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Newsletter #906: The “Simple Things Make a Real Difference” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Little changes, tiny gestures, and slight modifications can deliver big results. Check out these inspiring examples to see how it can be done:

1. A refund and a remarkable bonus
2. A mass email with one fantastic question
3. A way to lower prices without actually lowering them
4. Check it out: Infographics from the 1800’s

1. A refund and a remarkable bonus

A money-back guarantee is a powerful and time-tested marketing tactic. But when was the last time you told someone about one? Now, what if they threw in a cake as well? That’s what Spinlister — the bicycle version of Airbnb — does. If, heaven forbid, a person rents your bike and never returns it, they’ll reimburse you the value of your bike and send you a cake, too. It costs them a few extra bucks the few times a year they have to do it, but it makes for a refund policy worth talking about every day.

The lesson: Great policies are the table stakes that get you into the game. A great policy and a great (but simple) bonus can make you stand out.

Learn more: Spinlister

2. A mass email with one fantastic question

Has your inbox been inundated with political emails in the past few months too? Most are forgettable pleas for last-minute donations. But the Obama team sent a one-question email following his National Convention speech that was different: “Dear [first name], Did I make you proud last night?” And that was it. Politics aside, that’s some remarkable email marketing that got people talking.

The lesson: Simple can be shocking. What are you really trying to say, sell, or accomplish? What have you added that’s getting in the way of that?

Learn more: Brains on Fire

3. A way to lower prices without actually lowering them

Do you see a difference in value between a price of $1,699.00 and $1699? Right now, as you’re focusing on it, probably not. But subconsciously, you might. That’s according to a recent study by the Journal of Consumer Psychology who found that prices with more syllables seem higher to consumers. Interestingly, the effect happens when written, not spoken. That’s because our brains use the auditory representation when processing the magnitude of the price — even though we’re seeing it, not saying it. So, the more punctuation in a price (symbols, commas, and decimal places), the higher it seems.

The lesson: As consumers, we’re goofy and irrational when it comes to this stuff. But by embracing quirks like these, you could make a big difference in sales with a few simple changes.

Learn more: Neuroscience Marketing

4. Check it out: Infographics from the 1800’s

Infographics may be all the rage now, but they’re not a new invention. Check out this collection of the most influential charts from the 19th century.

Check it out: Fast Company

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