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New PU Sales Page (feedback?)

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a survey before, and one after finishing -or maybe a week after finishing-

That's pretty much what they did at CFAR. but one before, one 1yr later. I'd say 'don't overcomplicate' and just do what they did, perhaps to the point of cloning the survey questions (that apply) and adding a few more (could be exercises from PU, or some life events that matter to PU alumni; like getting a promotion, having fired a bad boss or politics animal, having won a big frame battle, etc). For this, I'd say doing something (even if not optimal) is better than doing nothing. Because there's exactly zero precedent, it could work really well for marketing. And many dating gurus are not sophisticated enough to chase you and do the same; this requires some basic knowledge of stats :). It would leave them in the dust, hand-waving, and offering (fake) videos of approaches on youtube as evidence that their method works.

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Lucio Buffalmano

I haven't yet looked deeply into how they did it, but I originally thought they send a survey before the course, and one after.

That would take a long time to reach a large enough number of responders.

So I'm thinking to abbreviate the process with a survey of those who've already gone through PU, and ranking their "before" VS " after".


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Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on September 8, 2022, 10:41 pm

So I'm thinking to abbreviate the process with a survey of those who've already gone through PU, and ranking their "before" VS " after".


That would force people to remember how they were before PU (which could be a long time ago). Self reporting questionaires are borderline useless in social science (as credible as 'healing crystals'), but they are even more dubious if you ask for things long ago instead of in the present.

CFAR did a good effort to evaluate their course's effect. They ran a longitudinal study on the effect. But a founder, high profile rationalist Julia Galef left unsatisfied with the results of the survey. And she has good reasons to do this!

Over the next several years, as rationalism became not only the de facto brand of self-help in Silicon Valley but also an intellectual movement followed by pundits and executives alike, CFAR’s profile grew; soon, the nonprofit was running workshops across the country and teaching classes at Facebook and the Thiel Fellowship. But for CFAR’s founders, it was the empirical confirmation of their work that mattered most. Early on, they began conducting a controlled study to determine whether the workshops were demonstrably helpful. They surveyed 40 participants, assessing their before-and-after answers to questions like “How together is your life?” and “How successful do you feel in your social life?” The study found that, one year after the workshop ended, participants showed decreased neuroticism and increased self-efficacy, but to Galef, the results weren’t sufficiently rigorous. “What was it about the workshop?” she says. “Was it the classes or hanging out with like-minded people that makes the difference?” Conducting more tests would have been too expensive. “My vision was we’d come up with hypotheses about techniques, keep the ones that work, and discard the ones that don’t. It turned out to be much harder than I’d realized.”

In 2016, Galef left CFAR, unsatisfied with what she had been able to accomplish there. Instead, she began working on her first book, which, after five years, will be published by Penguin on April 13. [_The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t_]( is a fitting debut for someone who has considered herself a “populizer” of the rationalist movement. “I take these ideas I think are great and try to explain them to a wider audience,” she says.

So in terms of methodology, abbreviating the process by asking PU alumni to compare their former self with pre-PU self is ... well, not something that would convince me or anyone with any kind of scientific training. I know it takes a long time to complete PU (vs their course that is 4.5 days!) and that doing what they did (1 year gap) gets pretty much impractical. I don't know what the solution is. Just putting my hat on the ring on this one.

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Lucio Buffalmano

Thank you, LoF, a strong reminder that too strongly pursuing the shortcut can actually lead to poor work, and send the opposite message.

I agree with you.
And still, albeit much criticism to such a survey would be well founded indeed, that doesn't mean it would have zero value.
People can still have an idea of how they improved and how different/more effective they can be. Whether that perception is accurate or not it's a valid concern. But even allowing for large margins of errors, it may still provide readers with, well, something.
And from a marketing perspective, what may raise some concerns in a scientific-trained individual may instead convince a not-so-scientifically-minded individual.


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Bought Yes! by Cialdini last year and, finally, now got around to reading it.

Reading #6, "When does a bonus become an onus?", Cialdini makes a case that Kolenda has also stated in his Sales Psychology course.

Kolenda says to be careful of giving away your business's services for free to the same person too much because it will begin to anchor the value of your services in the receiver's mind as being free.

Similarly, Cialdini agrees in this book, hence Lucio's note in its review:

5. State the Value of Free Products

If you are giving something for free or as an add-on bonus, you should always state its value.
If you don’t, people will feel like it’s worthless.

I think that the Bonuses section could be more persuasive if it shares the value of each of the bonuses.

Currently, the value of either of the bonuses is not shared which could lead to the reader feeling it's probably not worth much (which couldn't be further from the truth):

*Image of the current Bonuses section.

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Lucio Buffalmano


Thank you so much, Ali, yet another gold nugget.

One of the reasons that I originally omitted the prices is that the price was only a tiny percentage of PU, so not only you don't have that "wow, what a bonus effect", but you may have the effect of "it's a worthless bonus".

But what you say makes sense.
And to avoid the risk of "worthless space-filling ebook", I added a price more in line with the content, rather than old price tags.

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Ali Scarlett
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