Gentle Reminders: Persuading Customers to Take Action

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

OK, I’ll admit it: I’m easily distracted. I’ll be in the middle of doing something important, and all of a sudden, something else grabs my attention and I drop everything. Before I know it, I’m so busy chasing new ideas that nothing gets done. This is such a common problem amongst entrepreneurs it’s been given a name — Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS). Perhaps you suffer from it too.

The good news is that SOS can be treated (if not cured). My personal remedy is a good list and the promise that I will allow myself some time at the end of each day to explore new ideas if I get to the end of the list. If I can be focused for 80 percent of the day on important tasks, the 20 percent I give myself to explore, dream and conjure up new ideas is a bit of a treat.

While you might be able to keep your own SOS under control, it’s not so easy to stop your customers’ minds from drifting.

Shiny Object Syndrome — Symptoms

How many times have you thought to yourself, I better book those flights, buy that insurance, send those flowers or reserve that table — and then gone and done something else instead? Your customers are doing exactly the same — making decisions, getting distracted and doing something else instead. Think about it; they too may be suffering from Shiny Object Syndrome.

I recently organized a charity bike ride, which I promoted heavily on social media. Numerous people “liked” the post and stated that they would contribute to the ride — but only a small percentage of them actually sent money to the fundraising page we set up. I’m pretty sure this isn’t because these people are liars, it’s just because, like me and maybe you, they are easily distracted.

Take Action

So how do you persuade people to make good on their promises and take action?

You simply have to remind them again and again.

This isn’t a case of “nagging” or harassing them to take action. It’s a case of sending gentle reminders. In the case of my charity bike ride, these reminders came as a series of updates regarding the event, including details of my training program, offers of support and advice from well-wishers, and a countdown to the ride.

These gentle reminders were designed to be informative, entertaining and, hopefully, inspiring. It wasn’t just a case of GIVE ME YOUR MONEY, I’M DESPERATE!


Marketing activities are called “campaigns” for a reason. The dictionary definition of “campaign” is a series of operations intended to achieve a goal — note the word “series”.

So when you are planning your next email marketing, social media or content marketing campaign (hopefully these will all be done in cooperation with each other), think about how you should use multiple campaign messages to snap people out of their Shiny Object Syndrome and take a specific action.

How do you engage your audience repeatedly without sounding too desperate? Share your story in the comments section below:

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

Written by

Marketing Strategist, Author of #BecomingTHEExpert, Content Marketing Trainer, and Cyclist. Check out my author profile:

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