What Makes Attraction Marketing Work?

Attraction marketing is a phrase that is thrown around way too much to the point of it becoming cliche. Cliche is defined as trite, obvious, overused, and lacking originality and freshness.

Despite all this, it’s a powerful concept at work for many top marketers. You can use this principle to generate more leads, more traffic, and more sales. Today I want to explain a psychological principle to help you understand his attraction marketing works. The principle at hand is ‘reciprocation’. Have you heard of this term?

Robert Cialdini in his best seller, “The Psychology of Influence”, dedicated 19 pages to this principle. I will be using some of the examples and stories that he shares to bring this all together. The premise behind this idea is that we try to repay others for the things that they do for us. Let’s use a couple of examples to illustrate this point.

Example #1 – Hare Krishna Society

What Makes Attraction Marketing Work

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This group is characterized by shaved heads, robes, beads, bells, and leg wrappings. The American public didn’t really favor this organization, let alone donate to their cause. The leadership of the HKS took the reciprocation principle and created a strategy for scooping more donations.

What did they do?

They would go to public places where there’d be lots of people, like airports. Rather than just straight up asking for donations, they would give a person a gift (usually one of their scriptural texts or a flower). People would usually refuse the gift, but the Krishnas would respond by saying something like, “No, this is our gift to you”. At this very moment, they would ask for a donation.

What was the result of this ‘benefactor before beggar’ strategy? They obtained significant funds to fund the growth of businesses, houses, property, and the construction of temples.

Example #2 – eBook/email list

Building an email list works on this very same idea. Nobody will give you their email address if they aren’t getting anything in return. The same applies if you’re running a solo ad promotion. You build your email list by giving a prospective list member a free giveaway of some sort.

What does John Chow giveaway? He gives away his free eBook entitled, “The Ultimate Blog Profit Model”. Have you read it yet? It’s full of all the tricks he uses to monetize his blog.

Example #3 – Couples date

A while ago, my wife and I were invited to a games night with another couple that we really didn’t like. We decided to go anyways to be nice. Surprisingly, we had fun. What do you think happened the following month? We invited them over to a games night at our apartment. The law of reciprocation came into play even though we didn’t really like them. We had to return the favor.

Example #4 – Gift card

My wife experienced this principle twice recently. She was invited to the bridal shower of someone she didn’t like and didn’t go. When it came time for my wife to have her bridal shower, she invited the girl to come. She not only came, but also brought a gift. My wife felt bad so she went out of her way to send her a thank you card that included a gift card.


The law of reciprocation is evident when you’re looking for it. It seems to be hardwired into our being. You can use this law to attract more traffic, leads and sales for your business. This very law is what makes attraction marketing work. You attract when you offer value and give someone a ‘gift’ of some sort.

Have you witnessed the law of reciprocation in your business and personal life?

10 thoughts on “What Makes Attraction Marketing Work?”

  1. I. C. Daniel says:

    Favor exchange also works in marketing. Kind regards!

  2. Jeff Trapp says:

    The law of reciprocation is very real. People don’t care until you show how much you care. Thanks for the tips today.

  3. The “you reap what you sow” idea has been around forever for a reason. Like that you are reminding us to use this idea across the board. Thanks, John.

  4. Susan Velez says:

    I think that the law of reciprocation works great. If you show someone that you care then they will most likely start to like you and trust you.

    People want to know that you actually care about them before they will do any type of business with you.

  5. ugo says:

    By going up to people and giving them gifts you are not ‘attracting’ anyone in the true sense of the word.

  6. faisal says:

    It has always worked but people never used it well.

  7. Mi Muba says:

    This is an old saying that love begets (attracts) love. But in marketing sometimes you have to give love in return of hate but ultimately you get more love. Your “Gift Card” point is its ample proof. So in market you need to think quite differently and behave like a reformer to pardon all, forget the excesses of others and always be ready to make a new beginning. Either you have or not but you have have to show as if you have a big heart where there is lot of love for all and there is no room for hate to any one.

  8. Jawbone Up says:

    Good say. Sales and marketing all go back to … attraction. Firstly, you are attracted by the marketing, such as articles, posters, ads, etc …

    After that, it’s all recommending .. still go back to … attraction.

  9. Joanne says:

    Reciprocity is very common until now. It is somehow effective as a marketing strategy. Clients need to feel that they are important, cared for, and loved; and in return, they will show the marketers the same affection (as what you’ve pointed out in example numbers 2 & 3).

    I’m just wondering, could it be possible the client might do business with the marketer, not because of the quality of the product/service, but because he’s just obligated to give back the favor shown by the marketer? It’s only a concern, though.

    Anyway, it’s up to the clients’ decision on what to consider.

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social bookmarking and networking site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

  10. Corey Savage says:

    It’s the whole “give something to get something” concept. Consumers are looking for the best deals today. If you are providing them with an attractive offer, something better than your competition, it’s a way to get noticed and make the sale.

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