50% off

50% off something you had no intention of buying.

Somehow, the marketers find a way to make that sound appealing to the point where we feel like we’re better off spending rather than simply buying nothing at all.

Reasons to unsubscribe from an email list

I recently unsubscribed from an email list. Afterwards, I got thinking about why I did it for that particular brand and why I’d do it in general.

We all already get way too many emails and so an additional 5 a week from a company you bought hair products from once and don’t plan to buy from again is just too much.

Just because we place one order with a company, doesn’t mean we’re interested in their email marketing. We might want updates on sales or new products they come out with but everything else is just annoying.

And lastly, we want to feel respected. Just because someone now has our email when we’re being bombarded with emails every few days or even weekly it feels like excessive. I think we’d all much rather read emails that feel important to us (not just to the person sending them) even if their intention is to get us to buy more stuff.

But the more emails we get the less helpful it feels and so we decide that we’d rather have no emails at all and we click unsubscribe.

Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been duped

When we think about getting someone to buy something the first is probably that it’s a bad thing. Perhaps what comes to mind is a greasy car salesmen or some sort of trickster who will tell lies to convince you to spend money.

But what about the other times we buy things based on being influenced and we’re happy with the choice. I don’t consider that to be a bad thing.

It could be a £1,100 pair of Valentino Garavani boots that you feel great in, you get you compliments every time you wear them and they were purchased in a store where you received excellent service. It could also be £10 water bottle that doesn’t leak.

The issue arises when we buy something and it doesn’t work as it should, it doesn’t feel worth it, it feels like a waste of money, we regret the purchase or it stops working and you can’t get a refund.

Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been duped, we want to feel like we’re making good choices and spending our money well.

5 ways to convince people to spend money

I recently got thinking about some of the ways we’re persuaded to spend money. Sometimes it’s things we planned to buy anyway but other times it’s things we actually had no intention of getting or stuff we just don’t need.

Tell them it’s limited edition

If something won’t be around for long they’re more likely to buy it because they don’t want to miss out. In many cases we’d actually rather take the risk and buy it, than not buy it and potentially regret it.

Make then feel like it’s something exclusive

Exclusivity makes people feel special. Similarly to when something is limited edition, when something is or feels exclusive people want it more. It could be as simple as having a special link to a product that you provide to those who sign up to your newsletter. Or it could also be something incredibly expensive that only the wealthy can afford it.

Let them know that it’s worth the cost

When you highlight that something is great value people want to buy it because it seems like it’s worth it. Maybe you highlight where a particular fabric was grown, the treatment of the workers, the minimal environmental impact or how long the product could last. The value that is focused on and highlighted will depend on the type of customer you’re trying to attract.

Let them know that it’s more than worth the cost

This method works well when you’re providing a service but can also apply to certain physical products. There are many things that we purchase that come with secondary value. It could be a cooking class that is worth it because you’re learning a new skill. It becomes more than worth the cost when now you’re more confident to host your friends and family because you now you know your way around the kitchen. It could also be a digital course where what you teach will allow small business owners to attract more repeat customers which will improve their profits.

Make them think it will improve their life

If you play into ideas of what people think is good for them then they’re more likely to buy from you. This is very rampant in the wellness industry but also in fashion. Many people buy items like bags because of signals they want to send and the way they want to be perceived. Going back to wellness, if you can sell someone something that is supposed to be good for them in some way, they’ll feel good even before they’ve used or consumed it. People are often aware if this which is what drives them to buy the thing in the first place.

Order status update

I recently placed an online order from a beauty retailer and one from a fashion retailer. Both orders were delayed and the companies handled things totally differently.

One company handled it by providing regular email updates on the status of my order, to apologise for their delay and assure me that I’d receive my parcel as soon as possible.

The other company did nothing, in fact I had to contact them to try and find out what the issue was.

Something as simple as an email was enough for me to feel like a company cared. It wasn’t personal but the choice to send an update gave the message that they value their customers enough to let them know what is going on.

I think sometimes we underestimate the impact that something simple can have. But you don’t always have to solve the problem, sometimes just acknowledging that there is one is more than enough.

Black Friday deals

Today was black Friday.

It might have been a day where you spent hundreds of pounds or perhaps you bought nothing at all.

There are arguments against the day because it encourages excessive consumerism. On the other hand, it can be a great opportunity to take advantage of the sales and buy things you can’t usually afford or have wanted for a while.

Yet, you may not be getting as good a deal as you think.

A store that had a pair of boots in the sale 2 weeks ago for 35% off may now be selling them for 20% off, except there is now a Black Friday sign flashing at the top of the website.

Granted a discount is a discount but don’t fall into thinking that right now you’re getting the best deal.

Does the customer determine value?

I recently saw some things for sale and my first thought was that I wouldn’t buy them. In my opinion the items weren’t worth the price they were being sold for.

But people were buying the items.

Turns out that that even though I didn’t value the items at the price they were being sold for other people did, which got me thinking.

Who determines value?

If you’re selling something for £50 and nobody buys it, is it actually worth £50.

Or does value come from what the customer is willing to pay for it.

In my opinion it is the customer that determines the value because they’re the ones willing to pay for it. However, it is worth noting that just because you’re unable to sell to one group of people, doesn’t mean you’re prices are too high.

It might just mean that those people don’t see the value in what you’re selling.

But maybe another group will.

Falling for a scam

Consumerism is out to get us.

Or at least that’s how it often feels anyway.

I’ve been noticing emails on my inbox from various retailers with things like last chance, don’t miss out, you haven’t completed your order (which is super creepy in my opinion).

Instead of finding it enticing, I just find it overwhelming, its too much. Often these great deals aren’t even that great and the ‘last chance’ will always come around again.

It’s like a false sense of urgency to try and get you to spend money on things you don’t even really want.

One of the biggest consumerism scams is the discounted items that are equal to or more expensive than the original price.

10% off something that costs £20 isn’t a great deal when yesterday it only cost £15.

Black Friday: A false sense of urgency

Buy it now, before it’s too late!

So yesterday was black Friday and I think for the first time ever I noticed how full on it actually is.

There are so many things to possibly buy and so many deals and discounts to give into.

As I scrolled through sites looking for potential purchases I has a sort of eureka moment which led to me deciding not to buy anything at all.

You see the thing is I didn’t actually need any of the things I was going to buy, I just wanted them. Things for the sake of things or things just for show.

It feels great to buy things and know you saved money.

But black Friday is also quite intense and I feel that a false sense of urgency is created with these short term sales.

On one hand it’s great because you can save money on things you’ve been wanting or needing for a while.

But on the other hand there are so many emails, tweets, YouTube videos, insta-stories and blog posts providing you with discount codes and links that even if you didn’t plan to buy anything you might find yourself taking (or getting taken) advantage) of the 30% discount on a luxury skincare brand.

It gets to a point where you feel good buying something you don’t even need just because it was £14 cheaper.

So, I thought it might be worth reminding you (an myself) that you’re not saving money if you had no intentions to buy it in the first place.