Churn-Resistant Leads and Behavioral Science with John Sisson

By aiwpadminFebruary 6, 2017

By Kieran Kern.


Are you spending too much on unqualified leads? Do you have more churn after the sale than a dairy farm?

If either of these scenarios is familiar, it’s time take a walk on the wild side of behavioral science. John Sisson, president of the Wilde Agency, knows that a poorly-defined lead generates nothing but unnecessary costs.

Behavioral science has been at the core of the Wilde Agency’s practice since its inception. First, targeting is refined with a focus on modeling and definition. Next, there’s strategizing how to apply the appropriate behavioral science to nudge this specific audience. Finally, behavioral science is applied to move response within the target during the creative process. “The creative execution of proven principles is implemented within the marketing channels that will resonate with the audience,” notes Sisson.

In their campaign for DISH, the Wilde team identified and applied several behavioral science principles to maximize audience engagement. “We mailed in a #12 envelope with an oversized window, which took advantage of the Von Restorff Effect, which states that people notice things that stand out,” he explains.

With the introduction of DISH’s skinny bundle, the Wilde team leveraged autonomy bias, the human need to feel in control of their lives, by emphasizing the choice offered by the service versus the competition. They used copy and design that were easy to absorb (cognitive fluency) and prevented the scenario where too many choices cause the individual or audience to become overwhelmed, which reduces response rate.

Their outer envelope teaser triggered a sense loss aversion by reminding people they were spending money on channels they never watched. “People feel losses more powerfully than gains and are twice as motivated to avoid the pain of loss than to achieve the pleasure of gain,” explains Sisson.

The Wilde team then immediately got people nodding yes by asking a question that everyone one would answer affirmatively: Had they ever wished they could customize their TV lineup with the channels they love and not pay for the ones they didn’t? This first “yes” put the audience in the mindset of agreeing before even being asked to switch.

The mailing also used eye magnet words, which are proven to attract readership, and removed doubt by using phrases such as “price guarantee” to reduce friction and “America’s most popular” to signal social proof.

For DISH, there was an improvement in response, but even more important there was an increase in the type of leads that have proved over time to deliver the best lead-to-value. The combination of better response and improvement in leads that will qualify, buy and stay is a huge benefit.

When it comes to guiding a business to this new model of lead, Sisson recommends they start with their data. He notes that being able to identify the customers that will never convert is just as critical to success as identifying the best customers and prospects. This delineation enables allocation of resources (time, effort and budget) toward those prospects who are truly right, without wasting money on people who won’t convert or overspending on people who would’ve converted with far less effort.

After segmenting the prospect base, the next step is to identify the appropriate behavioral science principles that will be most effective for each group, based on their mindset, buying barriers and current behaviors. Then it’s a matter of creating and deploying the campaign. Strategy and creative teams are experts at the application of behavioral science, and the Wilde Agency works to infuse this data into their clients’ marketing efforts and maximize the results they achieve.

To learn more, hear directly from John Sisson at LeadsCon Las Vegas. His session, “Need Churn-Resistant Leads? Go Wild for Behavioral Science,” will share how you can apply these techniques to your business.

Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2017.

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