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Test Idea #29: Irrational escalation or sunk cost fallacy



    By now, no one is surprised that humans aren?t the best at making rational decisions and realizing when it?s time to give up. The ??Irrational escalation?? bias explains exactly that- how we?re unwilling to quit something, even if we know it?s pointless to keep pursuing it, simply because we already
    invested so much time or money on it.


    Show your prospects how much time they already spent creating a profile or your existing customers how much in subscriptions they have already paid. Once they see how much time or money they have already invested, they will be hesitant to give up on your company and you should see higher
    retention rates.


    The ??Sunk Cost Fallacy?? or ??Irrational Escalation?? cognitive bias are the same psychological phenomenon, where humans refuse to give up on something they already invested so much time and money in. We get attached and give things we have owned for quite some time or put some hope into, a higher value.

    The way you can use this to your advantage is by reminding your customers or prospects how much time they already spent using your product or service. You don?t want to trick them into investing more money or time into a sinking ship, but you do want them to reconsider giving up on your company and reevaluate whether it?s worth it to move to another service.This way you can make them more reluctant to leave and improve your retention rates.

    What to test

    For your prospects, on Variant A, or your current page, you ask them to fill out a profile. But when they decide to stop filling it out and leave your website, there is no pop-up window telling them how much time they already spent on creating their profile and researching your company. Instead, there?s the generic ??Are you sure you want to leave this page??? pop-up question and that?s that.

    Variant B, or the test version of your page, displays a pop-up which tells the prospect how much time they already spend on their profile and how close they are to completing it. The generic ??Are you sure you want to leave this page??? question is replaced by a pop-up window which states: ??You already spent 23 minutes working your profile with us. Are you sure you want to quit? You already completed 70% of your profile and will be done shortly!??

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