Behavioural insights and research on how small changes can make a big difference
Tackling the climate emergency requires innovation, investment and behaviour change.
Sometimes the challenge feels overwhelming, so it’s good to know that small changes can make a big difference.
Insights from the behavioural sciences show that if you want to encourage a particular behaviour – make it easy.
If you want to discourage – make it hard.
It’s a simple mantra – but deceptively hard to implement.
For those of us in the environmental sector, there’s an added incentive to get it right. The more customers we get, the faster we support the transition to a low carbon, resource-efficient economy.
Here’s a research summary from 3 experiments that show how “making it easy” for customers can transform engagement rates.
Increase click-through rates by 40-60%
An experiment by the government’s behavioural insights team found reducing the text in emails from a major government agency increased click-throughs by businesses for further information by 40-60%.
Improve response rates by 200-300%
Tax letters written in plain English, with a clear, simple request at the beginning, were often 200-300% more effective than the originals.
Significantly increase sign-up rates
Sign-ups to everything from stop smoking to youth skills programmes increased significantly when the website landing pages were simplified and decluttered.
Professor David Halpern reports the findings in his book – Inside the Nudge Unit: how small changes can make a big difference. David is the psychologist who heads the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team.
“Laboratory studies show that an easy-to-read message is not only more likely to be understood, it is also more likely to be believed,” he writes.
What can you do to make it easier for customers to understand your business?
Plus, if you found this interesting, the Sustainable Results Lab email tips include lots more behavioural insights that can help you grow your business. Sign up using the form below.