Do you have trouble getting people to sign up for your email lists? Are you making newsletter after newsletter for a handful of subscribers, who may not read it at all? Are your feed stats abysmal? 
The solution is a 10 sec modification away.
In this post, I’ll share a one-step modification to your email collection process that will take all of 10-seconds to implement. This modification is based on a portion of a talk by Dan Ariely, Professor, Behavioral Economics, Duke University. 
I have included a link to his talk, where he covered the research that forms the basis for this blog post and several other things, at the end of this post – have a look at it on your way out. 

In the talk, Professor Ariely, shows a chart which displays organ donations across countries and it is quite remarkable. Have a look (figures have been rounded off to the next digit):
Most of us believe that we’d base our choice on whether to donate our organs or not on our culture, religion, family upbringing etc., and consequently for countries that have similar cultures and where people follow the same religion, donation rates should be similar, if not identical. But, look at:
  • Denmark and Sweden
  • The Netherlands and Belgium
  • Austria and Germany

Similar cultures and religions and yet the difference in donation rates is drastic, to say the least. Why? Incidentally, the Netherlands’ 28% was post its mail drive, wherein every citizen in the country was sent a brochure with a form requesting him or her to donate! The countries on the right did nothing of the sort.

The only difference between the donor registration process of the countries on the left and those on the right was in their registration form. 

The countries on the left had an opt-in check box:

If you check the box, you are enlisted as a donor.

Those on the right had an opt-out check box on their registration form:

If you don’t check the box, you are enlisted as a donor. 
That’s it! People apparently preferred not to check the box – irrespective of whether that made them a donor or non-donor. Prof. Ariely calls this the default bias, where we’d rather go with the default option than make a decision.

So, how can you use the default bias to increase your email list? All you do is, instead of asking people to opt-in to your email list after they’ve filled a registration form or made an account with you, ask them to opt-out, i.e. they have to click on the check box if they don’t want their email added.
Use this!
Don't use this!
If this simple opt-out box could increase organ donation rates from less than 5% to nearly 100%, imagine what it can do for your email marketing list. 

Here’s Prof. Ariely’s talk as promised:

What are your thoughts on the default bias? Where else can you use it to improve your business’ online reason? Share with us in the comments below.

Share, tweet and spread the word. Also, subscribe to this blog's feed (see the subscribe option in the sidebar) to receive an update when I add another useful and awesome post for your business.

Author: Urooj Kazi is a professional freelance business writer. To hire her to write content for your business, visit this website's Contact Urooj page. 
6/3/2013 04:11:00

Great post and great example. I see the Same pattern in my own behaviors. I almost never opt in but will opten not opt out.

8/6/2013 15:33:35

There are very high-quality email list that we can use for marketing campaign


Example that you used is great.

9/12/2013 11:31:04

Marketing lists from which you can improve your marketing strategy


This is great tips for all of us email marketer. I appreciate this tricks. Thanks for sharing the such a nice information.

10/13/2013 11:20:45

For you to have the perfect way of marketing

10/15/2013 23:12:46

This kind of solution will help a lot to to SEO and SMM person. Email marketing is also the very common way of marketing but not too much popular like SEO or SMM and i read lot of stuff from your blog.

4/14/2014 09:33:19

Valuable information and excellent design you got here! I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and time into the stuff you post!!


Leave a Reply.

    Hire Me


    Subscribe to Feed

    Enter your email address:


    June 2013
    May 2013
    December 2012
    November 2012

    Let's Connect!

    The WordCount Blogathon

    You May Also Like:


    Online Marketing
    Add blog to our blog directory.