Whether you’re an enterprise company or a small business getting users to engage with your messaging is critical to success. We’ve all been there, you set up an email, ad-unit, or social promotion with high hopes for the campaign, only to receive the same abysmal results. In less than 500 words I will give you an overview on a tactic that will both raise your recipients engagement levels, and your conversions, all by simply leveraging psychology.

Tactic Name: Reveal Marketing

What it is:

Reveal Marketing is a tactic for raising engagement by requiring recipients of a message to perform an interactive action in order to reveal the contents of the message.

Types of Reveal Marketing:

Games: Promotions and discounts that require you to spin, scratch away, or play a flash game before viewing a deal.

Problem Solving: Promotions and discounts that require you to draw a picture, build a puzzle, or solve a riddle.

Motion Interactions: Content that requires the audience to move, shake, or tilt a device to reveal the message.

Why It Works:

1. Curiosity

By concealing a message, you incite curiosity. The recipient begins to wonder what it is, what it could be, or what they could receive. Reveal marketing gives marketers the opportunity to take advantage of humans innate curiosity.

2. Perceived Value

When it comes to engaging your audience the perceived value of your message is vital. What creates perceived value? According to social psychologists humans tend to attribute a greater value to outcomes they had to put effort into acquiring. This paradigm is suitably called Effort Justification.

According to this paradigm those who “work” for your message will attribute more value, due to the effort that was required to receive it. Reveal Marketing capitalizes on this principle by requiring an action in return for content.

3. Interactivity

Reveal Marketing requires an interactive action from recipients. The key here is to make the interaction fun. Recently, giant Walmart clothing retailer “George” sent out an email with the headline “What has George got to show you” on top of an image.  Once users clicked the image they were redirected to a interactive scratch off landing page where they physically uncovered the surprise, George’s new clothing line.  This interaction combined with the intrigue of a surprise produced a 10% higher CTR than average.

4. It Stands Out

When there are so many messages vying for your audiences attention, it can be hard to stand out. By concealing your content with a fun interactive experience you separate yourself from the rest of the pack.


Reveal Marketing is a way to supercharge engagement for your content by putting up an interactive barrier to entry. This tactic can be used for an assortment of content such as introducing new products, giving discounts, seasonal holidays, and everything in between.

About the Author

Jared Flamm is a leading expert in reveal marketing. He currently heads customer experience at Scratch-it, collaborating with enterprise clients to create interactive experiences that thrill their customers and raise their engagement metrics. He is also a freelance blogger with posts being published and republished across a wide array of marketing magazines and blogs. You can find him tweeting about insects, hockey, marketing, and Scratch-it @Jaredalanf.