The book Predictability Irrational describes an example from Amazon.com that details what happened when the company launched its “free shipping” promotion with the purchase of a second book. Every country excluding France experienced a significant increase in sales. So marketers asked the question, “Why aren’t French shoppers taking advantage of the promotion?”
After some digging, the marketers discovered that shipping for the second book wasn’t showing up as free in France. Instead, shoppers were charged the equivalent of 20 cents for that second book. The company quickly fixed the mistake, and once that was corrected France experienced a sales increase similar to those in other geographic locations.
The above example includes an interesting lesson for marketers, because even though the price of the second book was small (20 cents), the word “free” was far more powerful than a low price. Test this strategy on your next offer to determine whether it drives greater conversions and results.
Have you ever tried to put a procrastinating child to bed? If so, you’ll find that this child instinctively knows something that Robert Cialdini, author of Influence, teaches his readers.
You say, “Hey, it’s time for bed.” And the child says, “But I need a drink of water because I’m so thirsty.” The magic word here is “because.”
In Cialdini’s book, he explains that people are more willing to meet demands when given an explanation. He proved this through a series of tests. In the first test, a person said the following to a line of people who were waiting to make copies:
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”
Sixty percent of the people waiting in line allowed him to cut and use the machine first. The tester then asked the same question, but altered the words he used slightly. He said:
“I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I am in a rush?”
You’d think the others would say, “Hey buddy, we’re all in a rush here ― wait in line.” But surprisingly, 94 percent of the people allowed him to cut in line when he said “because” and included a reason, even though the reason wasn’t really that good.
So if you want to make your marketing more persuasive instantly, add the word “because.”
Customer expectations are rising, and consumers increasingly want things now. In fact, the midbrain becomes activated when a person envisions instant rewards. As a result, when marketers use the word “instant,” a switch flips in customers’ brains. They become engaged, attentive, and ready to take action.
Using this word is a start, but you can add even more impact by over-delivering on this promise. This involves delivering exactly what you promised, plus a little more.
For example, let’s say you have a “download now” button on your Website. When customers click the button, they can provide their names and email addresses in exchange for a free guide. Instead of using the phrase “download now,” test the words “download now for instant access.” Then, when you deliver the free guide, throw in a bonus resource the prospect wasn’t expecting.
The word “new” is powerful when used correctly, but according to a recent article written by Copyblogger, you must strike the right balance when integrating this word into your content. Start by asking yourself, “Which parts of our business generate trust and which parts generate utility?” For the “trust” parts of your business, don’t change anything too major or make it appear new.
However, features of your products that deal with utility can be altered and marketed as new. Use this word to generate more interest and conversions from your target market.
6. Money-back guarantee
The money-back guarantee encourages customers and prospects to test your products and services. It also helps remove that psychological barrier to trying something new. Once people try and then love your offering, they become paying customers. Yet the simple money-back guarantee often isn’t enough to entice potential customers to try products and services in the first place.
Find new ways to promote and capture attention for your existing guarantee. For example, Amazon.com offers an interesting guarantee on a product preorder — the company promises that if you order a product before it is in stock, you’ll receive the lowest price available for the first 30 days.
So if the product goes on sale after its release, you’ll get a refund. Without this guarantee, a customer may think, “Gosh, why prepay and buy this item now? … There might be a better deal when it comes out.” With this type of guarantee, you’re facing those objectives head on.
Another variation of making a guarantee stand out is shoe company Zappos’ incredible “free shipping, free returns, 365-day return policy.” Not only can you buy the shoes and get your money back if you don’t like them — you have an entire year to decide.