Incentives are enticements that encourage one into action, a reward for participating. It gives people a reason to read your flyer, visit your website, click on that link, sign up for your newsletter or fill out your survey. How many flyers and brochures do you get in your mailbox that you don’t even look at, just toss into the recycle bin? It’s just more background noise in our lives, more clutter we have to deal with.
Give people a reason to act so you don't lose sales.
I recently received a letter in my mailbox from a back treatment clinic I've used before. Their treatments are effective and did help my back pain significantly however at $75 a visit it adds up quick, so I can’t go as often as I’d like. When I received this letter saying I was chosen to participate in a survey to help improve their treatments I was happy, I read it front to back looking for my incentive, quickly realizing there was nothing in it for me.
Into the recycle bin it went and a shame to, they spent a lot of money on stamps for their return envelopes and printing, not to mention all the waste of paper. In addition I felt somewhat insulted, they assumed that my being chosen should be reason enough.
What would have made me take time out of my day to spend half an hour on the phone for an interview? A free treatment, that’s it…one free treatment and I would participate. Maybe that’s selfish but my time is valuable to me and that seems like too much work when I get nothing in return. If they offered a free treatment in return for my participation I would've been happy to do it, they get the information they need to improve their service and I get to have a visit to help my back, we both win.
They probably got some people to participate however I wonder how many more they would have if they just offered an incentive? It’s more than just what my time is worth it’s the appreciation for my efforts, a thank you not only for helping their business but a thank you for having spent so much money on them in the past.
This is one thing that is hugely overlooked by business owners, not too many people are going to take time out of their day to do anything for you if you don’t offer something in return. If your going to spend the money on mailouts make sure in bold front and centre is your incentive, like " $10 off coupon inside", "free shipping" or "mention this brochure and receive XYZ for free" something that will stop people in their tracks and open that brochure, visit your store or call you up. Make it easy to do and worth the effort, same goes for your website, give people a reason to sign up for your newsletter, bookmark your site or fill out your survey.
Incentives are more than just a way to get people to do what you want, they act as a thank you for doing it, it shows appreciation and that is worth our time.