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this week's Marketing
According to the psychologist authors of
Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending, people feel more joyful about
purchases of pleasurable items and services before they
receive them than afterwards.
This is not because what they bought let them down. Rather,
the pre-consumption phase enables buyers to experience
delicious anticipation, which in turn often elevates their
satisfaction with the vacation, vehicle or video game they
The anticipation effect increases when the seller encourages
rumination and visualization around what is to come.
Indeed, with any sort of "pay now, consume later"
arrangement, anticipation gives buyers greater happiness
from their spending, say the Happy Money authors.
About one-fifth of TripAdvisor users return to the site
after booking their vacation to savor (and re-savor) the
photos and descriptions of the sunny tropical beaches or
majestic mountaintops in their future. "They think about
how great the tapas and the sangria are going to taste,"
says Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer at
To put the anticipation effect to work, you could send
appetite-whetting details about the purchase as part of the
receipt or a separate welcome email.
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