When less is more: Empirical study of the relation between consumer behavior and information sharing on commercial landing pages


This paper describes an empirical examination of how users’ willingness to disclose personal data is influenced by the amount of information provided on landing pages – standalone web pages created explicitly for marketing or advertising campaigns.

A series of large-scale web experiments (n= 535 and n= 27,900) were conducted employing a between-subjects design and A/B testing. Two variants of landing pages, long and short, were created based on relevant behavioral theories. Both variants included an identical form to collect users’ information, but different amounts of provided content. User traffic was generated using Google AdWords and randomized between the page using Unbounce.com. Relevant usage metrics, such as response rate (called “conversion rate”), location, and visit time were recorded.Analyses of results show that the shorter landing pages had significantly higher conversion rates across all locations and times. Findings demonstrate a negative correlation between the content amount and consumer behavior, suggesting that users who had less information were more inclined to provide their data. Findings suggest that the amount of content plays a significant role in online decision making and effective informing. They also contradict prior research on trust, persuasion, and security. This study advances research on the paradoxical relationship between the increased level of information and online decisionmaking and indicates that contrary to earlier work, not all persuasion theories are effective online.

In Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, 21, 019–039.

less is more

Nim Dvir
Ph.D. candidate and adjunct instructor