Results for:

Does specificity affect user engagement?

WhichTestWon's Analysis: (Click back to see versions A & B)

– Case Study –

The Next Web (TNW), one of the world’s largest online tech publishers, was looking to drive more traffic to the eCommerce ‘Deals’ section of their website. They decided to test the potential impact of explicitly stating the number of deals available as part of the navigation bar copy.

They ran the study in-house, using their own custom JavaScript tool, over the course of 14 days. Ultimately, the test versions, split 50/50, were shown to over 163 thousand visitors.

The Next Web team hypothesized that showing a specific number of deals would help clarify and set visitors’ expectations, thereby increasing the amount of traffic that would engage with the “Deals” CTA in the navigation bar.

Winner: Version B – Including the number of deals available to browse in the “Deals” CTA copy increase user engagement by 257.8% over Version A, which simply said “Deals”.


You’re at your sister’s son’s second birthday party. It’s kind of a drag, and you’re ready to leave, but the dessert hasn’t come out yet. You obviously need to know the menu before you make the decision to bounce.

You ask your sister and she simply says: “some cake”. That doesn’t sound interesting, so you make your way toward the exit.

On your way out, you run into your brother-in-law who asks, excitedly, “where ya going, we have 8 different types of cake coming?!”.

You quickly turn around and make your way back to the party to continue the small talk, as you wait for dessert.

So, what just happened?

It’s called FOMO, or fear of missing out, and you, like most of the rest of humanity, have it bad. According to TIME, a recent study defined FOMO more specifically, as:

“the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you”

More importantly, nearly three quarters of young adults have reported experiencing FOMO.

The result of this phenomenon? The emergence of a new and crucial tactic for marketers to employ when strategizing on how best to entice their audience.

Think back to the example above. It wasn’t the mere idea of missing cake that captured your attention but the idea of missing a cake tasting (involving several potentially delicious flavors) — now that wasn’t an option.

This same mindset can be applied to this week’s winning experience for The Next Web. While simply stating “Deals” in the navigation bar didn’t get high engagement rates, adding a more specific (and large) number, like “103 Deals”, suddenly skyrocketed the click rate by 257%.

The key is ensuring your traffic understands the lost value by not taking the action you want them to take. With a nav-bar option that simply stated “Deals”, one might consider all the other websites they would find a few “Deals” on. Alternatively, by specifying that there are a “103 Deals”, suddenly the user wonders – of those 103 deals – what they might be missing out on. There has to be something exceptional in there.

Does this mean you should always instill your audience with anxiety-creating FOMO in order to get them to take the actions you want them to? Definitely not. It just means that FOMO is a tactic to consider, and by testing it, you can determine if it’s the most productive approach for your audience.

Actionable Takeaways:

FOMO is real and affecting your audience.. Look across your website to understand where you can implement strategic FOMO moments to drive impact for your business.

Use it right. FOMO only works in relevant situations. If the above example tested product count (“Products” vs. “103 Products”), the results would likely have been very different, since product count doesn’t instill desire within the consumer. Target the moments where users really feel the opportunity-loss.

Test it The FOMO approach, however, should be used with caution. Test it against other strategies to ensure it’s the best tactic for your traffic.

What do you do to set shoppers’ expectations upfront?

Let us know by tweeting @BEHAVEdotorg.

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Winning Version


Reader Guesses:

Which Test Won?

  • Version B
  • Version A
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