Giving Your Reader A Reason To Act

A Reason to Act, It’s the little things that drive action!

Little things can have a huge influence over a readers decision to act when it comes to content creation. If you give someone a really good excuse to do something they want to do, because it benefits THEM, it’s fascinating how often they will do it.

A study done by Robert Cialdini from Arizona State University showed that giving subjects a reason to do something the researchers ask them to do instead of just telling them what to do as an instruction, increased the participants willingness to do the task tenfold.

The Experiment:

Researchers examined the donation process of the American Cancer Society, and how they changed the way they asked for donations. One change delivered drastically different results.

As part of the experiment, they sent donation collectors door to door with very slight differences to the requests for a donation.
The first request was worded as follows: “Would you be willing to help by giving a donation?”
The second version was worded as follows: “Would you be willing to help by giving a donation, every penny will help.”

The difference seems negligible, doesn’t it?

The results revealed that people were twice as likely to donate with that extra reason stated at the end. 28% to 50%. In marketing terms that is huge!

Firstly this change gave subjects a number to work with, pennies. Pennies are generally loose change and everyone is usually happy to get rid of them. Secondly, you are giving them a reason to feel good because every penny will help.

The real clincher is that both “phrases” got roughly the same amount of money per donation. Since they doubled the amount of donations received, they had a 100% increase in the total donation amount collected for the same period, and same number of people canvased.

We would all like our businesses to start racking in 100% more revenue based solely on the presentation of the product or service offered right?

This example is just one of the many the university conducted. Other experiments included some humorous and outright ridiculous requests by subjects jumping queues, or waiting to use the copier in an office. They got away with all kinds of otherwise socially frowned upon public etiquette, by a simple change in the way they asked for something.

There is another lesson to be learned here, and that is the other end of the spectrum to why people say yes…and that is why someone says “no” to something. Content writing is equally about helping someone past their no’s, their legitimate and justifiable hesitations for buying when considering something online.

People go through a whole range of conscious and (more importantly) sub-conscious processes when they are researching or shopping for something online. Your job as a content writer is to help them through those processes, and blocks, so they feel informed, comfortable – satisfied – enough to buy.

If someone doesn’t buy from you online, it’s pretty much for three reasons which we talk about in our $4 per week Ultimate Digital Marketing Traffic & Conversion Course and in our book Copywriting Essentials For Content Marketing which you can get for FREE when you join our newsletter (see below).