Cardinal Path’s response to COVID-19 Cardinal Path is sharing all we know to help marketers during COVID-19.  Learn more.

I recently recommended Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion as the best-ever book on persuasion techniques. And I stand by that recommendation. It’s a remarkably rich and insightful book.

But at 280 densely-packed pages, many will find it overwhelming. Those with busy schedules (which doubtless includes most readers of this blog) just won’t have the time to finish it.

What’s a more approachable option? What’s a quick and easy — yet highly informative — read for the busy practitioner?

For my money, it’s another Cialdini effort, Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive.

Co-written by Noah Goldstein and Steve J Martin, this thought-provoking book takes 60 years of research on persuasion, and distills it into a short and breezy read.

The authors argue that persuasion is largely science, rather than art. As such, there are certain principles — often counterintuitive — that can be applied with predictable results.

The book then breaks into 50 short, totally independent chapters. Typically 3-5 pages each, chapters include:

  • A brief teaser, or introduction to the topic
  • A review of a relevant study
  • Suggestions: how you could, ethically, put the principle to use

It’s a fun read. Chapters cover topics like:

  • What one word can increase persuasiveness by 50%?
  • How do you create lasting commitments?
  • Which item of stationery can dramatically increase people’s responses to your requests?
  • How can you win over your rivals by inconveniencing them?
  • Why does knowing that so many dentists are named Dennis improve your persuasive prowess?
  • Does fear persuade or does it paralyze?
  • Why did sales of jam multiply tenfold when consumers were offered many fewer flavors?
  • What’s the hidden danger of being the brightest person in the room?

Yes! is useful for both social and business situations. And since it’s divided into such easily-digestible chunks, it’s the ideal book to keep on your desk and pick up whenever you have a few minutes to spare. Highly recommended.


State of Digital Marketing Analytics

The 2020 State of Digital Marketing Analytics examines the marketing technology that supports the world's most successful enterprises and highlights the challenges and strategies for navigating the new normal..