Use Self-Reference Effect to Increase Product Engagement and Adoption

Heard of the Self-Reference Effect? It’s an incredibly powerful bias...

The world’s biggest companies use it in the form of personalisation.

For example:

  • Spotify's "Discover Weekly" Playlist

  • Google Ads Personalisation

  • Facebook’s ‘On this day’ feature

  • Netflix’s recommendation system

We’re all used to it.

You should use it whenever you can in your product and business.

Why? What’s going on here?

Well, in cognitive psychology, this principle demonstrates that making information personally relevant can significantly enhance memory recall.

It taps into the inherent bias all humans have to prioritise information that's relevant to them. When people perceive something as being personally connected or relevant to them, they are more likely to pay attention, engage with it, and remember it.

It can have a big impact on adoption, engagement and retention.

All things most businesses want.

How can you use it to get results?

At the most basic end, you have a name. But usually you’ll have more data or an ICP.

Cater the experience you provide to each type of customer.

Are they going to be in a rush? Are they technical? Are they high earners?

When you onboard a customer you can triage them into different, applicable experiences to make it feel relevant to their world.

Pair with with the Peak-End rule to make the experience unforgettable.

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