What is the paradox of choice?
In his 2004 bestseller The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less, American psychologist Barry Schwartz argues that eliminating consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers.
The basic situation you can use to understand this scenario is while shopping, when a larger selection of a certain item may be overwhelming and make you less likely to buy. If one store offered 24 varieties of jam and another offered 6, research suggests consumers are more likely to buy at the second store with fewer options.
How does it relate to nonprofits?
For nonprofits, the paradox of choice is especially relevant for digital communications. For example, it can be tempting to pack multiple calls to action in a single marketing email. However, that can become overwhelming and simple calls to action with copy that is short and sweet will likely lead to higher returns.
Next time you’re crafting an email, social media campaign or other call to action, remember the paradox of choice. More often than not, fewer choices will lead to more clicks.