Customer Retention Issues? Endowed Progress Can Help (Video)

January 6, 2020

Customer retention is a constant focus for management teams and marketing executives. What makes us want to stick with a brand? What motivates us to stay engaged?

One answer that research on decision science has given us is the Endowed Progress Effect.

When you give your prospect a head start toward a reward, such as getting a free item or reaching a certain rewards tier, they have a higher likelihood of achieving the goal you’ve set out for them (even if it means buying more from you). This Endowed Progress Effect causes us to feel more motivation toward a goal when we get a head start (typically between 20-30%).

This effect causes your prospect to feel a strong sense of progress in place of a feeling of overwhelm. Our Loyalty Kickstart strategy is based on this effect, and it can play a large part in your efforts to increase customer retention, boost sales conversions, and raise customer lifetime value. Watch our Hustlers Lab episode explaining how to do it:

Customer Retention Proven Through Research

300 study participants were each given a loyalty punch card at a car wash. Half of the group received cards with 8 spots to punch, and the other half of the group had 10 spots to punch, but they were given two “free” punches, resulting in only 8 more spots go.

Despite the same level of work required to redeem the free car wash, the group with the 2 free punches redeemed 34% of their punch cards, whereas the other group only redeemed 19% of their cards. Customer retention almost doubled just by adding the head start.

Have Us Do It For You

Team Vivid uses the Endowed Progress Effect in our Testing Rounds. Think your business could raise its customer retention from trying this strategy out? Download our Testing Round Prospectus to explore more.

Primary Source

Nunes, J.C. & Dreze, X. (2006). The endowed progress effect: How artificial advancement increases effort. Journal of Consumer Research, 32(4), 504-512

Interested In More?

Read our post on Increasing your Sales Conversion Rate With Weber-Fechner

About Vivid Labs

Vivid Labs is a science-based marketing agency. We focus on conversion optimization, which is the science of improving the performance of a sales or marketing system. We publish our findings and strategies for you to explore and try in your own organization.

Book A 25-Minute Discovery Chat For Free

Click below to instantly schedule a free Discovery Chat with Vivid Labs

You May Also Like…

The Hook & Call

An innate human trait known as Confirmation Bias causes us to pay closer attention to things we like or agree with. Take the news, for example: conservatives tend to follow one news source while liberals follow an entirely different one. Is the news between these two channels substantially different? No, it isn’t. The difference lies in the way the facts are presented. With every remark, facial gesture, and literary trope, news providers can present the same fact to two people on opposite sides of the political spectrum – and have them both believe the fact proves a point in their favor.


Team Vivid is certified through all four of MECLABS Research Institute's training programs. Certification under these programs means that our team knows how to plan, launch, and manage a marketing campaign with a proper balance between creativity and statistical proficiency. In short, we stay up to date on all the best ways to make your marketing profitable.

How Can I Use Psychology to Improve My Marketing?

The power of psychology in marketing is extraordinary. Vivid Labs' DREAM model is one of the best modern examples of...