Because.  It’s one of the most important words you can use in your website design.  Why?  Because anytime you give a reason for your claim, you add credibility and people are more likely to trust you.  If you just say that your prices are all 50% off, people wonder why.  On the other hand, if you give a reason and say, “50% off because we’re in our slow season” then they don’t think, “50% off?  That must because he’s low quality.”  Just by giving them a reason for your discount, you justify it and make them think, “That’s fair enough.  He doesn’t want to lay off his employees in the slow season so I might as well take advantage of the discount and get the same thing today that will cost more if I wait until summer.”

One of my favorite books, Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion tells about an experiment that a group of psychologists ran at a prominent university.  They went to the school’s library and had one of their participants go to the front of a long line of people waiting to make copies and ask if they could skip to the head of the line.  I don’t have the book open in front of me but as I recall, something like 90% of the time, the person at the front of the line would let the participant step in to make copies when they used a good excuse like “Can I make some copies because I’m in a big hurry?”  When they just said, “Can I make some copies?” without giving a reason the percentage dropped to less than 20% acceptance.  So they decided to eliminate the good reason and see if it was the reason that got them to the front of the line, or if it was merely the fact that they had a reason.  To do this, they changed the question to include a worthless excuse.  They simply said, “Can I make some copies because I need to make some copies.”  Once again, they were allowed to cut in the line more than 90% of the time.  The excuse didn’t matter, whether they were in a hurry or whether they just had to make copies like everyone else in line, they were still allowed to cut to the front.  The conclusion?  Just using the word “because” was the magic pill that somehow mesmerized the people in line and caused them to say yes, no matter what.  What could be easier than that?  Hope that helps.

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