ELM: The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) suggests that a fundamental key to the art of persuasion lies in a person’s cognitive elaboration on the issue at hand. According to the ELM, personal relevance is an important factor in motivating people to cognitively elaborate on an issue. Thus, finding a message that achieves personal relevance is very important.
ELM in B2B: WhichTestWon.com conducted a great case study that illustrated not only the power of personal relevance, but how it can be influenced by design.
In the study, a B2B marketing company, Safe Software, tested two differently designed web pages with essentially the same copy. Additionally, their headlines spoke to similar UPS’s, which spoke to their product’s compatibility, an issue that was personally relevant with their respective audiences.
But despite the similar messaging, one page increased click-throughs 125% more than the other option. And I would argue that it is simply a design preference.
So remember, conduct research with your target audience. And don’t just stop after you’ve found out what is personally relevant with them to include in your messaging. Also do online testing to see if one design is better or more effective than the other. As this case study showed, design can be just as important as content in motivating buying behavior.