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Choosing the Right Email Acquisition Incentive

Published by Tim Kachuriak

When choosing your email acquisition incentive, you must present something that the visitor perceives to be of greater value than their personal contact information.

What do I mean by an email acquisition incentive?

An incentive is an appealing bonus that increases the perceived value of your offer. It is used best in conjuncture with a good value proposition. You could use e-books, white papers, downloads, access to a special resource center, signing a name to a petition, additional resources, articles, and so much more.

The incentive should inspire people to enter a value exchange.

Testing to determine the right incentive

Experiment #1355

In this example, we tested three unique incentives against each other using an email acquisition form for the Texas State Historical Association.

Email Acquisition Incentive - Treatments

Visitors complete a ten-question education quiz over Texas history called “Are you Smarter than a Texas Seventh-Grader?” Each question was based on real material taught in seventh-grade classrooms throughout the state. It was designed as a unique way for people to experience their value proposition as an organization.

The goal of the final page was to present the visitor with an opportunity to learn more about the Texas State Historical Association. This page offered one of several prizes in exchange for an email address.

The initial incentive was a free chapter of the Texas Almanac. We tested this against Treatment 1, an e-book about the Battle of the Alamo. We also developed a second Treatment, a compilation of a several scholarly essays produced through their Southwestern Historical Quarterly.

After conducting an A/B/C/D test, we discovered that Treatment 1 produced a 50% increase in conversion and Treatment 2 produced an 14% increase.

Email Acquisition Incentive - Results

By running this split test with different incentives, we were able to identify what specific offer would be most appealing to our target audience. In doing so, the TSHA achieved increased acquisition in their campaign.

This is an easy way to evolve your incentive into the best possible offer for your audience!

Creating an Email Acquisition Incentive From Existing Content

You might be thinking you don’t have the right content to run tests like these. But the truth is, you probably do.

E-books are an excellent tool to use as an incentive! As we’ve conducted research, we’ve been amazed at how high their value is perceived. They have a low fulfillment requirement via email, and they cost very little to create.

You probably have plenty of content already in your organization: blog posts, articles, webinars, books, recorded speakers from past events, etc. Any content can be turned into an e-book and offered as a way to help grow and bolster your email file.

Wrap Up..

Most people don’t hand out their personal information just because you ask for it. And most people aren’t motivated to give you their email address just because you have a newsletter. An incentive can give someone a tangible reason to give you their contact information. And testing your way to the right incentive will not only help you get a higher conversion rate in your acquisition efforts. It will also help you grow a deeper understanding of the motivation of your target audience.

About the author:

Tim Kachuriak

Tim won "Best Stage Presence" for the 1991 Pittsburgh Boys Choir.