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Nudge Newsletter

Phill Agnew

I spend 18 hours each week turning marketing psychology into readable newsletters.

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Be More Descriptive | Nudge Newsletter 🧠

Use descriptions that can be visualised. In 2022 researchers ran a study on product descriptions. Half saw descriptions given in weight. Half saw descriptions given in quantity. Here's what happened. Oreo are one of the few brands that actually use this. Rather than proudly displaying the package weight, they showcase the quantity of cookies. And doing so, should boost their sales. So, use descriptions that can be visualised: ❌ 100 GB = ✅ 50 feature length films ❌ 568 mls = ✅ 1 pint ❌ 135 MPH...

3 days ago • 1 min read

"Could you be a helper?" In 2014 researchers at Bing school ran an experiment with the kids. Half were asked "can you help tidy?". The other half were asked "can you be a helper?". When children were asked to "be a helper" rather than just to "help," assistance increased by nearly a third. This was tested in situations where kids were particularly uninterested, like tidying up while engaged in another activity. Why does this happen? Well this request forces us to think about our identity,...

10 days ago • 1 min read

Praising a competitor won't harm your brand. After viewing a tweet where Kit Kat praised Twix: "Competitor or not, congrats on your 54 years in business! Even we can admit—Twix are delicious.” Participants were more inclined to purchase Kit Kat, while their preference for Twix remained steady. Commending competitors can elevate your brand's likability. Which is why I'll shout out my three favourite newsletters: Stand the F*ck Out Ariyh Why We Buy Subscribe to them all—they're wonderful....

17 days ago • 1 min read

Don't say "it's free"—say it's $0. Two Korean researchers ran 10 different experiments in retail stores, online and in the lab. They tested the effectiveness of a buy on get one free promotion. However, they tweaked the language: Half saw "buy one get one free" Others saw "buy one get one for $0" Why does this happen? Well $0 feels more concrete and tangible than "free" plus it feels more trustworthy. So, add this to your marketing: ❌ Chips included for free | ✅ Chips included for $0 ❌ Seat...

24 days ago • 1 min read

Present tense boosts persuasion. In January 2023, three researchers analysed 500,000 product reviews. Specifically, they analysed if the review was written in present tense: The book is heart-warming Or past tense: The book was heart-warming Turns out, present tense boosts persuasion. Using present tense in messages makes them 26.4% more helpful. And it increases likelihood of product interest by 12.3%. Why? Because this subtle reframing boosts the trustworthiness of the review. We...

about 1 month ago • 1 min read

Duration drives more urgency than dates. If this subject line had said, read this before Sunday, fewer people would have opened it. At least that's according to a 2023 study which found that duration (rather than calendar dates) drives more urgency. Durations (e.g., "3 days") prompt action more effectively than specific dates (e.g., "July 1st"). In Jeong, Hwang & Suk's 2023 study, college students were more likely to start a writing assignment when they were told a duration rather than a...

about 1 month ago • 1 min read

Why special days work. Promotions linked to original and appropriate special days are more effective. Researchers in 2021 tested sales discounts with standard justification: "It's our annual sale" Vs. justification due to a special day: "It's international picnic day" People were 25% more likely to purchase from a picnic-related retailer during a "National Picnic Day Sale" compared to an "Annual One Day Sale". So, if you're creating a sales promotion. Why not link it to a relevant day....

about 1 month ago • 1 min read

State the work you've done. I promoted Nudge in two Reddit ads. One version highlighted what you'd learn by listening: "Learn 6 memorable marketing lessons" The other version showed the effort I put into the show: ”I’ve spent 480 minutes spent listening to experts” Stating the work I'd put into the show worked. The labour illusion ad saw a 45% higher click-through rate compared to the control version. Why? Because we value things more when we see the effort that's gone in. Have you tried...

about 2 months ago • 1 min read

Why fancy restaurants hide the $ sign. Back in 2009, Sybil Yang (one of the first guests on Nudge) removed the $ signs from a menu. Turns out people spent more money than before. Her hypothesis? Seeing the $ sign makes people consider the pain of paying. Removing it makes the cost more hypothetical. So, if you run a fancy restaurant or a luxury store, consider removing the currency sign. Have you seen this in the wild? Hit reply and let me know. Cheers, Phill - Tune into Nudge - Advertise on...

about 2 months ago • 1 min read

Concrete language boosts sales. Using concrete language in customer service calls boosted sales. Professor Jonah Berger researched customer service interactions. He asked half of the reps to use vague terms: Trainers And half to use concrete terms: Lime green Nike trainers The concrete terms boost customer satisfaction. Moreover, such specificity led to a 30% rise in customer spending in subsequent weeks. Specific, tangible language significantly increases customer satisfaction and spending....

2 months ago • 1 min read
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