The Idea

Micro-commitments are reference in the book Influence: The Power of Persuasion. The basic psychology is that people:

  • Like taking small steps before big ones
  • Want to see themselves as consistent in their actions
  • Desire what they can’t have
  • Focus more on tough challenges

This goes a long way in understanding why email marketing “sequences” work or why salespeople want to get a lead into a meeting before a sale.

In general, each commitment presents some sort of reward that a customer can only attain once they’ve committed. From there the commitments are escalated and both trust and consistent behavior is established.

Example Commitments

  • Scheduling a call or meeting
  • Getting a potential customer to say “yes”
  • A free or paid trial period
  • Collecting an email or contact details
  • Pre-qualifying customers with a form
  • Ask for social “like” or “share”

Example Benefits

  • Educational content
  • Free stuff
  • Membership
  • Consultations
  • Contest participation
  • Points or credits


  • Ease: Doable
  • Cost: Free
  • Scope: Medium
  • Speed: Slow
  • Reach: Global