How to get customers excited, hungry to buy, and ready to say yes!

How to get customers excited, hungry to buy, and ready to say yes:
As a marketer or founder, part of your job is to reduce friction: • Make the button bigger • Write shorter copy • Give discounts to incentivize • Send reminder emails The problem? You made it easy… But customers STILL don’t want what you’re selling.
The logic for reducing friction is: “If I make this easier (or cheaper) for you, you will eventually want it.” But this is fundamentally flawed. Here’s a better way:
I call this framework Increasing Desire vs Decreasing Friction: 👍 Increasing desire = Getting your customers HUNGRY & excited to buy 👎 Decreasing friction = Reducing obstacles Average marketers only focus on decreasing friction. The best marketers focus on increasing desire
Let’s take a step back. To be clear, decreasing friction is good. You want to remove obstacles, like confusing UX or slow page load times. The problem is 80% of founders/marketers ONLY reduce friction. This leaves money on the table. Why decreasing friction isn’t enough:
1. Decreasing friction ignores that people jump through hoops for things they want. They’re willing to go the extra mile—pay more, do more work, or try harder to get those things. You could have fast page load times, but customers still might not care.
2. Lots of products are free–and you still don’t want them. For example, plenty of apps, tools, newsletters, etc cost nothing. But you’re not itching to download or sign up.
3. You’ll hit a ceiling from reducing friction alone. ❌ You’ve made the button as big as it can be ❌ You’ve offered as many promotions as you can give ❌ You’ve sent lots of reminder emails
It’s a race to the bottom… • You can only discount so much • You can only send so many reminder emails The problem is they DON’T WANT what you’re selling. They don’t find it compelling or valuable, even if it’s easy to buy.
To drive growth, you can’t just decrease friction. You have to increase desire:
What does it mean to increase desire? Remember: People jump through hoops for things *they want*. Did you pick your partner because they were the most convenient? No, you chose them despite any obstacles: Location, conflicts, in-laws… 👀 Because you knew they were worth it
Another example: Harvard makes you jump through hoops. • Two letters of recommendation • Multiple essays • Hundreds of $ to take the SAT • Thousands of $ in tuition The dean doesn’t say, “Hey, let’s remove all requirements because it’s creating friction.”
They know their value & they’re betting you will too. If you get in, you’ll say, “Take my money!” Here’s the thing: Cognitive dissonance is real. It can work for you or against you. Your brain likes being consistent with itself.
✅ Here’s cognitive dissonance working in your favor: Your customer thinks, “I waited in line for a long time to get this thing.” “I would only do that for something I really want.” “This thing is great. I’m so glad I bought it.”
Cognitive dissonance made the customer get more value out of your product… Without you changing anything about the actual product. That’s value created out of thin air.
🚫 But cognitive dissonance can work against you: Your customer thinks, “They promised me a gift card if I sign up.” “I signed up because I wanted the gift card, not bc I want to use this product.” “I must not like this product much if they had to bribe me to join.” Yikes.
This isn’t simply about making your product better. This is about crafting the story the customer tells themselves (and their friends) about you. ✔️ Give them reasons to get excited ✔️ Give them reasons to feel FOMO ✔️ Give them reasons to say yes
We tend to focus on removing friction because it feels comfortable. When you’re reducing friction, you can almost work through a checklist of the most common items of friction.
But there aren’t formulas for increasing desire. The strategy and tactics depend on your business, your assets, what your customer cares about, etc. It’s unique to your situation. That’s why aiming to increase desire feels messier.
Because it’s harder to increase desire, fewer people attempt it. So a small improvement can make an outsized impact. Recap: You should reduce friction, but don’t ONLY do that. You can’t spam your way into people’s hearts. Focus on getting people excited & increasing desire.