Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Pay Me to Try It?

More and more frequently, I am seeing marketing messages from companies who want to pay me to try their product or service. The most recent one that comes to mind is from Saturn. They offered me $25 to take a test drive of any Saturn vehicle. I have seen banks offering $25 or $50 in cash to open a new account. I have also seen investment firms offering to start a new customer into an investment account with several hundred dollars in an opening account balance for purchasing/trading stocks or mutual funds. Several months ago, one of our clients was contemplating the idea of paying its prospects $100 to agree to meet for a sales presentation.

I have mixed feelings, or a bit of reluctance, about such propositions.

How do you, the readers of Marketing Genius, feel about such offers? Does an offer of cash entice you or turn you off?


Anonymous FMF said...

I'm ok with the concept. I realize that other things they give away (books, music, etc.) to get me to do something have a cost as well, so they might as well give me cash.

That said, I still wouldn't go for it unless 1) I thought I might be interested in the product or service or 2) it was a REALLY GREAT offer.

7:52 AM

Blogger Jen said...

I agree with fmf. I am always reluctant about these types of offers, but if it is something that I am interested in anyway, I will consider it. However, if it is something off the wall, like a subscription to some sort of membership, etc., I usually steer clear of those. (Those are usually through a telemarketer, which is a completely different ballgame!)

I am just concerned when it looks like they can't "give it away" and no one wants it, so they have to pay people to take it. That is very different from, "we think that this product/service is so good that we will give you a trial or give you $X to try it." I think it is all in how it is pitched/worded.

Good luck!

8:12 AM

Anonymous Maryann Devine said...

Any promotion is going to translate into dollars invested, but as a consumer, I see a cash offer as an act of desperation, or even wonder if it's a scam. I would lose trust and/or respect for the company.

1:14 PM

Blogger Mau said...

It is ok to me if they are candid and they tell me "Look, we know your time is precious and limited. We value your attention: if you pay attention, we will pay you back". In this, I agree with Seth on "Permission Marketing": pay for attention.

I agree with Maryann that if it's not explained in a sincere way, it might elicit a "scam" feeling.

Mau (

6:14 AM


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