Editor’s Note: This article was first published by Inc. here.
To be a successful company, you need to be able to answer two questions:
Why now? And why you?
What’s more, you need to appeal to all types of decision-makers when answering those questions, and, typically, you need to communicate the answer with something as limiting as a webpage or a short email.
Put another way, you’re answering why people should start using your platform, solution, or product now, and why they should choose you over every other competitor.
If you do this effectively, you’ll get multiple psychological biases to work in the same direction. Vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Charlie Munger calls this the “lollapalooza effect.”
In a speech he gave in 1995 to Harvard Law School, Munger discussed standard causes of human misjudgment – including a variety of biases that humans hold. He then asked:
“What happens when these standard psychological tendencies combine? What happens when the situation, or the artful manipulation of man, causes several of these tendencies to operate on a person toward the same end at the same time? The clear answer is the combination greatly increases power to change behavior, compared to the power of merely one tendency acting alone.”
That said, there are four categories of decision-makers that people fall into: practical, action-oriented, social, and emotional. To appeal to each in an email or a webpage, here’s what you need to do.
These folks respond to logic, they can’t be pressured, and they make rational decisions. To appeal to these thinkers, use pricing comparisons, product specifications, and FAQ sections. You can’t force this person to make a decision – but you can give them time and a way to come back later.
These thinkers respond to scarcity and to time running out, and they make quick decisions. Make your website or email copy easy to read and add multiple calls to action. Talk about scarcity or that time is running out and give them a way to buy and use your product immediately. Have a clear call to action like “download now” or “buy now.”
Social decision-makers respond to social proof, they follow what others are doing, and they don’t want to be left out. Their decisions are based on what other people might think – how many other people are doing it. So, show them results for a customer or the product and display it with screenshots and testimonials, media highlights, community ratings, or social media posts.
Finally, emotional decision-makers respond to photos of people and they like talking with someone before they come to a conclusion. Use badges and money-back guarantees, and give them a way, like a chatbot, to reach out. Make sure that you look professional and trustworthy, and show why they should feel comfortable with you.
At my company, Drift, when choosing between doing one thing or another, we often say, “Do both.” But if you really want to succeed, think about all four of the above.
That’s how you’ll win.