Impact Pricing Blog

A Fabulous New Behavioral Economics Trick

I’m a skeptic and a laboratory of 1.  This morning I was enticed by a trick I hadn’t seen before.  First, I’ll tell you the trick, and then we’ll dissect it.  

I’m trying to get healthier and lose a little weight.  I just put a continuous glucose monitor on my arm to see what different foods do to my glucose.  A friend told me about a product called Lumen which monitors your ketones which tells you if your body is burning fat or glycogen.  I went to look at the Lumen site and have been there several times.  I signed up for their newsletter so I can learn more.  

I’m not a huge fan of their pricing because you can’t buy the device; you have to buy a coaching package. But on eBay a used device goes for $75-$100. Lumen’s annual coaching plan has a list price of $399 marked down to $299.  (A BE tactic of course.)  Shortly after signing up, they sent me an email offering $25 off with a code that’s only valid for 5 days.  (FOMO, another BE tactic.)  

Now for my favorite new BE trick.  A little later they sent another email titled “Secret Sale” offering me a 10% to 50% discount if I used their secret code.  The call to action was “Reveal Now.”   In my mind, I thought, they are only going to give me 10%, maybe 25%.  I went to their website, entered the promo code and I got … 50% off!  So I bought a year-long coaching package.   

To be fair, I knew what was going on and decided to buy anyway, probably because they had established a high reference price in my mind and were now offering a much lower one.  I justified it thinking $75 for the device and $75 for the coaching.  

Where’s the trick?  They knew most of us would expect a small percentage off, not the big 50% off.  Then, when you “win” the 50% discount, it feels good.  It feels lucky.  Of course, we have to take advantage of it.  

Yes, it’s possible their secret code really does randomize the discount levels and I was just lucky, but I doubt it.  

What can you learn from this?  Any time you can get your buyer to expect something, and then pleasantly surprise them with something even better, especially if it appears to be a one-time offer, you will likely win more deals.  From a big-picture point of view, this new trick isn’t really new.  Pleasantly surprise your customers.  But, I’ve never seen this version before.  Have you?  


Now, go make an Impact! 




Tags: economics, pricing, value

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