Right or Wrong Marketing Strategy from Headspace?

"You have to start giving first and expect absolutely nothing." - Dalai Lama

“You have to start giving first and expect absolutely nothing.” – Dalai Lama

An example of brilliant or annoying email and rewards marketing strategy, from Headspace?

If you live a stressful and maybe somewhat unhappy life, feeling anger and sadness like I do sometimes you should try meditation to tackle these feelings. There are many scientific studies and social implementations that prove the benefits of mindfulness. The following video from CNN is one of my favourite examples:

I started practising it a year or two ago but for the last month, I really pushed myself to make a habit out of it. To help me with the learning process I use an app called Headspace (this is NOT an affiliate article) which ranks in my top 5 best apps. It’s simply brilliant and it’ll blow your mind how good it is, or calm your mind I should say. A big shout out here to Andy Puddicombe, the creator of the app. Click here for a short TEDtalk from him and you might get hooked up as I did.

So anyway, back to marketing. The app allows you a few free lessons where Andy walks you through the basics of meditating. Passing them, you can continue on your own with the knowledge that you have learned. That on its own for me is a great way of content marketing and a way to build an audience.  If you want to continue and unlock all sorts of different packs you will need to subscribe. For this, Headspace, uses another one of my favourite marketing strategies that give you three options of payments, monthly, annually and lifetime subscription (somehow whenever I see this kind of options, the middle one is always the “most popular”, and they make sure you know it).

So far so good, nothing unusual with the marketing tactics here. The interesting part and reason for this article is hiding in their email marketing and more specifically the Headspace rewards. After I used the app for 15 consecutive days (yay me), I received an email with the subject:

“Tsvetan, You have earned a voucher as a reward!”

I got really excited and proud of myself. Gifts giving, as I talked about here before, is a great marketing strategy,  but when I opened it I saw this:

Headspace Email Marketing
Headspace Email Marketing

At first, I was disappointed. They got me excited about my progress and told me I have earned a reward when the reward was not for me but for somebody else. Someone else benefiting from my success got me annoyed, that’s why I go to work, I don’t want it in my personal life too. Then I quickly remembered what I have learned throughout my time using the app and calmed down. After I cleared my mind and looked at this tactic closely, I thought it was brilliant. As a marketeer, I see this as a great way to build and target new audience/customers.

Here is why:

First of all, when you think about it, congratulating me on my progress and dedication by itself is a reward and motivates me to continue. So this is something for me (the customer) and Headspace because now I’m motivated to continue using the app. After that with the free reward for somebody else, it means that I get to brag about my progress with friends without sounding like I’m bragging (which is great), by offering them the free month. So basically, I get to say to my friend:

Me: ’Hey, I’ve earned a free month of Headspace subscription that I can give to someone if you want it.’

Friend: ‘Oh really? How did you earn that?’

Me: ‘Ah, well, it is for 15 consecutive days of meditating’

Friend: ‘Well done, seems like you are really advancing. Sure I’ll try it too if it’s that good’

That’s how I believe normal friends will react, mine will probably tell me to shove my progress and my free month of subscription up my a**. For the sake of my argument, I’ll stick with my normal well-mannered imaginary friends.

This is how Headspace keeps me (the customer) happy. With this strategy, they also promote the app to new prospects. Not only that, but they do it by targetting them very accurately and with a bigger chance of success. Why is that you may ask? It is accurate targeting because I (the customer) will offer that free month not to just anybody, but to the friend that I know might be interested in that. My friend (the new prospect) will be willing to use it because, as we all know, word of mouth is the best marketing/advertising for a product or a service there is. My friend (the prospect) will trust me (the customer) more than any ad there is, because of the relationship we have.

What happens here is, that my friend (the new prospect) gets to try the app, because I recommended it, which already has about a month of free packs for beginners and another free month where he/she can try the other packs, (building trust in the product and reaching new audience) and I (the customer) get to brag about my progress, by helping someone else and not looking like a prick.

The thing is that I am not really sure if I am right here because I would also love that free month to be for myself. One of the reasons is that I don’t really have anyone to offer it to, therefore brag about my success (if the reward was a bottle of gin it would have been a different story). Another reason is that I am a poor student, with high rent and low income, so a free month would have really made my day.

Tell me what you think guys, is this a good strategy from Headspace, or the reward should have been kept entirely for me (the customer)?

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