How loss aversion boosts motivation | Nudge Newsletter 🧠

Losses motivate more than gains.

Imagine I gave you $4,000 to motivate your sales rep.

You'd probably set them a target like this:

  • Hit 120% of quota and I'll give you $4,000


There's a better way to motivate.

Loss aversion reveals that losses are more salient than equivalent gains.

And when it comes to bonuses, the thought of losing a bonus is more motivating than gaining one.

Here's the study behind this insight πŸ‘‡

The right way to motivate the sales rep is to say:

  • We've added an extra $4,000 bonus in your pay check this month. If you hit 120% of quota, you keep it. If not, we'll subtract it from future months.

Big thank you to today's sponsor Lately. Don't miss this tech πŸ‘‡

​Transform Your Social Marketing with Neuroscience-Driven AIℒ​
Lately’s neuroscience-driven AIβ„’ learns and adapts to your unique brand voice to create social media content that your audience will love.

  • +12,000% ENGAGEMENT – No, that’s not a typo.
  • +245% MORE CLICKS – More clicks = mo’ better.
  • +200% MORE LEADS – Higher quality leads for marketing and sales.


Our AI schedules and populates your social media calendar faster than you can grab a cup of coffee. β˜•οΈ



Want to sponsor Nudge? Here's all you need to know.​



P.S. I don't listen to many podcasts, but one I tune into religiously is Dan Murray-Serter's Secret Leaders. It's fantastic. If you've got a spare hour this week, I'd reccomend his episode with Mo Gawdat. It's dynamite. Listen here.

This isn't sponsored. I just like the show.

Nudge Newsletter

I spend 18 hours each week turning marketing psychology into readable newsletters.

Read more from Nudge Newsletter

Remove the humans. In 2023, Lu Jung & Peck analysed 14,725 Instagram photos from travel influencers. Specifically they measured: Which images got more likes Which images drove more sales Turns out, there was one clear correlation ... humans. The images of travel destinations received fewer likes if they showed somebody in the photo. This effect reduced sales, too. Why is this? Well customers want to feel ownership over products. The endowment effect reveals that the more control we have over...

Stop using technical jargon. It's commonplace to see companies to use technical language to describe products. We read about: Next-level AI Trusted provenance Wholesome nutrition Marketers use this technical language because it makes them seem smart. Yet it harms sales. In 2023, researchers showed consumers multiple product descriptions in an online experiment and measured their likelihood to buy. Turns out, technical language damages sales. Why is this? Well technical language is hard to...

Speed limits are broken. In 2021 Enrico Rubaltelli found an ingenious way to make speed limits better. By lowering the speed by 1km per hour he reduced median speeds by 3km per hour. Why does this work? Well it's due to the left digit effect. Most of us read from left to right meaning we're anchored by the first digit we see. A lower anchor (4 rather than 5) makes us perceive the number as less than it's value. Lowering the speeds we drive at. Also explaining why everything sold in the Apple...