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Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2009 at 5:13 am

Which of the Three Layers of “Fogg” Are You Stuck In?

By Melissa Burdon
March 24th, 2009

Throughout my career as a conversion analyst, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a large variety of clients in a variety of industries, and in very different circumstances. Some may be getting a large amount of traffic, but having a really difficult time converting their visitors due to a lack of branding or a lack of scent on their site. Others might be getting very low traffic, while some others might have a hard time converting early and middle stage visitors with micro conversion points.

After reading this article about the “Fogg Behavior Model”, I began thinking about all of these different scenarios for all my different clients. For each one of my clients, I can pinpoint which of the three elements in the Fogg Behavior Model is their weakest.

“The Fogg Behavior Model shows that three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing.”

In applying his model, BJ Fogg of Stanford, recommends that you work backwards to determine whether you’re successfully meeting these three requirements.

First, what is the trigger for getting visitors to you? What is the offer you’re selling them through your CPC? What are the trigger words you’re using in your radio ads to get them to come ot your site or pick up the phone?

Next, ask yourself if the visitor has the ability to take the action you want them to take? Do they have the budget? Are they technically savvy enough to browse your site and/or use your tools? Are they located in a geographic area that you ship to? Does the visitor have the time to browse your site?

Finally, are you effectively motivating visitors? Are you answering the questions that they have to help them move forward? Are you presenting them with attractive offers?

The “Motivating” element is where I spend a lot of my time helping my clients. In order to determine whether our clients are effectively motivating their visitors on their web sites, we ask the following three questions Persuasion Architecture is based on;
1)    What action do you want the visitor to take?
2)    Who are your visitors?
3)    What do these visitors need in order to feel comfortable taking the action?

Do you need help getting your visitors out of the Fogg?

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Comments (8)

  1. Good article, thanks.

  2. Don’t forget the trigger part of the website. As I write in my book Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?, research shows that most human decision-making and behavior (including on websites) is unconscious.

  3. I would add to this perspective the concept of “blocks” on the psychological/behavioral side, which could be equated to “objections” on the site/conversion side:

    You must answer/defuse the prospects objections, including basic procedural ones about overly complex, confusing, or lengthy forms on shopping carts, cart steps, etc.

  4. [...] Which of the Three Layers of “Fogg” Are You Stuck In? – Motivation, Ability, and Trigger get your visitors out of the Fogg. Can you? [...]

  5. [...] Which of the Three Layers of “Fogg” Are You Stuck In? – Motivation, Ability, and Trigger get your visitors out of the Fogg. Can you? [...]

  6. Thanks for this article. It’s interesting to hear how you apply this model to your work. I’m a bit late off the mark, but have written a very quick post about the Fogg Behavior Model in the context of other behavior models and theories of change. It’s not in relation to internet traffic, but if your other readers are interested, they can find it here:

  7. Motivating the user to do something is a tough one. There is also short term motivation and long term motivation. The easiest short term motivation is to throw money to convert the user, but it would be pretty bad ROI.

  8. Great article.

    Thank you very much.

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

More articles from Melissa Burdon

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