Ethical bribes to finish courses?

A few weeks ago I entered a 5 day marketing challenge and one of the activities was to test out some new softwares used fro marketing automation. As a business owner I am always keen to learn what is out there and with my gamification design hat on, a challenge always works for me. The marketing automation in tool in question, came with a a bundle of instruction videos from the owner.

Red flag number one, when you need 4 videos to explain how your software works best and is used to best effect, I get a bit worried about the steep learning curve I am about to enter. But because you would be receiving a free t-shirt at the end of the on-boarding sequence of videos, I sat through all of them. To be honest each 10 minutes did have a lot of information and some good tips in it, so it wasn’t too painful. If the reward of the T-shirt hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have bothered and would have went on to tinkering with the software itself.

Now this made me think about the T-shirt, was it a reward really or more an ethical bribe by the owner to make me finish watching his introduction? Maybe there was method behind this madness, in the end I was only trying out his tool for free to see if it was fit for the purpose I would want it for. My decision at the end of the two week trial period was to not replace my existing tools, whilst this one could do a lot, it didn’t actually justify it’s additional cost. Maybe the owner knows that those that have a bigger affinity with him thanks to watching the series of videos, where he explains a lot of why, what and how stuff, will increase the chances of the individuals buying. If you have a good agreement with a fulfilment house 1 t-shirt shipped for all viewers of the series wouldn’t really be that prohibitive in the larger scheme of things. One sale would more than cover a box load of t-shirts with shipping included.

From a business perspective maybe not a bad ploy to entice people with an ethical bribe or reward for completing on-boarding. He was also open and up-front about it’s intent, so hence very straightforward. Considering attracting new customers typically comes with a cost, putting up a bit more to cover a t-shirt or other product that suits your brand, may well lead to higher conversions. He probably had that split tested, considering the functionality of his software. From the psychological perspective it appeals to those who like free stuff and also let’s the social buyers get to know the man behind the software. Some people will fall for it, others will not, but if you know your audience well enough they will tell you with the behaviour patterns.

What would be a great product to reward your first time explorers with?

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