The Persuasion Report

By Mark Tosczak

Behavioral science for marketers TPR is a daily newsletter that provides marketing and persuasion insights based on research, data and case studies. Five mornings a week, in less than 5 minutes, you'll learn lessons based on behavioral science and evidence-based marketing and communications.

Behavioral science for marketers

TPR is a daily newsletter that provides marketing and persuasion insights based on research, data and case studies.

Five mornings a week, in less than 5 minutes, you'll learn lessons based on behavioral science and evidence-based marketing and communications.

By subscribing, you agree with Revue’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and understand that The Persuasion Report will receive your email address.

The Persuasion Report



TPR 5/21/21: How does "number of views" affect your message?

Does having more view on a video make the message more persuasive? You might think so. Perhaps more views signify an implicit endorsement, a form of social proof? Or perhaps it triggers the bandwagon effect, encouraging people to join in to support something?…


TPR 5/20/21: When brands go green and adopt social values

Brands are responding to consumer concerns about issues such as climate change and diversity.Surveys conducted by Mailchimp found that:44% of consumers say they care about the environment more than they did a year ago.8 in 10 consumers have made purchase deci…


TPR 5/19/21: Why texts for college success haven't scaled well

A decade ago, researchers demonstrated that text messages to prospective college students could increase the percentage who made it to college in the fall, rather than "melting" away in the summer — often due to obstacles such as a lack of financial resources…


TPR 5/18/21: Can you persuade burger lovers to drop the beef?

Makers of plant-based meat substitutes, such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, are rolling out their products at popular restaurants. But will consumers bite on plant-based alternatives to red meat, no matter how they taste?Two Penn State researchers wante…


TPR 5/17/21: Wait — doublespeak works?

Researchers at the University of Waterloo were interested in whether euphemisms, or doublespeak, lead to a more positive interpretation of what a speaker says, without opening up the speaker to accusations of dishonesty.They were interested in substitutions s…


TPR 5/14/21: How Robin Hood made stock trading alluring

The Robin Hood app is designed to make stock trading more alluring and exciting — like playing a game or posting to social media.This Bloomberg Businessweek article breaks down the features and UX choices that, some critics say, have made stock trading too ad…


TPR 5/13/21: What works to incentivize vaccines? It depends.

While tens of millions of Americans have gotten vaccinated against COVID-19, tens of millions have not. Researchers and public health authorities are trying to figure out how to motivate vaccine holdouts to take action.A UCLA survey of 7,249 people suggests a…


TPR 5/12/21: Post-pandemic workplaces (and leaders) need humor

There's little doubt the post-pandemic workplace will be different. It may combine virtual and in-person elements. And as offices reopen, no doubt there'll be lots of conversations about everything the last 12 months have brought us.Humor, experts say, is lik…


TPR 5/11/21: Will Clubhouse be another addictive social media app?

Clubhouse is a new social media app focused on audio interactions. You might think of it as a sort of throwback to pre-Internet call-in radio shows.Nir Eyal is the best-selling author of Hooked: How to Build-Habit Forming Products. In some circles, the book i…


Using persuasion principles to boost survey responses

The British government wanted to boost response rates to their surveys (because surveys are important tools for developing effective policy). Low response rates make those surveys less informative.Researchers used a 16-minute-long telephone survey that addres…


TPR 4/29/21: Feminine-sounding brand names perform better

How a brand name sounds can translate into substantial economic benefits, researchers say.The highest ranked companies on Interbrand's Global Top Brands list for the last 20 years have, on average, more feminine-sounding names than masculine-sounding names. T…


TPR 4/28/21: How a little advertising changes word-of-mouth

UCLA sociologist Gabriel Rossman says one of the primary conclusions of Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller The Tipping Point is wrong — or at least incomplete.The book claimed that by finding the most popular person in a network, you could quickly spread an idea. …


TPR 4/27/21: "Political tastebuds" and persuasion

Why do people have different political views? New York University social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explains that question with his moral foundations theory. The theory says humans have six foundations through which we view politics and policy:Care/HarmFairn…


TPR - 4/26/21: How context shapes decision making

From home purchases to jury decisions to medical diagnoses, context influences how we make decisions. Consider these factors described by Vanderbilt University cognitive scientist Jennifer Trueblood, whose research focuses on contextual factors in judgment an…


TPR #7: How Amazon reduces choice overload

Amazon sells thousands of products. And although shoppers say they like choices, the evidence shows that when there are too many choices people are less likely to buy. They're struck by choice overload. Amazon uses three techniques to reduce this overwhelm:Pr…


TPR #6: Sell more by portraying women accurate in ads

It really is that simple. A study from consultancy IRi found that ads that portrayed women and girls more accurately saw significant sales increases. The study used shopper, panel and store sales data, plus viewership information, to assess the impact of port…


TPR #5: How to get employees to pay attention to internal comms

Employees, especially at larger organizations, get too many messages from their companies. They end up ignoring most of it.How can you break through? According to a study of 3,000 employees in multiple industries, you need to communicate about topics they're …


TPR #4: How model eye gaze affects click-through rates

In ads, should models look directly at the viewer, the way a speaker would, or should they look away? According to research from a University of Houston marketing professor, it depends on the ad's purpose.The Wall Street Journal reports:Her research, to be pu…


TPR #3: Boost persuasion with the "question-behavior effect"

Looking to persuade an individual or audience that you know is defensive? Turns out the best approach is not always what you might have been taught in school — simply laying out the arguments and evidence in favor of your position.Instead, engaging those indi…


Financial decisions, hot ads and vaccination word choice

Adam Grant has a new book out about how we can all get better at changing our minds instead of clinging to outdated beliefs or incorrect facts.One insight from Prof. Grant and other researchers: You can get more people to agree if you "complexify" an issue by…