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The 7 Secrets Of Persuasion by James C. Crimmins, PhD. has it all. Well, almost all. Crimmins steps through all the rules, or “secrets,” of persuading your target audience. It turns out the one big overarching secret is to use emotion, not facts. But what he doesn’t quite do is step through the process of putting together your very own persuasive marketing message.

We’re going to put together a marketing message, one almost any business would use. Then we’re going to tear it apart, and rebuild it using those 7 secrets.

Let’s think about our initial message. We want to tell people something positive about our business – our services, our products. Then we want them to reach out and contact us, maybe put themselves on our email list.

Now, I’m going to explain it slightly differently. We want to persuade our target audience. First, we want to persuade them to listen to our message. Then, we want to persuade them that we have a solution to their problem or situation. Finally, we’re going to persuade them that they need to be on our contact list.

The first explanation will give us one message. The second explanation will give us an entirely different one.

Let’s put together a short marketing message for a sample company. Before you start yelling, “It’s not what my business does,” please realize that you can substitute the names, features and benefits of your business for those in this generic message, and 99 times out of a hundred, the resulting message will sound perfectly fine. Obviously I’m putting this in written form, but you could also use it as a script for an audio or video message as well. Let’s take a look at our sample message.


At CleanCo, we use the Steam-o-mat 5000 to clean both residential and commercial carpet installations. When you hire us, you get:

A team with over 25 years of combined experience

Organic cleaning solutions which leave no harmful residue

A system that draws the most dirt, and the most moisture, out of the carpets we clean

A 3-month guarantee – we’ll clean any minor stain on the area we serviced free of charge

When it’s mission-critical you get your carpets cleaned fast, and cleaned well, call CleanCo. For more information and a coupon for 10% off, please visit our website.


Company name mentions at bottom and top


Call to action


Two calls to action, both weak

No hard time limit or deadline

All fact, no emotion

Two target markets (residential and commercial)

Fake professional language – “mission-critical”

No testimonials

Now let’s take the guts of this message, and use two different emotions to frame the message. We’re going to use as many of Crimmins’ 7 Secrets as we can in crafting each message. Please note: just because we’re not mentioning the features and benefits of our service in the following messages, doesn’t mean they don’t still apply. Since people buy with emotion and justify with reason, having those benefits is still applicable.


Pet feces. Toxic chemicals. Insect larvae waiting to infect your skin and lungs. Don’t let your carpets make your employees and visitors sick. Keep your costs down by keeping workers healthy and clean your carpets every quarter. Steam cleaning isn’t just for making your carpets pretty – you’re improving the health of your visitors, your employees, and yourself! You will enjoy a healthier workplace. You will literally breathe better every day. Call CleanCo now to schedule a visit from our expert team this week.


6 out of seven secrets (if we add a picture or mood music)

Ends with a strong call to action & deadline


No Secret #4 – Unearth info

Picture you add may not be “art” (Secret #7)


The design of your workplace is beautiful. You and your employees enjoy working here. But building a work environment is just the first step. Keep the quality of life, and real estate value, high by cleaning the carpets this quarter. You want to provide a clean, healthy work environment for yourself and your employees. Start from the ground up by calling CleanCo today. Feel healthier and happier, breathe easier, with a clean carpet under your feet. Your visitors, your employees – you will have a better work day! What’s your biggest reason for NOT steam cleaning more often? We want to know! Call now to tell us, and to schedule a visit from our expert team this week.


All 7 Secrets (with picture or music)


Still no testimonials

Your task now is to take the examples above and craft your own emotional message, aimed squarely at the gut of your target market!


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