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Monday, May. 22, 2006 at 10:03 am

Probability and Persuasion

By Dave Young
May 22nd, 2006

Einstein1 Here’s a partial case study for Persuasion Architecture. It has a "before" scenario, but I’ll leave out the after. The numbers are real, the company is real. The name of the company has been changed to protect the blind.

Company B sells one product (just one) through their web site. They are driving traffic to their site via targeted network radio. Virtually ALL of their traffic is coming directly as a result of this offline radio campaign. These visitors heard about the product, entered the url directly and have come to the site seeking more information. (Don’t you wish all of your traffic was this motivated?) Not surprisingly, Company B does quite a bit better than the industry average of 2.6% conversion. Yes, they convert around 4% of their traffic and they’re making money. A 4% conversion rate pays the bills (including close to $100k/month on radio) and puts some money in the owners’ pockets as well. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that each percentage increase in conversion would be worth nearly 6 figures of additional income.

Now, let’s apply some Persuasion Architecture Probability Analysis Sooper Dooper Number Crunching.

FACT 1. The probability of a visitor buying the product is 24:1 Against. (4% conversion rate).

FACT 2. If I owned a brick and mortar store and I only stocked ONE simple, inexpensive product, and 24 out of 25 potential customers (who came to my store because they already knew what they wanted) left empty handed, I would be mathematically proven to be a poor shopkeeper. AND, the ONE person who managed to buy, was probably desperate and made the purchase in spite of my worst efforts.

OK, FACT 2 is laden with opinion and isn’t much of a fact. I’ll try to be more factual from here on out.

Here’s the Persuasion Architecture Persona Probability based on the Keirsey Temperament sorter statistics: The estimated distribution of temperaments of US general population are 40-45% Guardian (we Persuasion Architects call them Methodicals), 35-40% Artisan (Spontaneous), 5-10% Idealist (Humanistic), 5-10% Rational (Competitive).

Let’s assume that the visitors to Company B’s web site are a normal cross-section of the general population. We have no reason to believe otherwise without analyzing the radio campaign.

Looking at the same visitors through the lens of a Personality Temperament Sorter tells us that these visitors are NOT all alike. In fact, if Company B were to redesign their site to speak directly to the desires of just the two biggest groups, I think we could throw away the math. If 25 Methodicals came to the site and found that the designers and writers had anticipated their every need and answered their many questions in the logical and linear manner that they prefer, there’s no doubt in my mind that quite a few more than ONE would buy the product. Math and probability be damned…I know they would sell to more of these people!

What if we did the same thing for the Spontaneous folks? Made it easy for them to get in, pay, download, install and go on their merry way in search of their next experience? Do you think more than 1 in 25 would buy? Me too.

That accounts for up to 85% of the population and we still have some other types of people out there who would like us to accommodate their needs as well. No problem.

This is what Persuasion Architecture does. The biggest misunderstanding people have is when they see PA as a technological solution when it’s really a psychological solution.

What’s the math now? No way to know for sure, because Company B can still drop the ball in quite a few ways, but I’ll bet you a new Vault Zero that the conversion rate would be higher than 4%. What do you think?

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Comments (2)

  1. Your guide to all kinds of Lounge Chair Cushions.

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    Your guide to all kinds of Lounge Chair Cushions.

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