Although gambling with our marketing efforts is rarely sound advice, every funnel-builder could learn a thing or two from the multi-billion-dollar casino industry.
The secrets that turn casinos into money-making machines have been well-documented, yet the question remains: how can you apply the same principles to your sales funnel?
Thankfully, we’ve got the answers.
While casinos are a point of controversy, nobody can deny the sheer power of a $159-billion-dollar industry that shows no sign of slowing down.
Love them or hate them, casinos perhaps represent the ultimate marketing experience for those looking to spend.
Between the sights, sounds and sheer allure of hitting the jackpot, it’s no secret why over 30 million people alone consistently flock to Las Vegas and spend over $1,000 a pop in hopes of meeting up with lady luck, year after year.
The strategies that keep people glued to the betting tables have been proven to work for decades, even as what happens “behind the scenes” has become available to the public in the digital age.
And you know what? They still work.
And you should be using them, too.
Trying to align our marketing efforts of products to that of the average casino may seem like a stretch.
I mean, what does your sales funnel have in common with a slot machine?
Think about your product, your funnel, and your goals. Now, ask yourself the following:
- Do you have a product or service that promises to help buyers make or save money?
- Are you trying to build a base of lifelong customers versus one-off buyers?
- Are you interested in truly understanding the psychology of your potential customers and what makes them tick?
Every sales funnel needs a strategy: perhaps it’s time to take yours to the next level by learning a thing or two from the ultimate money-making industry.
The Power of Positivity
No matter how you spin it, gambling is gambling.
While there certainly is a certain degree of skill involved in table games, such as poker or blackjack, the odds are still stacked against you when you play against the house.
Likewise, your odds of hitting the jackpot on the average slot machine are abysmal (approximately 1 in 262,444, perhaps worse depending on the machine).
People who gamble are often aware of these odds and still bet willingly. Why?
Because they believe, they can win. They believe that they can be the exception to the rule.
Casinos don’t market themselves as losers: they market each and every machine and table as a winner.
While it seems so against what we know about the power of marketing through fear, consider how you could use the principles of positive reinforcement to drive users through your sales funnels, including:
- Framing your product as a difference-maker, establishing the notion that your buyer could turn out to be “the exception to the rule” in a competitive market by investing in your product
- Building trust through testimonials on your landing page, which is mirrored by casinos which often use snapshots of satisfied “winners” in their advertising (and whether or not winners are the norm becomes irrelevant)
Does that mean we throw the proven principles of urgency and scarcity out the window?
The Need to Act Now
Urgency and scarcity are cornerstones of killer customer psychology; however, they’re often coupled with the notions of fear or loss.
Here’s the thing: Casinos never emphasize the fear of potential losses.
Instead, they use urgency to drive users to put money on the table now rather than later.
Your jackpot is out there; however, how can you hope to reap it if you aren’t putting money on the table?
Similarly, there are only a finite number of possible winners, right? That’s where scarcity comes in.
Act now. Win sooner.
You need to win before someone else does.
Same rules apply to your funnel.
For example, if you’re selling a cutting-edge e-book on marketing, it’s crucial to establish that buyers need to act now before the secrets uncovered in your book become commonplace.
The more buyers of the book, the more the secrets begin to spread.
Your potential customers then feel as if they’re running out of time (there’s the urgency) before the details of your book hit the mainstream (there’s the scarcity).
Despite the ethics surrounding fear marketing, it just plain works.
At the same time, you shouldn’t associate fear with your brand or product, but rather the potential consequences as a result of the actions of others.
Give Them a Freebie
There are few words more powerful than “free.”
On a similar note, we live in an era where the “free sample” has become the norm; likewise, casinos often offer their customers freebies in the forms of free gambling chips, free drinks and free hotel rooms to entice them to gamble and come back for more after they’ve cashed out.
Sounds like a money-sink, doesn’t it?
Not in the slightest.
After all, who are the ones raking in the billions?
Casinos have learned how to harness the power of “free,” and so should you.
Although many marketers are naturally pensive about giving away samples (time is money, after all), consider the benefits of “free samples” regarding your funnel.
“Free” Establishes Confidence – By being able to offer anything for free, you establish a sense of confidence for your brand as you’re willing to help your potential customers out at no charge. Face it: nobody wants to buy from someone who seems desperate.
“Free” Builds Trust – You wouldn’t let people try out your product if you didn’t believe in it, would you? In short, free trials show your users that you aren’t trying to nickel-and-dime them.
“Free” Gives Them a Taste – On paper, the point of a free trial product is to turn samplers into actual buyers: by giving users a taste of the product that they can’t live without, they’ll do exactly that.
The point is this: the modern user expects a free sample, so why not give it to them?
The Nitty Gritty of Navigation
Now, here’s where things get really interesting (and perhaps a bit controversial).
Ever notice how casinos are built as if they were meant to disorient you?
The lack of windows so that you have no idea what time it is?
The constant ringing of bells, the cranking of slots, falling coins and chatter?
The maze-like design that’s impossible to navigate between the bizarre floor pattern and mirrored walls?
Yeah, that’s not an accident.
By removing your sense of time and placement, you have more potential to stick around longer, play more and drop more cash.
This seems a bit backward when it comes to funnel-hacking, doesn’t it?
After all, we’re looking to create the timeliest and efficient user-experience possible so that users don’t drop off, right?
The lesson here is that you control your buyers’ journey.
You have the tools in your toolbox to make users stick around longer, interact with you and encourage them to convert (especially if you’re using ClickFunnels).
Use those tools to your advantage and design the best funnel possible based on the psychology of your base.
Scheming with Colors
The design is an absolutely crucial element of any sales funnel that’s relatively easy to overlook, especially if you aren’t an experienced designer yourself.
As noted earlier, casinos are masterminds at tweaking designs to influence the behavior of their patrons.
However, the goals of casinos and sales funnels may not be 100% aligned (for example, you probably don’t want to disorient your visitors if you can help it).
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to tweak your funnels’ design is by playing with the color scheme. Casinos understand the psychology of color and so should any seasoned funnel-hacker. For starters:
- Yellow triggers optimism and is ideal for grabbing one’s attention
- Red represents energy and works to increase one’s heart rate
- Blue builds a sense of trust and safety
- Green is associated with money and is often considered the easy on the eyes
- Black represents luxury, and its boldness is often used to contrast softer colors
If you want to breathe new life into your funnel’s design, consider color as the perfect starting point to influencing buyers based on your marketing message.
Keep Them Coming Back
Businesses create customers.
Smart businesses create lifelong customers.
Casinos manage to do the latter with ease, despite the negative connotations of their marketing tactics and gambling itself.
By creating the notion that even losers can win big as long as they try again.
This, combined with the freebies above such as free hotel rooms and alcohol, keeps hungry patrons coming back for their next big chance at the jackpot.
Thankfully, you can take a more straightforward approach with your product and sales funnel.
First and foremost, a killer product will naturally keep buyers returning; however, employing tactics such as email autoresponders can both remind and incentivize returning users than allowing them to drop off.
A little bit of psychology can go a long way when it comes to sealing the deal.
Although your funnel may not be raking in billions of dollars, you can take a tip or two from the world of casinos and apply them to your marketing efforts.
What do you think is the most effective tactic that casinos employ?
How do you feel about such tactics?
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