We’ve all heard of nudge theory. Here are five simple principles to help us apply it to our corporate communications.
Make it easy – harness the power of defaults. We have a strong tendency to choose the default or pre-set option because it is the easiest thing to do. Auto-enrolment into company pension schemes is shown to be more successful when opting in is automatic and opting out requires more effort.
Make it clear – a clear message results in a significant increase in response rates to most corporate communications. Nudge theory works best when the messages are simple, so it is a good idea to break down complexity into bite-sized chunks.
Make it appealing – we are more likely to respond to the nudge if it is visually appealing: graphics, photos and personalization all work.
Make it social – show people that their peers are performing the desired behaviour. Describe what others are doing in response to the nudge. When HMRC told people that most others in their area had paid their tax on time, payment rates increased significantly.
Make it timely – Prompt people at moments when they are likely to be receptive. The same offer or message made at different times can have vastly different response rates. Appointment reminders sent by text work best just before the event, rather than days in advance.
Published by Influence, CIPR, Q1 2017