The principle of reciprocity is a social norm whereby you feel obligated to return a favor to someone who has done something for you. In the world of sales and marketing, reciprocity is a powerful technique for boosting sales. Marketers use this sales technique both directly and indirectly. This can be achieved by offering a discount coupon, a free product, or by including engaging free content in a newsletter. In this way, people feel obligated to make a purchase from you or to recommend you to acquaintances on social media. This trigger is often used slightly differently for such target actions as e-mail newsletters. For example, marketers offer checklists, educational materials, prototypes, and other files, but in exchange for an email address. As a result, the company's offers "drop" into the email: promotions, coupons, special offers, digests, and other content.
It can also look like a free tasting, which is quite common in supermarkets. The purpose of such events is not only to introduce visitors to a new product but also to make a purchase. Most people feel awkward when they've tried a product and haven't paid for it. This motivates them to spend money.How else can this sales trigger work?
Marketers have a plethora of opportunities here:
- A free trial subscription, granting the user access to premium content. After its expiration, due to the reluctance to lose the received gift, the consumer makes a purchase;
- A free consultation. Relevant in industries like consulting, law, medicine, financial services;
- Test-drive or a free demo version. Such triggers motivate the client to return to the company's services and products.