Don’t Add the Subtraction Principle to Your Business Blog

Does it matter whether the sale price is displayed to the left or to the right of the original price? Which of these formats is more likely to make consumers believe they’re getting a good deal:

$349.00, now on sale for  $239.99    or      Now $239.99, was $349.99

Four marketing professors published a study on that very subject in the July issue of the Journal of Marketing, calling the mental evaluation customers would perform in deciding whether to buy “the subtraction principle”.

There are two conclusions we Indianapolis blog content writers can draw from this marketing study:

“To the extent that location of the sale price makes the subtraction task easier (or alternatively, more difficult) to initiate, perceptions of the offered discount…vary.”  In other words, the more thinking and calculating customers need to do, the less likely they are to appreciate the advantage of buying now.

  • If your blog site makes it difficult for online searchers to navigate, that makes it easy for those them to “bounce” and go to a different site.  How pleasant and satisfying a first experience a visitor has is directly tied to how much “calculating” they need to do to get where they want to go on the site. Conversely, the smoother the process is for readers to get around your blog site to  learn more, submit comments, request information, or buy, the more effective your SEO marketing blog is likely to be in terms of converting lookers to buyer.
  • “Placement” matters in business blog content. – it’s not just what you say, but in what order that counts. As a corporate blogging trainer, I can’t help but see a strong parallel between the placement of the price tags in the marketing study and the placement of content in blog posts.. Readers come online searching for information, products, or services, and they are not going to take the time to read your “manuscript” (the full text of your blog post) without assurance that they’ve come to the right place.

Consider the subtraction principle. Make it easy for readers to find the information they need!

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