It’s not every day that Forbes Magazine writes about Norwegian research. In the article “Is There New Proof You Will Read This Article,” they present a research study from BI Norwegian Business School.
Professor Linda Lai, along with Head of Science Communication Audun Farbrot, has carried out a study of what makes you click when you surf the Web.
The study results are presented in the research paper “What makes you click? The effect of question headlines on readership in computer-mediated communication.” The paper has been published in the international science journal Social Influence (published online).
Lai and Farbrot have carried out a number of experiments with various headlines on the micro-blogging service Twitter and the classified ad marketplace Finn.no and studied which types of headlines make the largest amount of people click to read more.
They published messages on Twitter about research news (on the @afarbrot Twitter account) over several months.
When the headline was worded as a question, interest in reading the linked news article increased by 150 per cent. When the question was also personally relevant, interest grew by 170 per cent, compared with a normal non-question headline.
Experiments were also conducted on “Torget” (the marketplace) on Finn.no, where Masters students published ads for several types of products, all as good as new, including a smartphone, a sofa and a TV. The experiments were conducted with several headline variants over a number of months.
These experiments yielded the same results. Headlines with questions were more effective than normal headlines, and questions with personal relevance were the most effective.
After Forbes wrote about the study, more than 1300 people have clicked in to download the scientific article.
Read the Forbes article: Is There New Proof You Will Read This Article?
Read the research paper: What makes you click?