How A Happy Meal (a.k.a Perceived Incentive) Can Help Boost Your Engagement (And Potentially Sales).

perceived incentive

How A Happy Meal (a.k.a Perceived Incentive) Can Help Boost Your Engagement (And Potentially Sales).

Take the classic Happy Meal from McDonalds; it’s a kids’ meal with one added bonus that you don’t get in the standard meal deals, a toy. I can almost guarantee that 9 times out of 10 when offered the choice of a Big Mac and fries or a Happy Meal, kids will opt for the Happy Meal purely because of the toy. This is what we like to call value add marketing, or using an incentive as part of your marketing. In this case, the toy is the added value.


However, 97% of businesses don’t use an incentive in their marketing at all – if you’re one of them, you could be potentially missing out on valuable engagement and sales.


Finding Your Happy Meal


Offering an incentive doesn’t have to come at a financial cost to you or your business. Think about your customer and look at things that will not necessarily cost you too much, but will have value for the customer. 


While some may offer a monetary discount (for example, sign up to our emailing list and receive a 10% discount code), others may find offering a freebie of sorts (buy 3 tyres, get the 4th free) is better for them. 


It’s all about the perceived incentive, aka the customer thinking they’re the ones benefiting from the add on. When in reality, you’ve got what you wanted, which could be having that new email subscriber or the sale of those 3 tyres. It’s a win-win for all.


Utilising Direct Response Marketing


Once you’ve come up with your Happy Meal you have to think about how you’re going to get it out to the people. Of course, there are your standard marketing channels such as utilising your social media marketing but it may be worth considering new, additional channels. This is when direct response marketing comes in.


Direct response marketing can be as simple as a text message. Research has shown that 80-90% of people open text messages within the first 3 minutes of it being sent, as opposed to emails, which on average get approximately a 10% open rate.


Getting The Most Out Of Your Direct Response Marketing


Like any good marketing technique, it needs to be well planned out. The whole point of direct response marketing is to trigger an instant response – whether that’s signing up to a company’s mailing list or placing an order using a discount code that’s been offered.


At the bare minimum you should include these three components:

  • An offer – highlight your happy meal and what added value the recipient is going to receive.


  • Information – put yourself in the consumers’ shoes, you’re not going to purchase a product not knowing anything about it or why it’s better than its competitor. You only have a short time to grab someone’s attention though so your information needs to be relevant but to the point.


  • Call to action – this should be a clear call to action prompting the consumer to do something specific, for example, subscribe to our mailing list. You may even decide to add an expiry date to boost a sense of urgency – this may look like offering a discount code that is only valid for the next 48 hours.

Brainstorm with a professional


So what’s the takeaway? There are plenty of ways to offer an incentive without spending a lot of money. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of creativity and thinking about what your customer wants or needs. If you’re ready to get started with your own incentive marketing campaign then book your strategy session with our team and let us help you come up with some incentives that will have your customers clamouring for more.