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Attractive Women Make Men Impatient

I’ve written a few times about the effects of pictures of attractive women on decision-making by men. In Bikinis, Babes, and Buying, we learned that guys who looked at pictures of bikini-clad women made impulsive decisions. In A Pretty Woman Beats a Good Loan Deal, we found that men accepted higher loan rates when the direct mail offer included a picture of an attractive woman. Do women just make men crazy? Actually, there’s a scientific explanation for these effects. […]

By |May 19th, 2010|

A Pretty Woman Beats a Good Loan Deal

Marketers are constantly facing the challenge of how to make an offer more attractive to their customers. Will free shipping garner more orders than a $10 coupon? What about a 10% discount, or a free tote bag? Smart marketers know there is only one way to definitively answer this kind of question: test the options in the marketplace. (Soon, perhaps, neuromarketing technology like fMRI brain scans may reduce the need for field testing…)

One South African bank trying to boost their loan business did just that. They mailed 50,000 customers a loan offer, and used several variations in the direct mail package. First, the offers included a range of randomly selected interest rates – presumably, the interest rate (along with repayment terms) is by far the most important criteria for whether a loan offer is appealing. More significantly for our interests, the bank also included several “psychological features” – details of the mailed offer that had nothing to do with the loan itself but were intended to “frame” the offer in some way or otherwise alter customer behavior. The researchers seem to have been surprised not only that these irrelevant offer changes boosted the response of their offers, but actually offset the impact of higher interest rates on loan signups. […]

By |August 15th, 2008|