The "Sticky Note" Factor

Want to make sure something gets done?  Attach a sticky note.

A recent study shows that adding a sticky note to a task can bring impressive results.  It adds a personal touch and causes the person to feel like you are asking a favor of them.

In the study...
  • Group 1 received a survey with a sticky note attached asking for the return of the completed survey.
  • Group 2 received a survey with the same handwritten message on the cover letter instead of an attached sticky note.
  • Group 3 received a survey with a cover letter, but no handwritten message.
The results were...
  • Group 3: 36% returned the survey.
  • Group 2: 48% returned the survey.
  • Group 1: 76% of returned the survey.
Why does adding a sticky note help?
  1. The sticky note takes up space and looks a bit cluttered.  The brain, therefore, wants it gone.
  2. It gets attention first because of #1.  It’s difficult to ignore.
  3. It’s personalized.
  4. Ultimately, the sticky note represents one person communicating with another important personalmost as if it is a favor or special request, which makes the recipient feel important.
The next time you ask someone to complete a task, try leaving a sticky note.  A small personal touch will go a long way toward getting the results you want.