Never Start With 0
Initial momentum, even if artificial, will get your users hooked and more likely to follow-through.
Hey there 👋 - Abhi here!
Today we're going to cover:
- the Endowed Progress Effect
- how brands like LinkedIn and Starbucks leverage this effect
- artificial starts, abstract measurements, and pre-built momentum
Estimated Reading Time = 4 minutes 12 seconds
My Pick Of The Week
Data is crucial. As long as you know what to make of it.
And with Fairing you can both collect date and drive decisions 10X faster.
Every company out there collects data. But only a few know how to leverage it.
With Fairing and its micro surveys, however, you can convert customers' traffic and transaction data into valuable insights:
- push all of it to your marketing stack for automated actions
- let the data make low-latency decisions for you and
- turn your research into execution - I love that!
And the latter is what "zero-party data" is all about.
Now to today's piece 🤝
The Endowed Progress Effect
Imagine you're given a loyalty card for a free car wash. You need 8 stamps to redeem it.
On the other hand, your friend has a card with 10 stamps. But 2 are already punched.
Based on my calculations: You both need 8 more stamps for that free car wash.
Who do you think is more likely to redeem it?
Sounds like a 50/50 shot to me.
But the research says otherwise...
Researchers Joseph C. Nunes and Xavier Dreze ran this same experiment at scale.
The result after 9 months:
- 19% of the customers with 0 stamps successfully added another 8
- 34% of the customers with 2 stamps successfully added another 8
My key takeaway: Initial momentum, even if artificial, will increase goal completion.
But how can we apply this to our businesses?
And how do companies like LinkedIn and Starbucks leverage this effect?
I'll break that down, along with a couple tactics for you, in the next segment ;)
Before that, though, here are 4 click-worthy marketing resources I found for you:
🧵 Over the last week, I put together a list of 11 psychological design triggers that will help you turn your landing pages into money-printing machines.
💡 From Microsoft overtaking Google to the death of traditional email newsletters, here's 7 marketing trends to stay on top of from the CMOs of Hubspot and Zapier.
⚒️ 1 hard-earned marketing insight. 3 visuals that'll explain marketing concepts and issues better than words ever could. All for free in Robert Katai's free newsletter.
🔊 AI will come and go, but banners are here forever. And with a tool like AdQuick, we can launch banner campaigns in as little as 48 hours. It's just too easy...
✍️ I'm launching a Copywriting Psychology Guide at the end of the quarter! And the sooner you get in, the lower the price. Sign up here, and I'll email you when it launches.
3 Tactics For You
1. Never Start Fresh
Whether it's artificial or not, never start with 0.
Your first step can look different depending on what you offer:
- when checking out of an e-commerce store, adding to cart is the first step
- when onboarding a new platform, picking your plan is the first step
- when reading a blog, picking an article is the first step
LinkedIn does a great job with this tactic. The progress bar always starts past 0:
Such a simple nudge. Still, several blogs - including Hubspot, Zapier, and, admittedly, my own - fail to implement it. I'm curious how far this nudge would increase completion:
2. Abstract Measurements
Further research on the medium of progress found that abstract measurements, like points or stars, work better than the volume of purchases.
So don't incentivize your users with a, "Buy 10 bottles for $10, and you'll get 1 free."
Try the Starbucks method instead:
When you purchase to complete a goal, it's seen as an investment.
When you purchase and get points, that's an additional benefit.
And we humans choose benefits over investments (almost) every time...
This goes back to the Sunk Cost Fallacy.
The more time and money we've invested, the more likely we are to keep going.
So if you want to keep leveraging the endowed progress effect:
- find an element that users have already spent their time or money on
- add an element of gamification
- and start the progress bar past 0
Starbucks does this by adding stars even when you use a gift card. So by the time you enter into your rewards program, you've already made some progress!
For you, this might include post-purchase surveys with a tool like Fairing and a subsequent reward system that strongly aligns with your users' desires.
That's all I got this Thursday!
1 marketing breakdown & 3 tactics to get you started. Hope it's helpful :)
ICYMI, last week we looked at Bumble's Nudge for Increased User Engagement.
A Review From A Fellow Marketing Psychologist...
So what did you think of today's newsletter?
I appreciate all your feedback and read every comment.
I look forward to reading all your feedback :)
See you next Thursday,
Abhishek "Still Not A Big Fan of Starbucks" Shah
My Snap of the Week: Point Lobos State Park
Views were great. Vibes were better. And the drinks - let's just say it wasn't coffee ;)