How to Make Anything More Attractive

Hello again my friend,

I need to say, right off the bat, that I’m not talking about physical attractiveness, although having a more attractive personality can improve how physically attractive others find you. 

Instead I’m talking about the attractiveness of your message, offer or opportunity. 

If you remember back a few letters ago we were talking about behavior change and how making something easier or harder to do can increase or decrease the likelihood the behavior happens. 

Today I want to talk to you about the second behavior modifier. Attractiveness. 

The more attractive we make a behavior the more likely that behavior will occur. 

So let’s talk about how we make something more attractive.

Method 1 – Make it Salient

Salience is just a fancy world for noticeable or prominent. If something is salient, it’s right in front of you. 

If you walk through the grocery store the products at eye level are said to have salience and producers pay a premium to have their products placed on those shelves because the placement of the product has a significant impact on sales.

One of the easiest ways for you and I to make our communications more attractive would be to add personalization to our communications. 

I did this today in the email subject line of this letter.

Hearing or reading your name can have a major impact on our curiosity and how attractive we find the offer or behavior being presented. 

Perhaps the most famous example of this strategy was Coca-Cola’s use of names on the side of their cans and bottles.

Coca-Cola first tested the strategy in Australia. It resulted in 250 million extra bottles and cans sold in a single summer. 

I think it’s safe to say personalization works.

Method 2 – Offer Incentives (even if they don’t make sense)

In 1986 Sports Illustrated was desperate to increase subscribers. Sales were tanking and the company was grasping at straws.  

Then marketing director Martin Shampaine came across a phone that resembled a frog and he got a crazy idea. What if they created a phone that looked like a football? 

The rest is history

Between 1986 and 1991, what started as a gimmick ended up adding 1.6 million new subscribers to the magazine.

Incentives are powerful motivators even when they don’t make sense. Talking on the phone has nothing to do with reading a magazine. A phone doesn’t enhance the pleasure of reading the magazine nor does it improve the quality of the content. 

Yet almost 2 million people paid for a magazine they might otherwise never have purchased because it came with a novelty phone.

Method 3 – Don’t Forget to Scare Them

The last attractiveness activator we’ll look at today is scarcity. Organic scarcity is the best. That’s scarcity that exists due to limited supply and high demand.

But there are lots of ways to create scarcity in any product or service. The main three are PriceNumber and Time scarcity. 

Retailers utilize one or all of these scarcity triggers when they run a sale. 

“For 2 Days Only” 
“Save 40%!”
“Act now supplies are limited!”

All of these scarcity triggers increase desire and attractiveness. Each can be used to move someone to action. But be careful not to misuse it. 

Because it’s easy and works so well companies are prone to over use scarcity. They run constant sales, which is fine if you’re a discount clothing store or own a Kia dealership. 

But if you’re a luxury brand, running a sale, even a small one, can be destructive to the perception of your brand. 
Price discounting can signal a lack of interest. If you are already at the high end of your market the discount could cause your buyers to question your high prices.  

I’ve given you a lot to think about today. Which Attractiveness activator do you use most frequently? Is there one you learned about today that you don’t use often enough? Is there one I left out that you think is important?

Shoot me an email and tell me. 

Talk soon, 


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