Our brains opt for the path of least resistance and make over ninety per cent of our decisions at a subconscious level. So, to get your message across effectively, it's essential to keep it simple. The simpler, the better. This way, even a half-asleep brain can understand it without having to do any mental acrobatics.
Our brains are also quite susceptible. They tend to believe the first thing they hear as absolute truth until they have a reason to question it or enough time to think it through properly.
That's where numbers come into play. They help us understand value and make comparisons. But do you know how our brains process numbers? What kind of emotions do they evoke?
Let's consider a simple example. Imagine you state, "89% of customers recommend us (or the car)" versus "79% of customers recommend us." At first glance, the difference may not seem that significant, but your half-asleep brain will react differently to them.
The first one, close to 90%, feels solid and almost perfect. Your brain perceives it as "pretty flawless."
On the other hand, the second number is interpreted as rather disappointing. Even if you round it up to 80%, it still carries a hint of failure and will likely make your brain grumble.
But with a little bit of tweaking, you can turn things around. Saying "Four out of five customers" will sound much more appealing to the subconscious mind than "78% of customers."
As the numbers decrease, the impact becomes even more noticeable. "The majority of customers" sounds far more reassuring than "65% of them." And "over half" is far easier to grasp than "55%."
We're not trying to deceive anyone. It's still the same number. However, the first example in each case will have a much stronger impact on conversion rates than the second one.
It's also important to be cautious with outdated claims of past glory. If your sign proudly declares you were "The Best Of Something Or Other" in 2016, 2017, and 2018, alarm bells start ringing in your brain. It wonders, "What on earth happened in the last five years? Did everything go downhill?" In this case, it'd be better to say, "The Best Three Years In A Row."
So, take a careful look at the numbers you're using. Consider whether each number sounds better as a positive or negative percentage, a fraction, or a descriptive phrase. Portray them in a positive way instead of making the brain break into a sweat!