Anniversary special: Top 5 insights

Executive summaries of the 5 best insights from Ariyh’s first 6 months.

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📝 Intro

Ariyh turns 1 year old! (Tomorrow, 25th August, to be exact).

I’d like to celebrate and thank you for these 12 months together in which we went from zero to 6,704 evidence-based marketers. So let’s shake things up today.

How? I’ve prepared executive summaries of the 5 best insights that Ariyh covered in the first 6 months of its existence (when less than 18% of you were subscribed).

I’ve selected them based on a combination of their impact, awareness in practice, and popularity (views, likes).

Here we go.

P.S.: What do you think of executive summaries like these? Would you pay for reports with summarized insights by industry or channel?


Top Insight #5 - When models in your ad should look at the viewer (or away)

  • Models in your ads should gaze at the viewer for utilitarian products (e.g. home repair) and look away for hedonic products (e.g. fashion).

  • For example, the ad for the sunhat above (a hedonic product) generated 30% more sales when the model was looking away (version on the right).

  • Why? When models gaze away we more easily imagine ourselves in their place. When they stare at us we find them more credible.

Link to full 3min Ariyh practical insight
Link to full research paper
(Journal of Consumer Research, Feb 2021)

Research from: University of Houston.

Top Insight #4 - Use precise prices to negotiate better

  • When selling negotiable products (e.g. B2B, real estate, used cars) don’t use rounded prices (e.g. $20,000). Use precise prices instead (e.g. $21,400).

  • You will get counteroffers closer to your price. High precision prices ($21,482.17) work well if you give a reason for them, and are essential with expert buyers.

  • Precise prices make people think in smaller units (e.g. cut $400 vs $1,000) and they assume you have a strong reason for that price.

Link to full 3min Ariyh practical insight
Link to full research paper
(Psychological Science, Oct 2016)

Research from: Leuphana University, Saarland University, INSEAD, and Columbia University.


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Top Insight #3 - Regularly ask for (positive) feedback to increase customer lifetime value

  • Ask customers for their opinion to make them think better of you. Start with an open question asking them what they liked most to boost this effect.

  • In a B2C experiment, overall spending was 131% higher for those who answered feedback surveys. The effect also works in B2B.

  • We like being asked for feedback and this improves our memory of the experience. Positive questions increase this bias.

Link to full 3min Ariyh practical insight
Link to full research paper
(Journal of Marketing Research, Feb 2017)

Research from: Utah State University, Boston College, Michigan State University, Brigham Young University, and Northeastern University.

Top Insight #2 - Say “I” not “We” when speaking with customers

  • Use “I” (e.g. I’m happy to help you) rather than “We” (e.g. We’re happy to help you) when interacting with customers to increase satisfaction and sales.

  • An analysis of a large online retailer found that this change would lead to 7% higher sales. Customers were 19% more satisfied when employees used “I”.

  • When an agent (e.g. customer service, sales) uses “I” it shows us that they are emotionally involved and empathize with us. We like that.

Link to full 3min Ariyh practical insight
Link to full research paper
(Journal of Marketing Research, Aug 2018)

Research from: Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Alberta, and Simon Fraser University.

Top Insight #1 - People love products with rituals

  • When your product has a ritual attached to it (e.g. separate and lick Oreo biscuits) people enjoy and pay more for it, especially if there’s a delay after the ritual.

  • In one experiment, people were willing to pay 74% more for the same chocolate if they performed a ritual before tasting it. The effect even worked with carrots.

  • Rituals make us feel more involved with the product, almost as if it’s part of something we created. 

Link to full 3min Ariyh practical insight
Link to full research paper
(Psychological Science, Jul 2013)

Research from: University of Minnesota and Harvard University.


Remember: These studies could be disproven in the future (although this is rare). They may also not be generalizable to your situation. If it’s a risky change, always test it on a small scale before rolling it out widely.


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