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Temptation Bundling: Why pairing a “should” with a “want” can make buyers happier

Imagine this…

You just dropped some serious cash on a new elliptical machine.

After spending an hour setting it up, you stand back to admire your new purchase. This thing has all the bells and whistles!

Temptation Bundling: Why pairing a “should” with a “want” can make buyers happier

At that very moment your significant other walks in the room and says with a chuckle, “It looks awesome. And for the amount you spent, I better see you using it.”

“Oh don’t worry,” you reply. “I will” while giving them a playful elbow in the ribs.

Ten minutes later you’re wearing your best athleisure and step onto your new machine.

You feel motivated and excited. You pop in your earbuds and hit play on the “energy boosting” playlist on Spotify.

You planned to do a 30 minute workout, but 10 minutes in you are… SO. FREAKING. BORED.

“How the hell do people do this?” you think to yourself.

After a few weeks of concerted effort, you’ve clocked 30 miles on the elliptical. But each mile felt soooo painful. There’s got to be a better way.

That’s when you notice that the elliptical has a ledge designed for a tablet. And as it happens you just downloaded your fav game on your iPad—Settlers of Catan.

What do you do?

Today we’re taking a look at Temptation Bundling—why pairing a “should” with a “want” can make buyers happier.

Let’s get into it.

Content Summary

The Psychology of Temptation Bundling
Inside Your Buyer’s Mind
How To Apply This
The Short of It

The Psychology of Temptation Bundling

Temptation bundling is when you pair a pleasurable activity that you want to do—like playing a game on your iPad—with an activity that you should do—like working out.

Pairing activities that feel indulgent with activities that are important but provide delayed gratification can combat our inertia bias and motivate us to take action. This psychological phenomenon was coined by a group of researchers in 2014.

The researchers ran an experiment to see if they could improve gym attendance. They discovered when people were given access to scintillating audiobooks they could ONLY listen to at the gym, attendance went up.

Inside Your Buyer’s Mind

Your buyers are imperfect humans. Oftentimes buyers know that they should use your product, yet they delay because they assume the experience will be unpleasant.

Whether you sell workout equipment, accounting software, or own a dentist practice, your buyers won’t get value from your product if they don’t use it.

That said, buyers will be much more likely to do unpleasant things when they’re tightly coupled with something tempting. Temptation bundling makes should activities more enticing and makes customers more likely to do them. It also makes want activities feel less wasteful and guilt-inducing. It’s a win-win for you and your buyer.

How To Apply This

Alright, so how can we apply this right now to sell more?

Promote benefits of bundling

Temptation bundling is a fairly new phenomenon and your buyer may not know about its benefits. Tell them.

For example, a salon could promote their pedicures—an indulgent service—by saying something like, “Overwhelmed by emails? Get to inbox zero and get beautiful feet in under 30 minutes.”

Host coworking parties

You can make dull tasks more enticing by making them social. Maybe you sell software that people know they should use, yet dread, like accounting software. You could invite users to attend an online coworking party to do their tax prep together.

Want to really wow them? Send a cool branded care package like SnackMagic to everyone who signs up. You’ve got instant superfans.

Make bundling the default

If your product or service is perceived to be unpleasant, look for ways to bundle it with a pleasurable experience.

Many salons now have “quiet chairs” where guests can sit silently and sip sparkling wine while getting their hair done without needing to make small talk. And many dentist offices now have TVs so patients can watch their fav sitcom rather than staring at the ceiling. The options are endless.

The Short of It

Some products and services are painful but important. Others are pleasurable yet guilt-inducing. Temptation bundling can reduce pains and guilt, resulting in more happy buyers.

The Short of It

Some products and services are painful but important. Others are pleasurable yet guilt-inducing. Temptation bundling can reduce pains and guilt, resulting in more happy buyers.

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