Offer Incentives That Make Sense To Your Customers, Not You

Incentives are always a nice perk for customers. It’s that extra little bump that gets them to buy. Interestingly enough though, if you don’t know what kind of incentive will trigger your customers to buy, you will often be stuck with a very large inventory of leftover flannel blankets (that you incidentally thought was top 5 coolest swag ever).

So if you’re not in the mood to spend a chunk of change having a market research firm figure out what that trigger is, you can at least start with these tips.

Don’t Offer Incentives Based On..

  • What is cheapest
  • What is most readily available
  • The extra of that thing you over-ordered six months ago and can’t get rid of
  • Starbucks or amazon cards, or any other gift card that has “temporary payoff – but you’re still not buying my love” written all over it
  • What you think is cool (and will sneak one of when no one is looking)
  • What your husband, wife, or child says is cool
  • What you saw customers go nuts over at Macy’s over the weekend
  • What worked at your last company 7 years ago
  • What the “hip” think is cool right now

Instead, try something along these lines:

  • Look at your competitors and see what they have offered in the past year. does something there make sense to modify and turn around to your base to increase retention?
  • If you are breaking into a new market segment, you have probably already done some research about this segment. What motivates them? What creates loyalty?
  • If you are trying to increase retention within the existing base, consider taking a look at your historical data. get an understanding of which programs in the past have worked and which have not, and try a modification of one of the good ones.
  • Interestingly, more and more consumers want to do business with companies that reflect their values. Is there some cause that resonates more with your customers?

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