Sales Success Secret #1 (The Science of Promising a Reward)

When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing that you do?

Most of reach out to our mobile phones and check if there are any notifications, am I right?

That is a dopamine release by your Limbic system in action and a clever neuromarketing play by app and mobile companies.

It’s addictive and we need to be very cautious about this neurochemical.

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Our brain / Limbic system injects a dose of dopamine whenever we anticipate a reward. It is a happy neurochemical that triggers a good feeling.

The rewards can be classified into

  • Survival reward
  • Social reward
  • Self reward

To explain the science, we need to go back to our cavemen days.

Our ancestors i.e., the cavemen they had to constantly look out for food and resources for survival.

Let’s assume they are out in the jungle to hunt an animal; the moment they spot an animal and they see it as a meal that will keep their tribe alive.

That’s a big a reward and it is crucial for survival.

So, when the cavemen spot the animal, a spurt of dopamine is released in their Limbic system and this gives them a boost of energy to charge towards the animal and hunt it down.

That’s an example of survival reward.

A modern day example will be, imagine you crave for an ice-cream or a brownie,

immediately you open up a food delivery app like Uber Eats / Swiggy or Zomato and the moment you see the pictures of brownie / icecream you start salivating?

Can you imagine that feeling?

And once you place the order, you start anticipating your reward, till the food is delivered you have a feeling of excitement, that’s because your Limbic system has injected a spurt of dopamine in you.

Now let’s look at Social reward…

Social rewards happen when we try to validate ourselves in front of others

A very simple example will be – most of us would have updated status or posted photograph some precious moments in your life like, completing college, getting a job, travelling for a vacation etc. on Facebook / Instagram or any other social media platforms.

The moment you do that, your Limbic system injects a spurt of dopamine and because of that you start anticipating social rewards in the form of likes, shares and comments.

You frequently login to facebook or Instagram to check for your social rewards – have you experienced this? That’s dopamine in action for you.

Lastly let’s look at Self-rewards…

Self-rewards happen when we set goals for ourselves and the Limbic system triggers a spurt of dopamine when we achieve our goals.

A good example will be when you have a to-do list of tasks that you want to accomplish in a day and when you finish those tasks you strike of the items in the list one by one, that feels really good isn’t it?

Or the joy you get when you clear your email inbox of any unread emails – that is why email is very addictive for business people.

Or when you play a video game – remember playing Super Mario video game? 

You feel a sense of excitement till you finish a level and once you finish the level, there is a gush of happiness and you feel like you have done something extra ordinary.

That’s dopamine in action and a good example of self-reward.

Businesses like Facebook, Instagram or Tik Tok did not become a success just by luck, they have been carefully designed and executed on the basis of neurosciences.

The above examples were about how marketers scientifically trigger dopamine to increase usage of a product.

Triggering Dopamine Shots with Advertising

Now let’s take a look at how top marketers use anticipation of reward in advertisements.

Top marketers use words that trigger a sense of anticipation for reward in advertisement headlines.

The primary job of a headline is to make people click and read the remaining body content.

A sense of anticipation is built with clever choice of words to trigger dopamine so that people click on Advertisement.

Ever heard of the word – “click bait headlines” – that’s nothing but smart marketers inducing dopamine in the readers mind with clever use of words and imagery

Here is an ad which reads

dopamine triggering ad copy

“Hair loss specialist shocked how fast this product regrows hair (100% Natural)”

Now in this ad – there is a promise to reveal a product that not only regrows hair, but regrows hair fast – that’s a powerful word play there.

To alienate any fears of side effects – the words “100% natural” is added.

For any person who is suffering from hair loss, the reward that is being planted in his brain is the reward of re-growing hair fast, looking good and feeling confident.

The above combination of words triggers dopamine and makes the user take action (click) the ad to see the reward

Here is another example

neuromarketing ad copy

“Drink this at night and remove belly fat in a week”

The headline promised to reveal a product which offers a reward of looking slim and confident by removing belly fat.

Here is a bonus, they added 3 words at the end “in a week” this appeals to neocortex about saving time – remember the ad success triggers to pass the neocortex that we discussed in the episode 7?

So that’s for today’s episode guys!

Action for today:

Make a list of ads that make you anticipate a reward and thereby inducing dopamine in your brain.

Make a repository and you can also share them on our Alpha Marketer Facebook group, it will be helpful for other Alpha Marketers also.

If your ad collection is good, I will be personally replying back to your post and it can be even be featured under the resources section of the alpha marketer academy.

And as usual share this neuromarketing secret with your friends and do this exercise together.

You are an Alpha and you have the responsibility to spread knowledge and lead the pack 😊

So, in the next video we will talk about the neurochemical Endorphine and how it is used by top marketers to make their ads stand out and drive conversions.

See you in the next video, bye!

Be remarkable. Be an Alpha.