The “Order Effect” and How You Should List Your Packages and Programs

By Lori

Human behavior is a funny thing. And by “funny” I actually mean strange.

(But the cool thing is that when you know about these behavioral quirks, you can set up your marketing practices to encourage the outcome you’re after.)

Here’s a fun neuro fact: you choose the first one on the list.

You also vote for the first one on the list. Marketers and pollsters call this the “order effect” and it’s backed up with research. From web design to ballots, people are more likely to purchase or vote for what’s listed first.

A 2007 research study (Felfernig) used a website offering tents to prove the “order effect.” Website visitors were asked a few questions about the attributes they wanted in a tent; the website then recommended several tents. Study participants more frequently choose the first tent pictured, even though others matched more of the attributes the website visitors had said were important.
The researchers varied the order in which the tents appeared on the page: first, second, third, or fourth.It turns out that the most important attribute was not whether the tent was waterproof or if it had plenty of air ventilation. The most important attribute was the order in which the tents appeared on the page! Participants disregarded attributes and simply picked whichever tent was the first one to show. People picked the first tent 2.5 times more than any other.
You vote for the first on the list, too. Another study found that the order effect influences who you vote for. One out of every ten elections goes to the first name on the ballot, just because it’s first. Being in the middle of the list makes you 2.5 percentage points less likely to win.

Your Fame Building Assignment:

Harness the “order effect” in marketing your business. Do you have programs or products listed in your marketing materials and on your website? Take advantage of the tendency to choose the first option by rearranging your offerings. Put the item or package that you most want your prospects to choose first.

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