What are the motivators?

Herschell Gordon Lewis (who passed away in 2016), an amazing copywriter and a fellow Hall of Famer at the Florida Direct Marketing Association, always said there are six main motivators to consider in your copy:

  • Fear
  • Exclusivity
  • Greed
  • Delight
  • Guilt
  • Approval

When you integrate your motivator into your promotional offer, you make that offer more enticing. That’s what I call a worthy offer. This is where you go beyond these basic promotions like “Come in and get half off today”. You are providing more details about the promotion. For example – what it’s for?  Furthermore, what do customers have to gain?  What do they have to look forward to? Be clear with start and stop deadline dates.


Which of these examples of a worthy offer is better?

  • Come in and receive 50-percent off a massage
  • Enjoy a relaxing stone massage for half the regular price, tomorrow and Sunday, Jan 3rd and 4th

Obviously, it’s the second example. That’s because it takes the basic promotional offer and adds in the fear of missing out (FOMO) motivator. It then incorporates it into the copy, along with providing a clear deadline. Samples of other phrases often used to help motivate include” Exclusive Offer; Only 5 left; Everyone else uses it; Don’t leave home without it; You know you want it.

One quick comment about fear. Fear is the strongest, but also the trickiest, motivator. Using fear as a motivator may work in one industry but conflict with ethical marketing practices in another. If you are 30 lbs or more overweight, you are a prime candidate for colon cancer. Scary stuff. Enough to put them off reading any further – until you quickly offer them a solution: But now there’s a weight loss supplement that contains a powerful, natural, cancer-fighting ingredient.

In this case, fear works as a solid motivator. For other industries, using fear as the key motivator can be viewed as scare tactics. The Water Quality Association has developed a set of guidelines to help water quality marketers tread the water between educating prospects and scaring them to death about the contaminants in their water. Nowadays, we typically see the fear motivator most often used as fear of missing out.

Incorporate social responsibility into your offer

If part of your company’s mantra is social responsibility, this is the best place to incorporate your passion. Bombas Socks provides a great example of this. They are a company that has incorporated promotional offers and deadline in with social responsibility. Here’s an example.  In partnership with the Ally Coalition, we’re donating 40 percent of all donation socks from purchases made through the end of June directly to homeless LGBTQIA+ youth in need. We’ve also made special edition pride socks, which are designed to celebrate individuality for Pride 2019. 5% pack savings.

Certainly, I personally wear their socks proudly. They made me a worthy offer I couldn’t refuse – donating a pair of socks (for every pair I buy) to homeless shelters. That is my approval motivator shining through.  But I only buy them when I get an offer (BOGO is one of my favorites). That’s where the promotional offer comes in to make me actually push the button and place the order.


Learn more about the offer

Here are some more of DataDale’s articles and blogs about what makes a worthy offer:


About the author

Dale ‘DataDale’ Filhaber is President of Dataman Group Direct, a Florida-based, direct-marketing company founded in 1981. She is an author, lecturer, Listologist and direct-marketing innovator. In the past 35+ years, Filhaber has trained many water quality dealers in direct marketing and lead generation techniques, ranging from direct mail to telemarketing to social media. Her latest book, Lead Generation for Water Quality Dealers–2019 Edition, has received rave reviews and can be purchased on Amazon. Filhaber is also the author of Pure Water Profits, a blog on marketing, focusing on the water treatment industry. She is also a frequent guest lecturer at the annual WQA conference. Filhaber can be reached at (800) 771-3282 or [email protected] or visit the website, www.datamangroup.com.

About the company

Dataman Group Direct is proud to showcase WaterProspects.com, a dedicated website focusing on lead generation and direct marketing for the water quality industry. The company provides direct mail, telemarketing and email lists for the water quality industry. Call (800) 771-3282 for more information or email [email protected].