Sunday, 27 October 2013

Which has more impact: 'Donate now' or 'Be a donor'?

Change your button from 'Donate now' to 'Be a donor' and get more donations to your charity.

And if you want more people to join your organisation, ditch the 'Join now' button in favour of 'Be a member'.

"Make these changes and it's much more likely to lead to action," says behavioural psychologist Susan Weinschenk, aka the Brain Lady, who works in the area of design and user experience.

Why does this simple formula work? Because saying 'Be a donor' makes us feel like we belong to a group. And we all want to belong to a group.

I'm a chocolate lover

"We all have a strong urge to be part of a group. We really identify with various groups, whether consciously or unconsciously," said Susan, in her workshop this week on 'How to get people to do stuff'.
"When we say 'I'm a chocolate lover' rather than 'I eat chocolate', it invokes the group identity," said Susan.
The workshop, in London, was hosted by the UK branch of the User Experience Professionals' Association (UXUPA).

To be or not to be?

This topic was first researched by psychologist Gregory Walton of Stanford University, who looked at voting patterns in US elections. Walton called people up the night before an election and asked people either:
  • How important is it for you to be a voter in tomorrow's election?
  • How important is it for you to vote in tomorrow's election?
When Walton asked 'How important is it for you to be a voter?', more people ended up voting, presumably seeing themselves as part of a group of engaged citizens.

Verbs or nouns?

There's a debate in the Comments section of Susan Weinschenk's blog about how to categorise the difference between 'Be a voter' and 'vote'. But even if the grammar's not nailed down perfectly, Susan's/Gregory's findings could still help content editors create messages with more impact.

I'll be A/B testing two versions from now on, as long as I've got enough space in the design - 'Be a member' takes up a lot more space than 'Join'.

Guerrilla Editor is Suzanne Amos, freelance content editor for social enterprises.

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