How to Optimize Your Offer With Temporal Framing

Presented live on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

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Why should you use temporal framing to optimize your offer?

Because your prospects need more than a few facts thrown on a page to make a buying decision.

So it’s your job to help move along in their decision-making process…

By framing your offer in such a way that a) your customers will consume it best and b) gets your customers to agree with you.

Because how your customers perceive your offer can be the reason they push…

Or don’t push the almighty “add to cart” button.

Join us right here for some good ol’ nerding out on temporal framing and offer optimization.


Introduction [00:00]

Joanna Wiebe: We’re going to talk about some nerdy stuff today. Persuasion nerdery. It’s great fun. It’s how I basically got really excited about copywriting. Once I read Cialdini’s “Influence” and saw all of these amazing studies going on. I was doing my master’s degree in communications and I was also starting to get into studies that academics were doing.

What to Expect in This Tutorial [00:36]

Joanna Wiebe: Anyway, so today we’re talking about basically that stuff. But specific to offer optimization. Okay, you should be seeing my screen now. Nursing out with temporal framing. If you’re here it’s because you’re a little bit nerdy about this stuff, so welcome.

Question for you. Quick reaction in chat please. You’re playing the lottery, which odds of winning do you prefer? A – odds are 9 in 100 or B – odds are 1 in 10?

Angela Stojanov: We’re pretty mixed here between Bs and As. Someone said that I know it’s B.

Joanna Wiebe: There’s a lot of Bs. However, studies have found that people are more likely to say a 9 in 100 which stuns me. I’m like, what are you talking about? Clearly that’s 9% versus 10%.

But that’s not how our little brains think. Joanna says they don’t know math. I know, right? But Copyhackers are smart, yes. But I found this very interesting. So this was from a study I was writing a blog post on, or at least planning one.

And I found this quite interesting. Now what’s going on here the denominator 100 is bigger. That’s it. That’s all our lizard brain needs. So when you look at the two side by side, and you have to make a quick reaction.

100 is bigger than 10. And your crazy little lizard brain is like that one. Without looking at what’s up top. This is comparing the numerals that it sees and zooming in on the big guy without any thought as to what’s above it.

Now there are exceptions to that. Not every single person in the world or in that study chose 9 out of 100, but the vast majority did.

Numerals are Shortcuts [02:50]

Joanna Wiebe: Interesting numerals are shortcuts. Now nerdy term, numerosity heuristic. That is a thing. You should look it up. Because we only have so much time. But it really means numerals are shortcuts. When you see numbers, you see 8.9 here.

You assume there’s some level of meaning there and it gives you a little comfort. Maybe there’s an 8.8 or maybe there’s a 9 coming up. But we look at something like that, at any numeral, and we use it as a shortcut. So that’s part of what we’re talking about today.

Even more likelihood of you choosing A, would be if you drew more attention to those numerals 100 versus 10. Now we’re going to see a lot more people choose A versus B because there’s extra attention on those big numbers.

So numerosity effect is also more powerful when attention is drawn to numbers. If we made them bigger, pink, we had arrows pointing at them. All that kind of stuff. Now, this is what we know as marketers. You’re like well yeah, of course.

If you point at things and make it bigger people will pay attention to it. Particularly, though with numerals. What that means for them and how that can help more people make decisions faster. So what you’re going to see today is probably going to reinforce a lot of what you already believe to be true.

And now we’re going to give it studies to support it. We’re going to give it terms, you can use And we’re going to give you takeaways where you can say Oh, in this case do this, in that case do that.

What is Temporal Framing? [04:38]

Joanna Wiebe: Temporal framing what does it mean to begin with? So we were talking about that whole numerosity thing. And that has a lot to do with temporal framing because we’re talking in terms of numbers, when it comes to time.

Framing effect. What’s framing? Framing is what we do. So this is how it’s defined. Basically, we have to frame the information that we’re putting in front of people so that they can consume it best.

And ideally consume it in a way that we want them to. So that they walk away agreeing with us. Saying yes to our offer. That’s why we frame things, instead of just like throwing pure stated facts on the screen. And then thinking everybody will logically understand this. Which we know they won’t.

Temporal framing effect, is all about framing. So organizing, showing information in a certain way. But doing so with time as the primary factor – difference, whatever it is that you want to call it. Temporal framing is framing with time as the factor. Now, what do we do with that?

Using Temporal Framing + Numerosity to Frame Your Offer [05:43]

Joanna Wiebe: We want to use temporal framing and numerosity effect in order to frame an optimized offer. So you already made an optimized offer. Cool. We’re all working on that. Sometimes it’s hard to optimize an offer, so using these persuasion tricks.

Which is not a trick, it’s how people make decisions. It’s just insights applied on the page. But when you can’t optimize your offer that much, you definitely need to lean in more on things like what we’re going to talk about here today.

What you’re going to see is largely with regards to recurring costs. That doesn’t mean that’s not true for non-recurring costs, but this is what we’re going to be primarily talking about MRR – monthly recurring revenue. ARR is annual recurring revenue. So we’re just talking about recurring costs.

People Who Prefer to Keep the Most [06:24]

Joanna Wiebe: Alright couple of studies for you to take away. Go to your clients when your clients like, why should we do it this way? You’ll want to have one, the confidence that comes with knowing that this stuff has been studied. It’s not just being done by some person on their website and then talked about like it’s the only way to do it.

This is studied in academic settings, lots of rigor etc. But people prefer to keep the most. Not just more, but the most. So if I have to give something up, I prefer to keep as much as I possibly can.

Interesting study here about quadruple the results. So the signup rate to an app-based recurring savings deposit program. That’s an app where you’re going to save more money by saving a little bit. Now how much are we going to say right?

The signups quadrupled when the amount that you were supposed to save was presented daily, as opposed to monthly. So save $5 a day, sign up ratet quadrupled when they said, save $5 a day versus save $150 per month.

Quadrupled. Now when you think about that. These small things, that as conversion copywriters, now the average copywriter doesn’t think about this. Conversion copywriters come in and we’re like, huh.

We can actually apply some of these really basic principles that someone at a conversion consultancy will also keep in their pocket to pull out and be all like, whoo look at me. But we can do that thing too.

Because this is what we do. We get people to say yes to things. And if you want to increase signup rates for something like this, if you had a client who was doing anything like this.Imagine if you were to help them quadruple their signups just by making a change knowing that people prefer to keep the most.

If they’re doing $150 per month as save this much. And you can say $5 per day and get more signups. You just added a lot of value to your clients by optimizing the positioning or framing of the offer. List, offer, copy.

Another example. Likelihood of donation increased when the donation appeal. How much you have to donate every day or every year when it was down to periodic terms. So $1 a day versus $350 a year.

Again, a lot of people will look at this and be like, obviously. But how many of us still let our clients go with the $350 a year or $30 a month, whatever it might be? When instead we’ve seen

again and again, that the small seemingly obvious changes actually help people make a decision.

People Who Prefer to Get the Most [09:11]

Joanna Wiebe: That was talking about keeping the most. What about getting? What about the outcomes? The benefits? In 2009, 11 years ago, people were still humans though. So in 2009, movie packages that were presented as get 468 movies, instead of 364 movies a year.

And get nine movies versus seven movies a week. Consumers preferred A. They’re still going to get 9 movies, a week. But they wanted to hear, get 468 movies a year. So this is in the aggregate versus in the periodic. Where before we were seeing that periodic works better. And we’re going to get into exactly what that means, but let’s still go through the studies.

Again, getting the most. In 2016 a very, very recent study found that people were more likely to depend on an annuity plan for retirement when that was presented as you’re going to get $100,000 over the course of your retirement. Instead of, you’re going to get $500 a month over the course of your retirement.

They’re still going to only get $500 a month over the course of their retirement. But over the course of their retirement, overall, they get $100,000. They prefer that, not too shocking, is it? But what is really going on here? What’s the takeaway? What can you say?

How Can You Use Framing to Optimize Your Offer? [10:33]

Joanna Wiebe: Checklist time. When I’m optimizing an offer. When I’m doing a heuristic analysis of what my client has in place in their email, on their sales page, even in their ads, what can I do?

How to Frame Outcomes [10:45]

Joanna Wiebe: When framing outcomes, do it in aggregate terms. And that means what happens after a long period of time. So we want to say an outcome is lose 120 pounds a year, not lose 10 pounds a month and definitely not lose 0.3 pounds in a day.

You might know that, but it can be easy to flip this around and forget the times when aggregate works better than periodic. And when periodic works better than aggregate. So framing outcomes. If it’s an outcome, do it in aggregate.

How to Frame Prices [11:13]

Joanna Wiebe: If it is something that they have to give up a price and investment, then we want to do some periodic terms. And ideally framing it down to its smallest unit of measure. So $1.67 a day, instead of $50 a month or $600 a year.

And this was part of an example that came from a study on savings. $600 a year, too big. There’s a lot of money there. $50 versus $1.67, that’s a more manageable amount. I’m going to keep the most, versus in the other one around outcomes.

Will Temporal Framing Work For Every Audience? [11:44]

Joanna Wiebe: That’s the whole lesson today. I just want to bring up here, we get a lot of questions like Oh, what about my unique audience like, but my people make decisions differently. Or we’ve tried this and CFOs don’t respond to that. Or engineers don’t respond to that. Or single moms don’t respond to that or might not respond to that.

And you haven’t actually tried it at all. So this is why we teach human decision making, rather than how did you convince a cto there’s still a human when it comes down to it, they’re still going to make decisions in the same way they’ve evolved.

The same way, so we can still apply the same things, knowing that there will always be exceptions. There will always be some people who do the math and go wait, 1 out of 10 is 10% and 9 out of 100 is 9%, so I want this one.

Those people will always exist, but the vast majority of people are just making rapid fire decisions when we get down to a point. Now what’s also very important here is we’re talking about offers. Once a person is at the point of an offer they’re more open to promotions.

They’re more open to now give me shortcuts for making this decision so that I can just say yes. And that’s where reducing price goes a long way at that point. Really clear things that are like, oh that made my decision super duper easy.

So we need to keep in mind that fast emotional decision makers are generally more attracted to those periodic costs and aggregated benefits. If you are trying to convince somebody who is a slower, more logical decision maker, this might not work as well on them. But when we think of the four decision making modalities, we’re really talking about three out of four of those decision makers.

When we’re at the point of actually trying to close them, they are more likely to be attracted to periodic costs and aggregated benefits. Now also keep in mind, things are bigger than this right? Like we talked about numerosity effect. We talked about temporal framing.

And along the way, you’re probably thinking things like loss aversion and other types of framing that we might do. Context effect, contrast effect, all of these sorts of things, all play in there too. So you don’t make decisions without lots of other things: effects, biases, things like that also getting in the way.

So keep in mind that in addition to what you’ve seen today, a person’s goals will also affect this. If they’re very goal oriented, or you’re matching your offer with a goal that they’ve clearly stated. That will also impact how what you just learned today works. How much attention they actually pay to background information.

Like the context of the decision making. Their comfort with calculation, so if they are quite analytical, then they’re more likely to look at 1 out of 10 and go, that one. I want those odds instead.

So you have to keep all of those things in mind. But overall, we’re always talking about how humans make decisions as a starting point. Don’t throw it out, because maybe you would have chosen B and A, everybody else chose, you know this can’t be true.

This is how people make decisions. We start here and then we layer on more insights into how they get that final point of yes.

Summary [15:15]

Joanna Wiebe: Now it is your turn. I think the most interesting thing you can do when you see studies and you see things like benefits in aggregate, price in periodic terms. When you know that now, you can go apply it.

So this is a point where I would encourage you to think about a client or project that you have on the go. Think about those final emails that you write in a launch sequence or in a campaign, or when you get to the bottom of a sales page.

How can you frame results and price using what you know now? How can you change what you were maybe already working on, or go back and optimize something that you wrote based on what you know now?

Do we feel extra nerdy now? I feel nerdy.

Angela Stojanov: So nerdy. But it’s like good nerding out for sure.

Joanna Wiebe: Have a great rest of your week. Stay safe. Wear a mask, all that good stuff. Bye y’all.

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