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Here is a simple copy hack anyone can use to increase conversions.

It’s called “The Because Frame.”

Here’s how it works…

When we were kids some of our parents gave us the classic “because I said so” rationale. It was a harmless parenting tactic to get us to listen. As a result, we (as a culture) have been conditioned to comply with “because” statements, no matter how rational or irrational they are.

Here’s the evidence:

A group of Harvard researchers went to the library at Harvard and got in the long line to use the copy machine. They ran three tests.

In test one, as soon as they got in line they asked the person in front of them if they could cut for no reason. They asked:

“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine?”

The result? 60% of the people who were asked let the person cut. That’s impressive. It makes a strong case for just asking. But things got interesting when the researchers started testing the addition of simple “because” statements.

In test two the researcher asked the person in front of them if they could cut in line, but this time they added a because statement:

“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”

In this case, with the addition of the because statement, 94% of people let the researcher cut in line. That’s crazy!

Now, “because I’m in a rush” is a rational reason, so you can see how that might increase compliance. So in test three the researchers made a change to see if it was the rational reason or the because frame that caused the increase.

In test three the researcher asked:

“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”

With a completely irrational because statement, 93% STILL let the person cut in line. That’s a 55% increase in conversions by adding a completely irrational because statement.

Next time you’re writing an email, an ad, a landing page, or a video that needs to get a response… add a because statement, because it works.

Your man,
Kev Kaye

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P.P.S. Here is the citation of the original study: Langer, E., Blank, A., & Chanowitz, B. (1978). The mindlessness of Ostensibly Thoughtful Action: The Role of “Placebic” Information in Interpersonal Interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36(6), 635-642.