?Want to boost your sales and increase return on advertising investment why not use an incentive?. They might add to your costs but they almost always pay for themselves many times over. Why do incentives work? Because on average you appeal to the same response rates - plus much more, typically between 10% and 30% who were interested but took no action. And these bonus inquiries should behave and convert at similar rates. Incentive champions Reader's Digest heavily promote their incentive, a prize draw, which can overshadow the product. Why? Because Victor Ross, Chairman of Reader's Digest was quoted as saying "I have never seen a relevant incentive fail to pay for itself." So if you are not currently testing incentives, consider these three reasons why you should: 1. They cure apathy - of being sold something. 2. They beat buyer's remorse. 3. They give an additional 'push' to try the product or service. * They have to buy by a certain date, or on a certain daya purchase deadline. * There is limited availablity. * It's a limited edition. * It's restricted to certain privileged customers. Consumers are vary and thoughtful, so be honest about your reasons for the stimulus. You will always be rewarded for your honesty. So tell them if it is: . As an incentive. . To prompt a product trial. . Because "we find it's the cheapest way to get new customers". . Because it's our centenary. What makes a good incentive? Always ensure that your incentive adds value, rather than cheapening the product or service. That's why price cuts rarely make good incentives. In fact studies have shown that increasing prices is often a better strategy. Finally to keep your incentives effective and fresh use them economically. Jim Brackin is a Director of ESPConsultancy.co.uk the marketing research specialists. After 20 years in advertising and marketing Jim qualified as a Hypnotherapist, and is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-linguistics. A free report is available on how results driven marketing can dramatically improve response rates.