You've probably heard of the old salesman's tactic of asking you to do him a small favor. That predisposes you to like him, trust him, and do more for him. It's a proven quirk of human psychology that once we help someone, we're more likely to want to help them again.
Some new research, reported at the Neuromarketing blog (Make a Crazy Request, Close the Deal) says the tactic works even better if the initial small favor is weird:
... the experimenter asked the unwitting subjects to perform a task that was simple but unusual: to tie his shoe (offering the explanation of an injured back). The unusual tasks, even though simple and quick, had the same lift on subsequent requests as more complex ones.
Find the research here.
Many fundraisers use the small-favor principle by making sending easy, low-bar, non-donation emails. Sign a petition. Click to release funds. Share a video. These can help people become more likely to make donations later on.
What if we made those easy offers strange and memorable? Here are some ideas:
- Send us a photo of something (make it easy like a photo of your hand).
- Send us a certain phrase in your own handwriting.
- Send us a sound file of you saying or singing something.
(My guess is you want these requests to be plausibly meaningful, though I don't really know if that's important.)
If it works the way it did in the research, it could turn nondonors into donors.
Let us know if you try it!