3 Ways to Create a Dopamine-Inducing Offer
Have you ever released an offer into the world that you put your heart and soul into? An offer that made you giddy, such that you were waiting for the dollar bills to flood your bank account and your DMs to overflow on social media, only to get no response?
If you’ve been in business for a while, this has likely happened to you. It’s happened to every entrepreneur I know at least once. This disappointment happens because entrepreneurs set out to create offers focused on solving a problem for their prospects with such a high level of value that the offer seems like a no-brainer.
Funnily enough, not considering your prospect’s brain and how it works can be the exact thing turning your “OMG YES!” solution into an indistinguishable “No thanks, I’ll pass” offer. Prospects often see their problem and your solutions differently than you do. Creating your offer with the exact pieces that will help your audience feel the value according to their brain chemistry can help set you up for greater success.
Understanding how the neurotransmitter dopamine affects your prospect’s decision-making will help you with this. Dopamine is best known as the brain’s reward system, activating when you eat food you enjoy, indulge in some active love sessions and receive money. Studies have also found dopamine is an important factor in memory, learning, attention, mood and behavior.
When you craft your offer to optimize the natural release of dopamine, your prospects have a better chance of success when using your product, program or service. They’re also more likely to retain the information you share because your offer creates a win in a way your prospect’s brain can receive it.
Here are three ways to craft a dopamine-inducing offer.
1. Craft your offer so it elevates the status and reputation of your prospect
According to a 2008 study, the perception of having a good reputation activated the same areas of the dopamine pathway as receiving a monetary reward. The study also uncovered a strong social reward experience that occurred when other people thought highly of the subjects, even when it came to perfect strangers.
Here’s what this looks like in a real-life situation. Have you ever found yourself concerned with what someone you just met thought of you? You may not have liked the person, but you wanted them to think highly of you for some reason. Worrying about what other people think of you isn’t a character fault — it’s how your brain is wired.
This is one reason why hater comments on social media sting and why hearing “no” in a sales conversation feels like rejection. Your brain receives a chemical, feel-good reward when someone thinks you’re awesome.
Think about your prospect. They’re not just searching for a solution to their problem. Prospects are searching for solutions that will elevate their status with other people (that is, make other people think they’re great and leave a good impression). For your prospect, this isn’t a one-time reward. This is a reward that will be repeatedly activated when they go to networking meetings, family events and social gatherings at the golf course and PTA meetings. If you can send your prospects into judgment-ridden zones with a feeling of having an elevated status, you increase their confidence and quality of life and give them routine dopamine hits.
In thinking about your offer, be clear about how it elevates the reputation of your prospect. How will using your program, product or service make the world see your prospect in a more respected, positive way?
Think of the cause and effect your offer has on your prospect’s life. For example, if a prospect wants to lose weight and is embarrassed to go to their kid’s school functions because of their jean size, how does their world change if they use your offer and can finally show up for their children and themselves? What else in their life changes because of the results they receive from what you’re offering? Think about it in terms of relationships and experiences that improve because of your offer.
Incorporate the answers to these questions into your marketing and sales process. Communicating how your prospect’s life changes in a way that elevates their status can start producing that dopamine hit — just from the anticipation of receiving those rewards. Make sure you take the time to understand the ways your offer can help your prospect walk around the neighborhood with an elevated reputation.
2. Include a positive social interaction piece
Dopamine activates in social interactions where you’re viewed positively. By adding an element of community or social acceptance to your offer, you increase the neural rewards your prospects receive.
This is one reason why prospects often seek out masterminds, networking groups and membership communities when they’re looking for offers to help them achieve a specific goal. However, you don’t need to have a service-based offer to make this element work for your business.
Peloton, an exercise bike company, uses social interaction in a powerful way. They’ve incorporated an app that allows users to take classes together, complete with instructor praise and the ability to give other members digital high fives. This sense of community creates a dopamine reward release with every praise-based interaction, taking their prospect’s experience to the next level.
Some businesses achieve this component with a customer-only Facebook group or membership site so customers can interact with the brand and each other.
When considering positive social interaction for your customer base as part of your offer or as a bonus, ask yourself how you can create a simple, user-friendly environment that is digitally compatible so your audience can connect regardless of what’s going on in the world around them.
3. Make sure there’s a way for your customers to share their wins and insights with other people
A study found two other socially driven dopamine reward activators: self-reflection and disclosing information to other people. For you, this means that your customer base is eager to share their experience with you and others and explore how your offer transformed their lives.
You can build this dopamine-inducing experience into your offer in several ways. A few to consider:
- Have check-in calls with customers about their experience so they can share their wins and be asked for insights
- Host an online community where customers can interact, share their experiences and celebrate wins
- If you have an existing online community, create a regular shout-out day (weekly, monthly, etc.) to congratulate customers on their progress or success publicly
Regardless of whether you want your customers to share privately with you or a team member or in public in a community of customers, this part of the offer is vital for your prospects to feel supported, heard and understood.
Live and virtual events are opportunities for prospects to engage in valuable self-disclosure. After different portions of these events, hosts ask attendees to share what they’ve learned or how the experience is helping them to see things differently. Attendees raise their hands to share their experiences, receiving the dopamine release from being recognized and accepted by the overall community and event host — especially if the prospect is celebrated for what they shared with the group.
When considering how you can build this into your offer, find out how often you’re asking your customers questions. What specific questions are you asking them about themselves? Is it clear in your offer that they’ll have the opportunity to share their experience, insights or feelings?
Getting your offer right
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can infuse them into your marketing message to give your prospects a more rewarding sales experience.
You can be a great salesperson, but if your offer doesn’t give your audience the hit of dopamine, it isn’t likely to convert. Take the time to consider how you can make your offer brain-friendly so your prospects can reap the benefits throughout the sales process.