I’m not sure I believe this, but it’s scientifically proven, so maybe I just have to accept it. From Harvard Business Review:
Imagine that you really need to convince someone to do something, such as following through on a task. You might be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to get someone to comply with your request is through a tiny nuance that adds a personal touch—attaching a sticky note.
I hate these. But a recent experiment showed that when respondents were asked to fill out and return a survey, 76 percent of them complied only when the cover letter had a little personalized sticky note attached.
When there was no sticky note, the rate collapsed to 36 percent.
Okay, so why? Here’s what the experimenter came up with:
- It doesn’t match the environment—the sticky note takes up space and looks a bit cluttered. The brain, therefore, wants it gone.
- It gets attention first because of #1. It’s difficult to ignore.
- It’s personalized. (That’s the difference between Group 2 and Group 3 in the experiment.)
- Ultimately, the sticky note represents one person communicating with another important person—almost as if it is a favor or special request, which makes the recipient feel important.
I still hate them. Doesn’t everyone?