Human beings naturally perceive things in comparison to other things, which means everything we mentally process is a relative assessment. Perceptual contrast is an effective persuasion technique because a skillful copywriter can literally alter the way a prospective buyer perceives a product or service, even though theres been no actual change to the offer.

So how can you use it to boost your own sales?

Social psychologists have found that the relative amounts of information provided about two different offerings can influence how people feel about the second offer. In other words, when a small amount of information was revealed about Product A just before discussing Product B in detail, test subjects had a higher opinion of Product B than if Product A was also discussed at length or if there was no Product A at all.

For example, say you’re doing an affiliate promotion in an e-mail or Blog post. Rather than simply focusing on the product you’re specifically recommending, talk briefly about a competing product. You don’t have to trash talk the other product, you just have to mention it first and then go into an extensive review of the product you’re really trying to sell.