There are two fairly well known behavorial economics “tricks” that I see all the time. These are basically ways to get someone to say “yes.”
I may have discovered a third such technique. I call it Install the Door.
Recently at work we signed up for a new type of fundraising software to use for fundraising events. Getting it installed was a huge pain–there were all these tutorials and papers to sign and more papers to acquire from the bank for accounting reasons. You pay per use for this software, so we paid to use it for a recent fundraising event.
It’s now a little more than a week after the event, and the software came up in a discussion with my accounting department. As I was reviewing some of the documents, I found myself thinking, “At least we don’t have to go through all this again next year.”
Basically, I found myself thinking that we should use the software again simply because we had already gone through the hassle of setting it up. It’s not like we’ll get any discounts because we’ve already set it up–we’ll still have to pay every time we use it. Yet I found myself wanting to use it again because I didn’t have to jump through all the hoops again.
Thus the Install the Door technique. If you’ve spent a ton of time installing the door, it’s a lot easier for you to walk through it again.
This goes well beyond this software. We see this all the time. I use Charter Cable, not because Charter is better than the alternatives, but because I’ve already gone through the hassle of setting it up. Dating websites use this too–you answer a long list of questions to sign up, so it’s a lot easier to get you to extend your membership later. You feel like you’re already invested so much time into creating your profile that it’s easy to hit a single button to continue.
Have you ever seen this technique? Do you think it’s effective?