So yesterday, I got this offer through my letter box from our local Pizza take out and it got me thinking about direct marketing strategy around supersizing…. The offer was:
“You Get 6 Large Pizza’s, 2 Bottles Of Pepsi and 3 Garlic Breads of 10 Slices Each!
This feast weighs a whopping 1 and half stone, delivered to your door!”
As marketers we suspect that bigger is better, even when it’s not.
After all, more of anything seems like a better deal to the customer than less of something, right?
But thanks to a new study, we now know that “more” of a product not only sounds better – it can also be a status symbol for the customer, making it often a better direct marketing strategy.
Take for example the Big Gulp drink from 7-Eleven – 32 oz of sticky sweet carbonated goodness.
Does anyone on the planet NEED 32 oz of sticky sweet carbonated drink?
While some might say they do, the fact is it’s a flood of empty calories with a bevy of negative health effects, yet they sell like gangbusters.
And believe it or not, they can actually make the purchasers feel BETTER about themselves.
No, I am NOT advocating you run out and buy one of these things – rather, I’m suggesting you SELL these things, in some form in your business.
Follow closely – This is from the Journal of Consumer Research and it concerns a series of experiments carried out by Derek Rucker of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
In the first experiment, volunteers looked at photos of people holding different sized drinks and then were asked to rate the STATUS of the people they saw in the photos. Tabulated results showed that the bigger the drink, the higher the status score each photo rated.
No, I’m not kidding, and it gets weirder.
In the second experiment, half of the volunteers were asked to remember a time when they were bossed around. The other half were asked to remember a time when they were in a position to boss others around.
No surprise here – the volunteers who remember being bossed around felt the least powerful.
(Yet another example of how the thoughts you choose determine how you feel.)
Okay, here comes the surprise – next those same volunteers were offered a drink in 3 different sizes. There was no choice on what KIND of drink, only of what SIZE drink they could have.
Those who felt the least powerful CHOSE THE BIGGEST DRINK.
In other words, even in something as ordinary as choosing a drink, the decision is not based solely on how thirsty the person is, but rather on how much power they feel they have.
And in this poor worldwide economy, it’s a reasonable conclusion that as people feel powerless to control what’s happening, more and more super sizing will be taking place, and not just in food.
Now then, here’s how to use this as part of your direct marketing strategy…
First, when you can make your product appear larger, do so. For example, you might take each chapter of an book and separate it into a report – 12 reports look like more than one book.
If you are selling training courses, break them into 12 modules rather than 4. And so forth.
Second, offer a super size version of your product / service.
That is, you might have your regular product and a second version that offers more information, more promises, more benefits, etc.
Third, offer them power and prestige. For example, if you’re creating a membership, don’t make it just any old membership. Give it a name like The Exclusive Gold Club for Star Class Members or something that conveys the power and prestige so many people are lacking in these uncertain times.
Fourth, don’t forget to add an upsell to your offer. Upsell’s are like supersizing the fries – they’ve already decided to order, now it’s just a matter of offering them more, and many times they will jump at the chance to upgrade to that virtual Big Gulp.
One last thing – you might be thinking that with the economy hurting, it’s not the time to be offering upsells, bigger packages and Gold Memberships, but this is EXACTLY the time to be doing that.
People want to feel they are in control, that they have power, that they do matter.
And if it’s a choice between buying a few Big Gulps that are going to rot their bones and pack on the fat, or your new product that can actually HELP them, you’ve got a duty to offer them that product and let them decide for themselves.
Downloadable Quote Card “Can Supersizing Be An Effective Direct Marketing Strategy?”
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