It's well known that customers are more likely to buy if they believe that the product they're considering is scarce. Scarcity increases the perceived value of the product and prevents people from procrastinating their buying decision (which often leads to forgetting or changing their mind).

The internet marketing industry is infamous for the unethical use...
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ClickBank has posted a new set of rules for vendors to rein in some of the unethical practices that their marketplace is famous for. Given that it's been nearly 4 months since they started talking tough about certain practices that are still rampant, it may not be time to declare victory yet. But we can...
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When you were a kid playing a game and somebody cheated, you may have repeated the saying you'd been told: "cheaters never prosper." If you were the cheater, you may have been thinking to yourself, "not this time, but what about all the times you didn't catch me!"

In the past two days, I've seen...
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Last month, I wrote a post about the need for internet marketing teachers to emphasize ethics in their training. At the end, I said I'd be adding a statement on ethics here.

It's taken a bit of work to get it just the way I want it, but I've finally finished hammering it out. Please...
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Yesterday, I talked about the difference between persuasion and manipulation. Today, let's talk about the difference between persuasion and coercion.

Coercion is defined as forcing someone to do something against their will. But where is the line between forcing someone to act against their will and persuading them to do something they'd rather not? In...
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Get to Know Us

White Hat Crew Hi. I'm Antone Roundy. I'm a strong believer in ethics, and have always tried to practice and promote ethical behavior in an industry where many slip over to the dark side. At White Hat Crew, I'll share insights into internet marketing, with extra emphasis on ethical issues.

Read my Internet Marketing Ethics Manifesto

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Riffs on a Purple Cow

Riffs on a Purple Cow is a Kindle eBook containing collection of articles I wrote, inspired by Seth Godin. Download your copy from Amazon.com.

It's also a demonstration of the blogging and business method outlined in my eBook, "How to Build and Operate an SEO Content Factory", which you can download for free in either of these formats:

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Tools I Use to Blog and Podcast

Here's a list of all the tools I use to publish this blog and podcast, and an outline of the process that makes it easier than you might think.