How to Make Tightwads Gleefully Open Their Wallets

Do you know someone who would rather save money than spend it?

The flashy new iPhone 11 doesn’t tempt him –- he’s happy with his old-school flip phone.

If he goes out to lunch, he’s ordering the cheapest thing on the menu and boxing up half for later.

He’s probably demanding the “best deal” when asking for a quote.

In the marketing world, he falls within the “tightwad” customer persona (really). Tightwads are 24% of all buyers – so almost one-quarter of your prospects fall into this group.

Does a tightwad ever spend money? Of course. Does he like to spend money? Nope.

But, what if your target reader is a typical tightwad? How can you transform his mindset from, “I’m not spending money on this,” to “Wow, this is a good deal.”

It’s all about writing tightwad-focused content.

The inner workings of a tightwad

Why is spending money so painful to a tightwad buyer?

His brain is wired a little bit differently.

In a tightwad’s brain, spending money = pain. Even if he’s spending money on something pleasurable – such as new clothes, a car or a vacation – opening his wallet hurts.

Every cent out the door is like shedding blood.

Having said that, tightwads will purchase your $350/post blogging services, your $10,000 training program and your specialized products.

Here’s how:

Tightwads are extremely analytical – and fluffy, non-precise sales copy will fall flat. Plus, phrases like, “you deserve it” – or anything that implies luxury — won’t work.

Things that DO work are:

  • Strong value propositions. What makes your product or service stand out? What do you offer that’s different than other sites? General statements like “We offer fantastic customer service,” mean nothing. What IS important is when your company is available 24/7 when your competitors are only open 9-5.
  • Specifics count. You’ll want to feed into a tightwad’s analytical nature. Instead of writing, “You’ll save money,” include a specific dollar amount or percentage (“you’ll save 23 percent!”). If you’re going head-to-head with a competitor, consider creating a comparison chart showcasing your differences (and your superiority.) Tightwads love graphs, charts and comparisons.
  • Reframing value is a great hack. There’s a reason UNICEF says you can sponsor a child for “just fifty cents a day.” Even if the total price is just $15 a month, fifty cents a day seems much more manageable.
  • Words matter. How you frame your copy can have a tremendous impact on conversions. In a Wharton study, three researchers framed a overnight shipping fee two different ways. One variation was telling respondents about a “$5 fee,” and the other variation said it was “a small $5 fee.” Guess which variation worked? Yup, a “small $5 fee.”

Want a great example? Check out Dollar Shave Club. The emphasis is on quick, easy and incredible value. To appeal to their tightwad audience, they break down their costs to $9/month, instead of saying “just $108 a year.”

Want another example? Check out Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song Thrift Shop (warning, the lyrics are NSFW, so turn your speakers down!).

Want more? You can tweak your SEO, too.

Looking for every edge you can find? Here are some tightwad-focused SEO tweaks you can try.

  • Check out tightwad keyphrases. For instance, the phrase [cheap car insurance] sees over 90K searches a month, according to SEMRush. [low cost car insurance] receives 1,600 searches. If saving money is important to your customers, try targeting them with “cheap” keyword modifiers.
  • Consider placing your “tightwad” benefit statement in your Title. Things like “save 20%,” or “free shipping” can help your listing get noticed over others on the SERP. For instance, check out how Amtrak structured their Title:


  • Don’t forget a “tightwad” description. Granted, Expedia’s description isn’t the best — but the company does make it clear that folks can find the cheapest deals on Expedia. Compare this to Kayak’s description, which doesn’t quite fulfill the “cheap” promise.


Baby, don’t fear the tightwad

Writing great tightwad-focused copy is easy — once you know what makes the tightwad tick. Stay away from “luxury” references, target tightwad-focused keyphrases and experiment with word play. The result? Your readers are going to love you — and even feel OK about pulling out their credit card.

Well done!

3 replies
  1. Walter says:

    As a card-carrying tightwad, this post is gold! I do order the cheapest thing on the menu frequently, but I clean my plate, thank you very much! :)

  2. kanchi says:

    It reminds my beginnings days of SEO Training,
    My very first day my trainer said “Follow your audience your revenue will follow you”, That’s not related to this topic but next one he said if you are offering a service for a high cost you will earn only low level ROI.

    But if you provide very less amount product you can sale more product and get more revenue,
    Now you said get that trick into the content
    That is,
    Offer something with a content,
    Holly shit,
    I follow this on offline marketing when someone visit my place for enquiry that time face to face only offer this things and it works,
    But, I forget to add this in the comments,
    Now you saved me by reminding this, I have the solution in my hand but i forget to add that in content, am an idiot,
    Have some chance,
    First thank you lady,
    Here after i will follow this in my blog,
    My lovable tips in your blog is,
    #1.Strong value propositions
    #2.Specifics count
    #3.Reframing value is a great hack
    #4.Words matter
    #5.“save 20%,”
    And the research from SEM rush also a great thing and it will work,

    Totally a big thing done by you. Big brads like Amazon and Flipkart are doing same thing in our country. In some festival time the starting of the month they will provide a lot of products with cheap price you can purchase an Iphone too at a cheap rate. Right now only i can understand what i missed?

    You make me smile. in my business i have a seen a lot of tightwads i agree with your statement quarter of our leads are tightwads. Getting more number of leads doesn’t a matter. Convert each and every lead is the matter.

    Surely this will work for me, Thanks a lot, You opened my eyes


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