How To Craft The Perfect Discount Message To Customers (So Your Next Offer Is Irresistible)

discount message

There are 4 principles you need to stick to when crafting the perfect discount message for an offer:

  1. The offer itself
  2. The right wording
  3. WIIFM – what’s in it for me
  4. FOMO – fear of missing out

These four principles outline exactly what your next offer should cover if you want to make it irresistible to your customers.

While using all four cannot guarantee your deal’s success in the market, it’s a four-pronged approach that can boost your odds measurably.

Let’s get stuck into how each of the principles work…

The Offer Itself

When it comes to creating an offer you need to be aware of how it is received by your customer.

There is two parts to this:

  1. The offer
  2. And who it is delivered to

Isn’t it nice when someone does something just for you, something tailored to your needs and not the needs of the crowd?

We’re all individuals and we love getting special treatment.

Imagine for a second that you are dealing with a customer, Fred, who just bought a coffee maker.

What do you think is more influential out of these two offers?

  1. Hi Fred … Get 20% off 1kg bags of coffee
  2. Hi Fred … We have the PERFECT coffee match to go with your new coffee maker! Because you recently bought a coffee maker you are now eligible to claim a 1kg bag Joe’s Specialty Grade Sumatran Single-Origin Arabica Coffee at 20% off. But hurry we have limited stock and this offer is only valid for 1-week. Give it a try!

While they both make the same offer, 20% off, the second is specific and personalized. Fred will feel as though he is getting a personal recommendation.

You recognized that he just bought a coffee maker and you made a valid, fair and exciting offer to get a related product based on his next immediate need.

The more personalized you can make your offer the higher the conversion rate on it will be.

On a general offer blasted to your whole customer list, you can expect a dismal 1% return on investment. This is pretty standard for all advertising to general audiences.

On a highly specific offer sent to just a subset of your customers, you can expect the conversion rate to be much higher (5%, 10% or more is not unheard of).

The Right Wording

Being aware of the right way to frame an offer when you are communicating can make a massive difference in the take up of your deal.

The right wording will:

  1. Focus on loss aversion
  2. Subtle fear triggers
  3. Increasing desire
  4. Shocking & awing

We wrote a detailed guide on correct sales wording for coupon marketing campaigns recently but I’ll go over the concepts again quickly here.

Studies have shown that, in general, loss aversion is a much stronger psychological force than potential gain.

Put simply, saying “save X” over “get X” is mentally harder for people to resist.

Next we have subtle fear triggers. I’ll talk more about FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) shortly, but fear triggers have been shown to motivate people into action.

It’s not so much that you want to scare them, that’s just mean. More that you want to indicate there are limitations and to avoid loss they need to act.

Increasing the desire of an item is an accelerant to this fire. Make an item highly desirable and combine that with the fear of losing the opportunity and you’ll be opening up a pandora’s box of emotion.

People buy based on emotion.

Lastly, to increase all of these, look to shock and awe your customer. What can you do that is outrageous to make them pay attention?

If you want someone to notice you in a sea of grey, wear a red shirt.

What can you change about your offer, your message, your delivery that will make you stand out and shock and awe your customers.

WIIFM – What’s In It For Me?

When you are crafting an offer, it’s very easy to slip into the trap of only looking at what is in it for you.

What is best for the company?

How can I extract as much money as possible from people and give away the least?

It’s fine to keep these things in the back of your mind, but in the forefront of your mind should be the customer.

Their needs. Their wants.

When you are crafting an offer and writing marketing copy for your emails, social posts, filming videos, recording radio ads, writing ad copy, you should ALWAYS keep in mind “WIIFM”.

WIIFM stands for What’s In It For Me. It’s shorthand to remind you that the customer needs to know first and foremost what is in it for them.

In the buying journey, customers are very selfish, they only care about themselves. They really don’t give a flying fig tree about you and your needs as a company.

Therefore when you write, you should be writing in a “benefits” mindset.

What are the benefits to the customer? What will they be able to do after taking up your offer that they can’t do now? Will it save them time, pain, money?

Have a look over your campaign and ask yourself, “If I was my customer, and I was being selfish and only looking at what was in it for me, what would convince me the most?”

Use this as your guidepost when communicating and you’ll be winning.

FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out

The final principle that you need to keep in mind is called “FOMO”.

FOMO is shorthand for Fear Of Missing Out.

A huge trigger in people’s brains is fear. Fear drives people and I don’t mean that in a sinister way.

All it means is that in order to get outsized response on a campaign you need to motivate people by triggering an emotional response that they might be missing out on something.

People don’t like to miss out.

Parents talk to their toddlers in this way all the time.

“You don’t want to put on your shoes before leaving the house? Oh well, I guess we’ll miss out on going to grandmas.” … boom… the kid jumps into action and gets their shoes on quick smart.

As adults, we never really grow out of this.

The timer doesn’t stop ticking down to zero on that shoe listing in that eBay auction… boom… we lodge a bid to hopefully secure the buy and avoid missing out.

There are two primary ways to trigger FOMO:

  1. Soft deadlines
  2. Hard deadlines

A soft deadline is something where the deadline is movable. For example:

“Be one of the first 100 callers and get a free set of steak knives!”

A hard deadline is a deadline that is fixed. For example:

“48-hour flash sale on all socks & hosiery”

Implement The 4 Principles Of Discount Messaging

So when it comes time to set up your next coupon deal or offer, make sure that you are adhering to the 4 principles of discount messaging to customers.

  1. Focus on loss aversion
  2. Subtle fear triggers
  3. Increasing desire
  4. Shocking & awing

If you do this you’ll significantly increase your odds of running a successful campaign.

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