Do you remember asking your parents for something as a kid and they’d say “What’s the magic word?” You’d respond, “Please,” and magically, you’d get what you wanted. How come my mom never told me that there’s an even more powerful word than “please?” How come she never mentioned that there’s one word that can make people act like they’re hypnotized and do practically anything you ask them to do? What’s that word? It’s in the headline above. Read it again, which word do you think it is?
Give up? There don’t seem to be any real stand-out words in that headline. It’s not like the headline contains the word “free” which we’ve all been told makes people go ga-ga. So what is it? It’s the word, “because.” Yep, that simple, wall-flower word is pretty powerful. Here’s why…
Let me tell you a story. Perhaps you’ve heard about this research study that’s documented in one of my favorite books, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Researchers wanted to see if people would be more easily persuaded to do something if they were given a reason why they should do it. So, they had a researcher go into a crowded university library where there were people waiting in line to make copies at a copy machine. The researcher started by going to the head of the line and asking if they could cut to the front of the line to make some copies. Well, as you can imagine, this didn’t work very well. After all, we’re living in a society where people are taught from a young age that they have to wait for their turn. As I recall, somewhere around 30% of the time the researcher was allowed to cut in line but 70% of the time they were rejected.
So, next they tried the same experiment, changing one variable. This time they asked to cut to the front of the line because they were in a hurry. Astoundingly, 93% of the time they were allowed to cut in line. That’s a pretty dramatic difference. When asking to just get in front of everyone else without an excuse, they were allowed only 30% of the time but as soon as they said they were in a hurry, they were allowed to cut in line 93% of the time. Wow!
But here’s where it gets interesting. The researchers assumed that being in a hurry was a pretty good reason to let someone cut in front so they decided to eliminate the sympathy factor by just using the excuse that they wanted to make some copies. This time they didn’t say that they were in a hurry. They just said, “Can I cut in front of you because I have to make some copies.” How often were they allowed to cut in line when they had a totally lame excuse? 93% of the time! Good excuse or bad, it didn’t matter. Simply providing an excuse was all that mattered. Basically, once the person said, “Can I cut in line because,” the other person’s mind just shut off and didn’t seem to even listen to what the words were after the word “because.” It’s like they were hypnotized. They just became like robots and would do anything, as long as the researchers said “because.” It’s like they thought, “Give me an excuse and I’ll let you in. I don’t even care what the excuse is because I’m not listening. I’m just looking for the word ‘because’ and as long as you provide that word, indicating that you have an excuse, then I’ll let you in.”
Amazing, isn’t it? I bet you’ll start using that word now because it just might increase your website design conversion rates. I hope that helps because I want you to be successful.