Follow the “Four Gift” Rule for
Incentive Marketing Ideas that Convert

With the holidays now in full swing, a popular rule for gift giving shared on social media might just offer some sound marketing advice as well. The “Four Gift” rule suggests that parents limit gifts for each child to “something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.” So what can marketers take from this approach to gift giving?

When it comes to developing landing pages for digital campaigns, the incentive you are offering your audience will ultimately determine your conversion rate and the success of your campaign. To determine the landing page offer that will work best for your next email or PPC campaign, start by considering the categories represented in the “four gift” rule…

Something they want: For most kids, this first gift is the “fun” present. Whether it’s the hot new toy that no store can keep in stock or the latest video game, the “want” gift is the one they are most excited to start playing with once all of the presents have been opened. Marketers shouldn’t be afraid to embrace a little fun and games themselves.

Consider challenging your audience to a fun quiz or to enroll in your gamification program. There’s a reason social media pages and viral content sites keep churning out tests and quizzes – we can’t resist them! Asking your readers to test their knowledge on your industry or subject matter is a fun way to keep them engaged and share some key brand message points along the way. An additional prize can always sweeten the pot, but you may be surprised at how well your audience responds to the game itself.

Something they need: Even if you haven’t followed the “four gift” rule in the past, there’s a good chance you’ve given a gift that falls in the “need” category. It’s probably the present least likely to make the recipient’s face light up upon opening. It likely also ended up getting used more than any other present under the tree.

You may find similar results by incenting your readers with a tool they “need” rather than something they may “want.” This can be given as a small gift to everyone who completes the requested action or offered as entry into a drawing to win one larger gift. These incentives help show your audience that you understand their field and know how to help them succeed. It can also help limit the responses to only those with a real vested interest in your market. Beyond your initial campaign, your tool will also keep your brand top of mind with the reader using it in the months to come.

Something to wear: Let’s be honest – we all like free stuff. Depending on the audience you are targeting, clothing may still be a popular draw – particularly the classic T-shirts or hats. Don’t overlook some of the most basic giveaways without first testing your audience’s response to such an offer. (As a bonus, including your logo on any clothing can turn your “conversion” into a “brand advocate.”)

If you find that a more traditional clothing giveaway isn’t garnering strong interest, consider combining this category with “something they need” to offer some clothing or accessories that can help with the daily demands of their job.

Something to read: The classic whitepaper or market report may be the most frequently used carrot to dangle in front of an audience, but that’s because they still draw so much interest. Offering your audience “something to read” with valuable statistics and marketplace insight is a great way to provide useful information that can help them succeed while demonstrating thought leadership within your area of expertise. As a bonus for marketers, this “gift” comes at no cost to give outside of the man hours it took you to create it.

Building successful landing pages that drive conversions requires a number of well-executed elements converging to prompt your audience to act. Choosing the right incentive is just one consideration, but one that can have the greatest impact on your outcome. As you plan your digital marketing efforts for 2018, keep the “four gift” rule in mind to offer the perfect incentive for your target audience.

Article originally appeared in Website Magazine.