New Study Confirms Messaging Framework for Delivering Most Effective Renewal Story

February 14, 2017

Research identifies optimal message for reinforcing the status quo bias and retaining customers

PLEASANTON, Calif., Feb. 9, 2017 –Corporate Visions, Inc., the leading marketing and sales messaging, content and skills training company, announced the results of an experiment that confirms a specific messaging framework for delivering the most effective renewal message to customers. Specifically, the study found that when it comes to renewal messaging, companies need to do two things well to tell the most impactful story:

  • First, companies need to document specific results of their partnership and share those first, before trying to affirm why they were, and continue to be, the right choice.
  • Second, they must make sure to provide more expanded detail—as opposed to less—about recent advances in their solution that are helping customers keep pace with the market and anything the competition is offering.

For the experiment, conducted online and involving 380 participants, Corporate Visions contracted with Dr. Zakary Tormala, a social psychologist and an expert in persuasion and social influence. Separately, Tormala is a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The study tested four different renewal message “pitches.” Importantly, the messages varied along two key dimensions across each experimental condition. The first dimension was whether the provider documented successful results before or after reinforcing the current situation. The second dimension was whether the provider gave more or less explicit detail on the recent advances they had made.

While there were differences across the assessed measures, the overall pattern of results points to the greater effectiveness of documenting results at the outset of the message and using more explicit detail in underscoring recent advances.

“This study comes on the heels of research confirming that provocative messaging approaches, which may be effective at acquiring new customers, don’t hold up so well in a renewal context,” said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and research officer at Corporate Visions. “This new research goes a step further by confirming an actual renewal messaging framework that’s tested and proven to give you statistically significant advantages in the areas most vital to building customer loyalty and winning renewal business.”

The study assessed the messaging impact of each experimental condition in the areas of switching intentions, willingness to pay, trust, and perceptions of message quality.

“For companies with service contracts, licensing agreements or subscription models, your success hinges on getting your best customers to renew with you,” Riesterer added. “By establishing a specific messaging framework suited to this critical but overlooked conversation, companies now have a tested, proven roadmap for telling the most effective renewal story, instead of guessing.”

To get more information about the study findings and to see the winning framework condition, check out the research brief.

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