Baby Carrots

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Have you eaten baby carrots recently? If so, you probably ate one, then another, and another. Had you first sat down with a standard carrot, you might not have eaten it at all. But a baby carrot pulled you in, momentum took over and you ate more. Activity overtook intentions.

This baby carrot principle works on web sites too. Give visitors something small and interesting they can take action on, and momentum will kick in. The user becomes more engaged if they take some action, and they are more likely to go deeper. They read more content, consideration goes up, and ultimately so does conversion.

A baby carrot can be accomplished with interactive elements, small copy chunks, and copy or headlines that breed curiosity. This principle should also help the decision to put less on the page and provide a singular, simple choice. More clicks is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as they’re simple, momentum-building clicks.

As an example of a baby carrot in action, a couple years ago we put an interactive finance calculator on the Dell.com and more people clicked through, all the way to conversion.

In 1997 at Thirdage.com, we put an online poll on the home page and it cut home page abandonement in half. The same people were coming to the site, but this time they took a baby carrot and kept going. It’s still there today.

So instead of offering the full carrot on the home page or landing page, give the visitor a baby carrot…something attractive to munch on to start their journey deeper into your site. And add dip while you’re at it!

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