3 Slick Tips to Conquer the Suspicious, Skeptical, and Hesitant – Marketing Personas

How do you define the best book? What is the best ad copy?

The only honest answer is: it depends.

What may be appealing for one person; may not attract others.

Our field of expertise is lead generation contests and sweepstakes, and we know from our customers that there are some types of individuals, who are harder to reach than others.

Here they are:


Some people are just naturally more skeptical and knowing this is a good thing, because it gives you the opportunity to distinguish yourself.

For example, take a look at this person who replied to a tweet about sharing one of our Facebook contest case studies.

The Twitter user @tweetworld74 complained about a Facebook contest of a nutraceutical company that hosted a draw with the chance to win an iPad. The winner was chosen from amongst the entrants and you could earn bonus points by inviting friends.


The tweeter noted that those with fewer friends have a lower chance of winning: “@JuanFlx @antavopromotion not really a competition if it goes on how many friends or associates you have”.

And she is largely right.

How can you attract those potential customers who are more cautious and suspicious then others?

They might make perfect customers once you gain their trust.

In this case above should you remove the viral element?

Well, the viral incentive is an essential part of these promotions… For example, at a photo contest the winner might be determined from a selection of the top entries with the most votes. Alternatively, during a sweepstakes those who invite their friends to enter the contest can have higher chances of winning.

This is what makes a promotion much better than a simple landing page.

And actually this is what you want, right? More shares, more subscribers.

You are not alone. According to researches 42% of Facebook marketers think discounts and special offers, which require fans to share and interact with their networks, are effective. (Tweet this)

Here is an example of an app that encourages sharing. See, you can earn bonus points after invited friends.


Motivating subscribers to invite friends can make your promotion spread.

You should keep awarding bonus points after inviting friends. If you didn’t, this would present an even bigger problem whereby there would be no incentive for anyone to share your sweepstakes. (If they shared then they would just decrease their own chance of winning.)

So it is clear that removing the bonus point incentive is not an option, however there are still things you can do to overcome the problem raised by this hesitant potential customer.


Here are some ideas to reassure them.

#1. Offer more grand prizes

What do you think, which is more appealing? One precious grand prize worth $1000, or 4 grand prizes worth $250?

Research confirms that the latter one is more appealing, as people feel like they have more chance of winning – we wrote an entire post about the psycology of Facebook contests if you wanted to learn more.

With the one precious grand prize option – people may be put off by the feeling that they are competing with a pack of determined hyenas for the last piece of food in the entire desert.

Where as, if you offer more ‘pieces of food’, but with lower individual values then the perceived chances of winning are higher. Subscribers will feel that they stand a chance, as it is not just one lucky person who can be drawn, but 3-6 or even more.

Create the temptation of enough food so that not only the most determined hyenas lose control. (Tweet this)


#2. Let those win who have less friends

Not many people have the courage to ask their friends to share their link or even enter a promotion for their friends’ own good, where they have to give their personal contacts. (I do this for my friends but I am a contest-junkie by profession, so it doesn’t count.)

There are people who hate to ask friends to vote, or write about some silly sweepstakes on Facebook, but actually want to enter and win.

How can you give these kinds of subscribers an appealing chance?

Draw winners from amongst those with few bonus points, so it will motivate the friendless ones too. (Tweet this)

Like this: “Invite friends and get a higher chance to win! 3 winners will be drawn from amongst all subscribers, and another 2 from amongst those with the most bonus points.”

You can also let subscribers enter your promotion every day and earn bonus entries after every entry. The benefit for you is that the more they see you, the higher engagement you will have.


#3. Be transparent

There might be those suspicious people who scan every single detail of your contest, looking for the ‘catch’. (Tweet this)

I have written about these Sherlock Holmes like people in this post. If they find anything suspicious they will be the first to write on your Facebook page questioning the credibility of your promotion.

Here are some tips to convince them that you are credible and honest:

  • Share how many people have entered the contest up until that point.
  • Communicate times properly (e.g. the promotion’s starting date, ending date and when the winner will be announced etc.).
  • Write clear terms and conditions.
  • Mention or honor somehow those who have shared your promotion many times, even if their friends didn’t sign up from their shared link. (Technical note: counting shares is not a technically easy function, and most of the contest app builder platforms won’t provide statistics about this. However, within Antavo’s platform, of which I am the co-founder, we have this function.
  • Take a picture of the actual grand prize. Your personal picture is much better than the official product image from the vendor’s website, as then people will know that you actually have the grand prize.


This is it!

Hopefully these tips will help spark some ideas about how to deal with hyenas and Sherlock Holmes!

Every day problems! Just kidding.

Now seriously. What is your biggest challenge when trying to engage with different marketing personas? Have you met these suspicious people while running contests? How else you can increase the credibility of your promotion?

Check out these case studies about companies with successful contests.

3 Slick Tips to Conquer the Suspicious, Skeptical, and Hesitant - Marketing Personas by
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Zsuzsa Kecsmar

Zsuzsa is CMO and co-founder of Antavo, a marketing tool to create sweepstakes, contests and giveaways to Facebook, mobile and web. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn!
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