BS101: Dangle a Carrot

Rewards are motivating, but the fear of losing or missing out on something can be even more powerful. When you’re creating your next campaign, think not only about what your product will provide to the customer, but what they’d be losing out on if they didn’t make that purchase in the first place.

When going about traditional marketing, we sell the benefits. It’s simple sales. The idea of dangling a carrot will certainly be a great way to entice your customers to follow you towards a purchase of something that could truly be life-changing.

What’s important though, is that when thinking about dangling that ‘carrot’ (that promise of something wonderful to follow) you need to remember to draw comparison to the proverbial ‘stick’ that serves as its counterpart in the popular phrase. For example, if a shopper doesn’t buy your product, will it lead to wasted time? Future cost? Or perhaps a social standing that is, quite frankly, unthinkable? Sell the benefits, but also draw attention to what awaits the customer should they not grab that carrot.

Focus on:

  • Creating a sense of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out, if you’re not hip and cool)
  • Committing to delivery of what you promise – you can’t just make it up (sadly)
  • Reciprocity – if possible, make sure that the customer can see that some greater good will come from the purchase they’re making for themselves

Think about the language you use, the picture you paint, and the complement of carrots you should have for your next campaign.

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Further Reading


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