This business of ‘I’d rather pay full price’….

Successful ecommerce copywriting is conversational. It’s fun. It’s about getting people to love your products and warm to your brand. No matter what you’re selling. It’s about good people talking to good people.

So. What’s happening here?

This may patronise your customer. And I’m seeing this more and more as the default.

The idea is that you’re making the reader question their decision. “Surely it’s irrational to turn down an offer of a discount?”

You’ve seen this messaging too. Typical popup (usually in the first 10 seconds of entering a store…grr).

The implied question:

Would you like a 10% discount? No? What?!? you’d prefer to pay full price?

The most common answer:

What the hell. I don’t even know what I need yet. Give me a chance! And don’t patronise me… ?

You don’t want to alienate your store visitors. But for some reason, some stores continue with this messaging. And in a job where your task is to reduce buyer anxiety, even the slightest of resentment may lead your visitor to bail.

You can try too hard to wrestle an email address from a store visitor. Especially if ‘visitor to subscriber %’ is a kpi your work is graded upon.

If you are insistent on presenting an immediate discount popup then maybe a/b test against a more conversational message such as ‘not yet, maybe ask me again later?’. This gives you the option to use a secondary popup (exit intent perhaps) for a further opportunity to turn that visitor into a subscriber later into their visit.

The problem, though, with a/b testing is how data can present user frustration or anxiety. It can’t. You don’t know what’s going through your customer’s head. You may see an increase/decrease in subscribers through the popup, but what impact does this messaging have on those that do close the popup? You can’t tell. Data doesn’t inform us. The only possible data we can present is the length of time on site proceeding the pop-up being presented (and either a subscription or a close click as the next action). It’s complex. You have better ways to spend your time. So, sometimes we just need to work on customer-centred intuition…. ie, how would this messaging make you feel?

It irritates me that the ‘I’d rather pay full price’ messaging comes as standard copy for a few of the pop-up platform providers. If you’re in the market of giving your customers discounts then consider your messaging carefully. Make them feel good. Don’t make them feel dumb. These people pay your wages.

Written By:

Ian Rhodes


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