The Salty Truth About Personalization and Persuasion

Shaun H. Ruff


By Sheena McKinney, Business Operations & Marketing Assistant at Heinz Marketing

I’m super fascinated by how people tick, what motivates them, and how they work.

I always have been.

I also love words and language which is just one reason I got certified as a conversion copywriter last fall.

To enhance my skills, I recently read Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion (a gift from my copywriting mentor). So good.

In addition to persuasion and words, the visual aspect of messaging is also really interesting to me.

Think formatting (white space, bolding, italics, emojis, fonts, images, color, etc.).

💥💥💥 Formatting can really bring a message alive! 💥💥💥

The smallest changes to a phrase, image, or spacing can truly shift the buyer’s response and cause them to click away (leave) or click-away (KEEP clicking).

It reminds me how even a pinch or sprinkle of salt in cooking can make a BIG difference.

Loving the art and science of words, persuasion, and formatting naturally means I was eager to dive in to The 2022 Persado Customer Motivation Report which reveals insights from the last three years of AI-generated campaigns and communications for brands.

Based on data from 10K+ unique campaigns they analyzed the impact of:

  • Words
  • Formatting Styles
  • Phrases
  • (and other elements)

Their data highlights the language and approaches (including formatting) that resonated with consumers, and identifies when, where, and why that communication motivates buyers to engage and act.

The Persado platform combines natural language generation, machine learning, and experimental design – powered by the world’s largest language knowledgebase of millions of tagged and scored words and phrases – to transform words into growth levers for the business.

Here’s a bit of what I learned…

To really be effective with both personalization and persuasion, understanding and digging into motivation is key.

Tapping into the buyer’s motivation to act, buy, and convert can help deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time and in a personalized way.

And all the data out there supports the fact buyers want personalized experiences at every stage in the buyer’s journey.

Language plays a powerful part. According to the report, AI breaks down language into classifications, or “Motivators” to understand INTENT.

Some examples:

Context is also very important and central to successful messaging.

The motivators that matter of course change with context (including the season, phase of customer journey, channel, world events, etc.).

This, and the fact you must test and experiment, will never change regardless of how sophisticated AI becomes.

Plus, language with the same motivator can and will look different across industries.

So again, test, test, test.

Persado’s Takeaways for Marketing Leaders:


There’s both an art and science to effective messaging and copy that converts.

Thanks to intent data, including from AI, its even faster and easier to hyper-personalize and scale communications across channels and touchpoints to increase conversions— and revenue!

The art (the human element) will always be a necessary ingredient to bring to the table.

Just like adding salt to food, leveraging motivation turns out to be a great way to enhance flavor, increase satisfaction, and keep people coming back for more.


Watch out for a new resource on Intent Data coming soon from the Heinz Marketing team.  In the meantime, check out the related articles below.

For a great, free guide on conversion copywriting I can’t recommend this one highly enough.  Reach out to me at [email protected] to get my personal and professional take.


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