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"Steal This: 114% Boost In Sales With A 'Sneaky Decoy' Split Test"

Copy This Exact Tactic & Get An Instant Boost In Your Sales

By Michael Maven

Update: We received a request to expand upon this case study for a $6m company, called Crazy Egg.

You can read the expanded article by clicking here.

This advanced tactic is called a decoy method. It's used for influencing people to get them to choose the option that is in your best interest.

So yes, it is extremely sneaky! It is also a very useful tool in any influencers arsenal.

It was originally discovered and researched by the world famous psychologist, Dan Ariely in his book Predictably Irrational.

Side note: We actually received an email from Dan Ariely, and found it really funny that he signed his emails off with 'Irrationally yours':
 

Amusing: Dan Ariely signed his email to us,
with the phrase 'Irrationally yours'!


What Is A Website Split Test?

We showed how split tests work in the envelope split test article, but here is an overview.

A website split test is when you test two variations (called variables) of a webpage in order to test which version has the greatest number of conversions.

So you would test version A (the current version, known as the control) against version B (the new version, known as the treatment).

This A/B split test is often used as a sure fire way of knowing how to structure your website in order to make the most sales. In more advanced methods, we would use a multivariate split test in order to test multiple variables at the same time.
 

A view of some of our multivariate split tests.


Companies like Amazon, Google, eBay and Netflix have used split testing to build their businesses and make accurate decisions with data driven information like this.
 

So How Do We Influence People's Choices?

When making choices, us humans don't automatically know the value of any single item. We usually make decisions by COMPARING and item to something else. So we don't know if a circle is big until we compare it to another circle etc.

It's also difficult for us to compare items that are not very similar to each other. So for example you can't easily compare a brown bear to a red car. But you can compare a brown bear to a black bear very easily.

Once you know this basic info, you can actually influence people's decisions.

What Is The Sneaky Decoy Method & Does It Really Work?

Let's say you have 2 choices on your website. The decoy works by being introduced as a third choice. The third choice is purposely made to be easily compared to one of the original choices. BUT the third choice is also purposely made to be an obvious poorer version of one of the choices.

This makes it easy for you to compare the poor but easily comparable 'decoy' choice with one of the earlier choices, and pick the more attractive choice.

The sneaky part is that even though it's offered, you never really expect the decoy choice to be picked!

Sales of the package were boosted by 114%. Across 50k visitors, this was a FREE boost in sales from 73,630 to 157,210.

Here's a visual demo:

The introduction of a 'lesser' but easily comparable option
makes the better of the comparable options more attractive.


It's infamously tough to choose between apples and oranges. It's because they can't be compared easily. But if you introduce a rotten apple, then you can easily compare the rotten apple with the good apple. This also makes the good apple seem better then the orange as well. So the good apple gets picked.

But if you had a good apple with a rotten orange and a good orange, then the oranges are now easily compared, and the good orange seems most attractive. So the most popular item picked will be the orange now this time!

Here's The 'Sneaky Decoy' Split Test That Boosted Sales By 114%:


Below, you'll see a recreation of a split test we ran for this client.

Decoy split test in practice: Sales of the 199 package were boosted by 114% with the
addition of a decoy option.


You can see, in the 'before' area, the Bronze package for 99 was chosen 63% of the time. So we added a third sneaky decoy option to this list of two options.

We ended up creating a new option which was the Gold package for sale on it's own. However, it was still the same price as the Bronze & Gold package.

People now had two items they could compare to each other very easily - because they both had the same price. Naturally, we didn't expect anyone to buy the Gold package alone when you could buy the Bronze & Gold package for the exact same price.

Did It Make A Difference?

So did a larger percentage of people now take the higher priced option? Why, yes they did!

People now compared the Gold package alone with the option of getting the Bronze AND Gold package for 199.

All of a sudden this second option of getting the Bronze AND Gold package for 199 is made much more attractive.

Sales of that package were actually boosted, by 114%.


Across 50k visitors (approx.), this boosts sales of the Bronze and Gold package from 73,630 to 157,210.

That's a boost of 83,580 in sales of the Bronze & Gold package alone - in just one split test. We haven't taken the sales of the Bronze package into account yet (although we do know the final numbers).

Overall however, we can tell you that this strategy puts you in a much stronger position against your competition when buying advertising and other ways to use your ad spend for lead generating.

83k In Extra Sales But What Did It Cost? Nothing!

Did we mention that the total cost to get an extra 83k in sales was... ZERO! No extra advertising. No extra phone calls. No extra pounding the pavement or making calls to find new customers. None of that.

All we did was a simple optimisation of the existing business. And there is plenty more of that which can still be done.

That is the power of split testing...

Are you doing any optimisation in your business? Most businesses don't do anything like this. But don't worry because you can learn it - or even have it done for you.

You should take a little time to see where improvements in your business can be made. You can literally learn ideas on how to increase sales and make your company more efficient. And you'll see results very quickly.

In our limited time, 'Lost Profit' Finder: Diagnostic Session, you can get a diagnostic report tailored specially for your business. You'll also get several techniques for creating a more systemised business.

And we're not talking about any short term throwaway nonsense - these are real business techniques that will produce real lasting improvements within your company, if you put them into practice.

If you want to know EXACTLY how to be in control of your business and your income, then check out the 'Lost Profit' Finder: Diagnostic Session, right now.

It took us a long time to figure this out and get it working like a system. And it doesn't help that most of the improvements require you to do something that is the opposite of what most business owners do to improve their sales.

Find out the solution here with our limited time, 'Lost Profit' Finder: Diagnostic Session