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Surprise marketing - better conversions through the unexpected

on 20 Jan  Posted by Admin  Category: Internet Related  

by Michael Bloch

When we sold our house a while back, I learned a few things from the real estate agent that are certainly applicable in the world of online business and Internet marketing.

When the agent came around to discuss strategy and advertising, I started listing all the positive features of the property. He said that he wouldn't be including everything in the ad.


Because everyone likes a nice surprise

It's a little bit along the lines of under-promising and over-delivering. If you flaunt everything you have, that can build up huge expectations and even a single negative about the product may suddenly become a big issue in the potential purchaser's mind. By allowing a feature be an unexpected "bonus", the (pleasant) shock of the surprise can help to send any aspects that could be perceived as negative out of the spotlight and into the shadows.

When advertising, there's always the temptation to try and cram in as much as possible about our products and services; after all, we want to appeal to the broadest group possible - but there are some ways to go about it where you can still cast your net wide yet retain the element of surprise.

Try to stick with listing key features, plus a couple of unique aspects and save the real impact for when the customer visits your site. Here's a few things you can do:

The additional discount bonus

Let's say you're offering a 20% discount deal on your products - in your ad you can mention 15% off, but then on your site have something along the lines of "Today only - 20% off!". You've then turned an attractive offer into something even more appealing, plus added a sense of urgency. This also works particularly well with coupon marketing where you capture the potential customer's details for follow up marketing before they get the coupon code in case they don't buy on the first visit.

Free software upgrades

Perhaps you already offer free upgrades; but this isn't something you *have* to mention in your ad copy. Often with software, people are looking for functionality and price first and additional bonuses second (if at all) - free upgrades are quite powerful as a surprise bonus and certainly help with conversions.

Bonus reports and gadget gifts

Free white papers, reports and little gifts are a nice touch but aren't awfully powerful in terms of advertising - these are best left as a surprise bonus also. They just help give people another reason to buy your product.

Be vague

In the online world, an ad doesn't sell the product - your landing page does. The ad is the bait, the landing page reels the person in and the shopping cart checkout is where you hopefully land the customer. The landing page is where the brunt of the conversion work is done.

That being the case, you can just advertise the core features plus a couple of unique aspects as mentioned, but allude to there being more; e.g. "+ great bonuses!". That helps to stir curiosity without taking up too much valuable advertising real estate. Just make sure the great bonuses are indeed great smile.

Past the sale, surprise bonuses also have a lot of power in retaining customers, getting them to spend more with you and equally as important, encouraging them to tell others. Learn more in my article, "After sales marketing - the unexpected bonus gift".

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
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