A/B Testing Idea #201 - Offer promotions in a format of a range, e.g. 15% to 60% discounts

Tactic_Offer promotions in a format of a range, e.g. 15% to 60% discounts


Studies have shown that a variable rewards system can be very effective as a motivational tool. The "task" in question becomes altogether more exciting and interesting when there is a variable reward or prize on offer.

People are stimulated by the unknown, finding their curiosity, interest and investment in a related task increased. In the above drawing, for example, the email campaign is presenting itself as a sort of game to be played (with customers needing to hurry to be one of the first 100 customers in order to qualify) with a key unspecified "prize" on offer (which promotional offer will they receive?).

Sales campaigns are always a great hook to encourage customers to shop with you but it has been proven that people will be even more motivated by a variable promotion, in fact preferring the excitement of not knowing what they will get rather than the stability of an average reward (such as the 25% off shown in the left example above).

Running a campaign or online deal in this way is doubly interesting because not only does it increase the chances your users will engage but it also means you don't necessarily have to offer a large reduction or "reward" of some other nature to every customer.


  • Motivating-Uncertainty Effect (Skinner, 1950; Moon & Nelson, 2014; Klein & Fishbach, 2014)

The Research

Motivating-Uncertainty Effect

Introducing a degree of uncertainty to a rewards-based system can increase people’s investment in completing a task successfully.

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