7 Confidential Persuasion Techniques to Convince Anyone to do Anything

Friends, in 1997 Marshall Applewhite convinced 39 people to kill themselves in order to become immortal. Meanwhile beginner Copywriters struggle with converting clients.

7 Confidential Persuasion Techniques to Convince Anyone to do Anything

thread by MERCVRE | Copy Chief
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You know me by now. I love spilling the beans for free and delivering pure unadulterated value.

But be warned: this thread is 80 tweets long. So skimming through it is useless.

Either read it in full while taking notes… Or don’t read it at all.

There: I’ve saved you 20 minutes.

Now I’ve long wondered whether to reveal these techniques. Because as innocuous as they seem… They’re powerful. Like a key to your prospect’s brain… They hardwire him to do your bidding.

But since I want to help kickstart your career and make you achieve financial freedom… I’ll reveal them to you under 1 condition. Do NOT use them for evil.

Because as you’ll see these techniques often work TOO well.

They can help you seduce anyone and fast track you to master copywriter but if your product’s terrible and your intentions sinister they will have disastrous effects.

This is why terrorists and cult leaders like...

  • Osama Bin Laden…
  • Jim Jones…
  • Charles Manson…
  • David Koresh…
  • Marshall Applewhite…

… all used them. Because they’re the only way to make people act whether it’s in their best interest or not.

See… People don’t like to do what they’re told. They hate being sold to. They resist Persuasion even if it’s in their best interest.

The techniques you’re going to learn today to bypass this defense mechanism.

They make your prospect believe he’s in control when you’re actually the one steering the ship. This is why you need to use them for Good only.

Ok? So let’s dive in.

Confidential Persuasion Technique #1: Make them Feel Special

Do you remember pretending to be a superhero when you were a child? The protagonist of a romance or adventure novel? The main character in a music clip?

Humans have the deep need of being the main character of their own lives. And who can blame us!

  • We are social animals.
  • We thrive when we’re noticed.
  • When we’re desired.
  • When we’re special.

As a copywriter you need to act on this. Because to persuade someone you have to fulfill their desire to be unique. Cult leaders, conmen, and terrorists know this.

Imagine you’re in a bad place in your life.

  • Partner left you.
  • No job.
  • Broke.
  • You cannot stand your own reflection in the mirror.

To you? You’re worthless.

But then comes someone. A friend. He tells you you’ve got a rare set of qualities. Traits that differentiate you from the rest. Strengths that make you special.

You listen to what he says in disbelief.

But he goes on… His eyes looking right at you. You blush, look away, but can’t contain a smile. He tells you that you’ve got a mission. A purpose. That everything you dream of you can have.

Wouldn’t you want to listen to this friend? Wouldn’t you want to hear him out at least?

“But does he really mean it?” I hear you say. That’s irrelevant. People love the company of those who validate their worth. No matter whether the feeling is genuine or fake. This is just how the mind works.

I’ll be clear: Persuasion is not about Truth. It’s even less about being Right.

Persuasion is about making people feel good. Make them feel good and they will follow you to the ends of the Earth.

So here’s what you can do in your copy.

First explain your prospect’s problem. Then show a positive outcome for them. Explain the specific role your prospect will play. The transformation they could experience.

Now emphasize the importance of their role. Make them feel needed. By you, their family, friends, or social group. Show them they’re important but don’t sugar coat it… Explain how it’ll take efforts for them to achieve the goal.

If you’ve done your job your prospect will feel empowered and needed. They will trust and like you. And if your product is good and your offer irresistible they’ll throw money at you.

Confidential Persuasion Technique #2: Give them Hope

Cult leaders, terrorists, and conmen target vulnerable people. People stuck in a rough patch. HOPELESS people.

How do they make themselves adored? By bringing back Hope.

How? 3 ways.

First find out what frustrates your prospects. The problem they’re seeking to resolve. Identify their main “pain point”. Show them you understand exactly what hurts.

Then put yourself at their level. Be relatable. Share you story. Tell them you’re just like them. This will make them trust you.

And finally… Establish your credibility. Tell them you’ve found out the real reason behind their problem. Show them how this solution changed your life. And got YOU to the dream outcome.

This works because… People follow those who know what they don’t. Those who have it figured out.

Here’s an example.

Picture yourself with a problem you cannot resolve. A mysterious illness baffling doctors. One day you meet someone at the grocery store. They look at you and whisper: “Sorry to bother… But are you ill?”

They tell to you how they recognize your symptoms… How they’ve suffered from the same condition… Before finding a cure themselves.

What would you do? Would you not listen to this complete stranger? Ask him tons of questions? Ask them to meet again?

People will go to great lengths for those who solve their problems. Even when the solution is mysterious or dodgy.

What drives them? Hope.

Confidential Persuasion Technique #3: Give them a Common Enemy

First you’ve made them feel needed. Then you gave them Hope. Now you could stop right here: that’s better than 90% of the copy out there. Or you could go a step further.

Cults and gangs revolve around one thing: existing against society. A cult cannot coexist in harmony with the rest of the world. They need enemies. Outsiders.

  • Rev. Jim Jones used to tell his followers that CIA agents were out to get them if they ever defected from the cult.
  • David Koresh warned his following about the Babylonians out to destroy their Davidian society.
  • Manson’s warned against a race war and a takeover of society.

Now don’t get me wrong… Cults did not invent scapegoating. They just knew its powers and used it for evil. You can use it for GOOD.


By shifting the guilt from your prospect to someone or something else. Can be certain groups of people (Gvts, Wall Street, Big Pharma…) But ideas work too.

For instance:

If you’re not sleeping well this is NOT your fault. It’s not what you eat. It’s not your habits. – It’s your screen’s blue light.

See what I did there?

I just made my reader feel better about himself. And shifted the guilt onto something else. Now my reader feels better and has a new solution to their problem. All of this while staying ethical!

Confidential Persuasion Technique #4: Give them Attention

Now that you’ve read #1, #2 and #3 this one seems obvious. But still. You need to know this. Most people are living what I call of Crisis of Attention.

Try this one day:

  • turn off your phone and computer
  • spend the day offline and alone
  • at the end of the day see how many missed calls, messages or texts you’ve received.

Now you’re probably quite popular… But for most people the number is 0 or 1.

Truth is: without the internet people are alone.

Without a constant online presence they lack a very core need. Attention. Being understood. Being accepted as they are.

Rowdy teenagers. Twitter micro-influencers. Politicians. Your psycho ex. They all thrive on attention. And without it they’re powerless.

To persuade someone… Satisfy this very need. Give them all your attention. Make it ALL about them. In copywriting this means for instance anticipating their thoughts.

One of Heaven’s Gate followers once recalled:

When Marshall Applewhite spoke, questions would come to mind as I would think the question, he would state the very question I was thinking... When this occurred, I felt as if I were in a tunnel with him at one end and me at the other. And although I sat in the back of a packed auditorium, it was as if no one else were there.

In your copy, speak directly to your reader and say…

“Now you’re probably thinking…”

“You may wonder why…”

And answer their exact question.

If you’ve done your research work… You will know exactly what they’re asking themselves at this point. And this will create something magical.

See by giving attention to your reader… You will capture theirs… And guide them wherever you need them to go.

Here? The sale.

Confidential Persuasion Technique #5: Teach them Forbidden Knowledge

To turn his followers into murderers Charles Manson came up with the Helter Skelter prophecy.

Manson believed that the song by the Beatles contained a hidden message… That at some point in the United States would know a chaotic race war. And that Manson and his followers were chosen to lead the new revolution.

Of course this is nuts. But it worked like a charm.

How? Because by claiming he possessed forbidden knowledge – knowledge received directly from God – Manson gathered tremendous influence on his followers.

So much in fact that they killed several people to fulfill the prophecy. Yes, promising to reveal secret information works. Hell… You’re reading this thread!

Don’t be fooled: this technique is well known…

So it doesn’t suffice to say:

“X secrets to become rich.”

That’s artificial and weak. To be credible you must justify the secrecy.

  • What makes your knowledge secret and valuable?
  • Did you receive it from a mysterious figure in a dark alleyway?
  • Did you inherit it from your dying uncle?
  • Have you discovered it in a dusty grimoire?

Come up with great stories!

Confidential Persuasion Technique #6: Make them in Charge

This one is probably one of the most important confidential techniques cult leaders use to gain power over their followers. And only a handful of people truly understand it.


Whenever I talk about cults with friends and family… They believe that members were “forced” to join and “forced” to stay… When it’s actually the opposite.

Understand this: the power of a cult is that nobody is forced to join it.

Every member is there on their own accord. They’ve just been influenced to think it’s what they truly want.

That’s the power of technique #6: Cults make people in charge of their own lives.

Remember when you were a teen… Did you have dodgy friends your parents warned you about? I know I did.

On one hand I had my parents telling me to stop seeing them. And one the others, my cool friends who told me I was old enough to make my own decisions to hang out with them or not. You bet I didn’t stop seeing them!

Why? Because those people let me in charge of my own life when my parents wanted control.

Persuasion is the opposite of force. When you force people they tend to resist. This the fundamental problem people have with authority.

Meanwhile strong copy lets its reader completely in charge. It even uses anti-selling techniques to drive the point home.

Things like:

  • “This program is not for everybody.”
  • “You’re free not to take this offer”
  • “Only join if you’re ready to put up the work”

And if you’re super sharp… You remember that’s exactly what I’ve done in my second tweet. I let you know this thread was going to be demanding and that you were reading it voluntarily!

This is one reason why ...

  • clicking links…
  • opt-in pages…
  • answering an email…

… in order to get a freebie makes people more likely to buy from you afterwards. Micro-commitment.

Remember this: no reader wants to be infantilized. That is taken for a fool.

Treat them like adults capable of making their own decisions. Not only is it the ethical thing to do it’s also the most persuasive.

Confidential Persuasion Technique #7: Make them Right

Persuasion is like rope-walking. You only fall once. This is why rope-walkers have a secret. Don’t think about the drop.

With Persuasion the drop is yourself. When you write your copy...

  • Forget you exist.
  • Do not think about what YOU want. About how YOU want others to see you…
  • Do not think about being right.
  • Do not think about telling the truth.

Instead think about the person at the other end of the keyboard. Focus all of your attention on THEM.

This means…

  • Becoming them.
  • Thinking just like them.
  • Adopting their beliefs.
  • And feeling what they feel.

Now what they feel and think is right. What they don’t feel or think is wrong.

Do not criticize their beliefs. Do not tell them they made the wrong choice. Do not ridicule their opinion.

You know the saying… it's better to be rich than right.

So ...

  • encourage their dreams…
  • justify their failures…
  • allay their fears…
  • and confirm their suspicions.

All of these techniques will serve you in copy, on sales calls, in business meetings, in seduction and in your relationships with friends and family.

Remember them. Use them. Master them. And you will see your relationships multiply and your success grow. Because you only become successful when you LISTENVALIDATEJUSTIFY… and UNDERSTAND others.

Now think about all the other marketers and copywriters on Twitter.

Do you believe they would benefit from reading this thread? Maybe they’re in a difficult position and they need help.

If you think so, retweet the Tweet below so they can read the whole thread.

This will take you 3 seconds but may improve a few people’s day. And thus boost up you karma instantaneously.

I’m @MercureCopy and I reveal my secrets daily. Take care friend!

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