Marketing Using Curiosity in Ecommerce

By: Alicia Mina

From the 1920s until well into the 1960s, the look of most American cars used to change every year. Car dealers would paper over their showroom windows each September, just before the new models were released to the public. This piqued the curiosity of the public, which built strong anticipation for the new model year. It also brought shoppers to showrooms in droves when the cars were finally unveiled—usually in a grand celebratory fashion.

Marketing using curiosity in ecommerce can work in much the same fashion.

Curiosity Is Innate to our Nature

Human beings are naturally curious creatures. When presented with just a bit of information about something in which we have an interest, our natural tendency is to strive to learn more.

For marketers, the trick is landing right between what people already know and what they want to know. Whether you’re selling ebooks, promoting a film or any other product, the idea is to tease what’s to come without giving people enough information to feel they already know what it is—or will be.

You also want to elicit an emotional response whenever possible.

Email Subject Lines

Emotion and curiosity can serve you well in your email marketing campaigns. Your subject lines should be just informative enough to get the reader’s interest, but not so revealing people won’t feel a need to click to find out what’s up.

To arouse emotions, information and intrigue must be blended deftly. In the case of an ebook store, when a popular writer like Stephen King is introducing a new book, you could accomplish this with a subject line such as:

“King’s New Book Incites Arguments”

Readers interested in King’s work will click through to see why and give you a shot at converting them. Those who like King will look to see if their affinities are confirmed, just as much as those who despise him will look to see if their disdain is still justified.

Even if the writer isn’t well known, you can still find an area of intrigue from which you can spin curiosity and entice click thru.

Social Media

The medium’s quizzes are one of its most successful curiosity-based ploys.

Getting back to King, you could devise a social campaign offering a 15 percent discount for users who successfully answer eight of 10 questions about the writer, thus proving they’re loyal fans.

This introduces an element of competition as well.

And again, even if you’re promoting a less popular writer, you can still craft a quiz that will entice people to want to learn more about the book.

Avoiding Click Bait

There is a significant difference between appealing to the curiosity of your customer base and assaulting them with click bait. Yes, both rely upon the same basic premise of engendering curiosity. However, click bait typically results in an unsatisfying experience. It either fails to deliver on the implied promise, or falls flat with no regard to the consequences.

Your goal is to drive traffic to your product description with the intention of converting those users into sales. Thus, you must ALWAYS deliver upon the promise.

Chasing Viral

Going viral is a worthy goal, but it’s hard to manufacture. All variables must line up just right. Yes, it happens every day, but it’s always around a wide variety of circumstances. When you’re marketing using curiosity in ecommerce it’s far better to focus on what you know about your ideal customer and craft your campaign to appeal to them specifically.

If it goes viral too—hey, that’s gravy on the steak.

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