How to Speak to the Prepper Market


The prepper community is a market that has been growing for years. With the rise of doomsday-proof living, preppers are spending a lot of cash on goods and services that will help them survive an impending disaster. They shop at places like Costco and Sam’s Club, they buy tools and accessories online, and they are always looking for new solutions to problems they may face in the future.

For businesses looking to profit off of this growing niche, it can be difficult to reach out and make a connection with these individuals. These days when everyone is bombarded with messages through email, text or social media, it can be hard to break through the noise. One way to get around this is by offering preppers something unique–and then using your marketing resources strategically to reach out to them.

The Psychology of a Prepper

Before you can even begin to sell something, you need to know who your audience is and why they need your product. Usually, it’s the reverse: you, as the merchant, are convincing your audience that they need your product. But for it to work, that demographic truly needs to find use in what you sell.

Why do people become preppers?

Trying to learn what to pack and how to prepare for extreme situations is a popular pastime for people who are fascinated by things like science fiction, disaster films, or military gear. Such people are called “preppers” and are always looking for new ideas about survival techniques for SHTF scenarios. And that doesn’t always mean something as violent or dramatic as a military invasion, it can also be along the lines of another great depression.

But that’s surface-level prepper. Let’s ask another question. Why should anyone be prepared, whether it’s the apocalypse or a night at the movies with friends? The answer that can apply to any situation is: the fear of being left out or left behind. There’s a serious sense of self-worth that goes into play when talking about preppers. At the end of the world, who is worthy of remaining? When nothing else matters except life, itself, who should be at the frontline? A survivalist would tell you it’s them; the people who are prepared to survive through anything with survival skills they’ve been honing for years.

Who are they?

This is one of the toughest questions to answer when it comes to the American prepper community. The only two things that are consistent about them is the fact that they are preparing for future events and they value self-reliance. This preparation can be done for a number of different reasons including dealing with an economic collapse, natural disasters, or simply because they want to be self-reliant and not have to rely on society for their basic needs.

Preppers can live in every city, state, country, and continent. They are independent of each other with just one true connection: survival.

What’s in a prepper’s storage closet?

Whether you’re selling these products within these categories or something else, it’s good to know the top things doomsday preppers keep in their bunkers or garages or homes.

Food and water—the two most basic human needs. When you hoard emergency food with long shelf lives and water, you can survive any disaster without the food supply shortages typically seen in grocery stores.

Water purification—if you don’t have access to clean drinking water from a faucet, tablets and water filters will come in handy, as well as water storage.

Medical supplies—having a first aid kit with all of the necessary supplies like hand sanitizer and respirators to treat injuries will save lives in an emergency situation.

Flashlights—stock up on flashlights with extra batteries as well as candles that can be used during power outages.

Weapons—guns, knives, ammo, and other self-defense weapons help keep you and your stash protected from any threats.

If you don’t sell emergency supplies in any of these categories directly, you could sell items that supplement these (e.g., toilet paper, duct tape) or spin your product in a way that sounds like one of the above 5 necessities. It’s about self-sufficiency above all.

How to Sell to Preppers

In order to sell to this group, you need to speak their language. You

Tailor your marketing efforts to speak to their specific interests and needs. Even though you may already know what type of products they use, you might not be aware of other things that they want that you could sell them. Some preppers like to use solar panels and wind turbines while others prefer generators and propane heaters.

While it’s important to focus on the things they like, make sure you also address any concerns they may have about their purchases. Listening to what others want is crucial if you want to succeed at marketing to this group. Make sure you ask them what they need and where else they look for products like yours. By talking with your target market, you can develop a strong relationship with them that leads to profits for you.

Tips for Creating Ads

Prepper marketing is a specific niche of marketing aimed at people who believe they need to be prepared for anything that may come their way. The prepper market covers a wide range of products ranging from seed banks and food storage, to bunkers and weapons. Preppers are typically characterized by stockpiling supplies and weapons in preparation for any potential disasters (floods, wildfires, tornadoes, etc.), threats, and pandemics (coronavirus). As with any marketing campaign, creating prepper ads that resonate with your audience is key to reaching your target demographic and getting them to purchase your product. Below are some tips on how you can create effective prepper ads:

Create an online forum. This is a great way to interact with your audience via prepping forums or message boards on Facebook or other social networking sites where people can ask questions, share experiences, and give advice with others who share similar interests. This will be a crucial source to gather proper intel for your ad campaigns.

Use visuals. Preppers are ready for anything and the visuals you use in your ads should speak to their emergency preparedness. They need to feel like you get what they’re thinking, where the world might be going, and what makes them feel most secure. Using the right visuals, you can reel in preppers of any socioeconomic background.

Nail the CTA. The call-to-action at the end of your ad should be powerful and motivating. Every ad or post has some kind of CTA, usually in the form of “buy now”. Instead of being so generic, say something else that entices their anger or motivation to stay prepared. “Protect Your Property” and “Don’t Be the First Man Out” are a couple of examples that might do well for you.

Challenges with Prepper Ad Approval

Prepper advertising is often difficult to get approved by ad networks and social media sites because it can be controversial in nature. However, there are ways you can approach ads that are more likely to get approved by these networks.

Social media platforms are infamous for censoring anything they consider offensive. It’s no surprise, then, that many prepper marketers find Facebook and Twitter to be unfriendly places when it comes to promoting their products and services.

The most common reason for ad approval issues is that the images violate Facebook’s graphic guidelines as they relate to violence, nudity, and other potentially offensive content. Screenshots may be rejected if they show graphic content. The best way to avoid this is to not include any pictures in your ad that could be considered objectionable by the public.

Ads for preppers also don’t fall within the belief system of mainstream media. In short, it’s scary. These platforms have already gone through so much backlash with what they promote that they don’t want to take this type of risk. The risk is creating fear among the public, creating extremist groups, and so forth. They are mitigating that risk by not allowing prepper-style promotion, point-blank.

Preppers Are a High-Risk Demographic, Meaning You Need High-Risk Processing

Everything about preppers is high-risk. From their demographic to their lifestyle to the products they buy, it’s all risky. Your only viable solution is to obtain a payment processor that can handle your high-risk business. With a high-risk merchant account, like the ones provided by DirectPayNet, you can get that level of payment processing necessary to meet the demand of this market.

Preppers are also willing to pay top dollar for their survival needs. As most preppers are extremely concerned with safety and security, they are willing to invest in high quality products that will help them survive. However, there is a catch when selling to this market; you must be able to accept payment for your products. Cash, bank transfers, ACH, and more are highly preferable methods of payment for this group. They do use credit cards and debit cards, of course. But utilizing cash is one of the biggest things in the prepper industry, which means you need to accept that and money orders.

With high-ticket products alongside typically high-risk products (i.e., weapons), your business requires a high-risk merchant account to succeed whether you’re selling to beginners or decades-long preppers.

DirectPayNet is a merchant services provider who will get your business prepped to handle the demand of this demographic. Get in touch with us now and get your business prepped for the future.

About the author

As President of DirectPayNet, I make it my mission to help merchants find the best payment solutions for their online business, especially if they are categorized as high-risk merchants. I help setup localized payments modes and have tons of other tricks to increase sales! Prior to starting DirectPayNet, I was a Director at MANSEF Inc. (now known as MindGeek), where I led a team dedicated to managing merchant accounts for hundreds of product lines as well as customer service and secondary revenue sources. I am an avid traveler, conference speaker and love to attend any event that allows me to learn about technology. I am fascinated by anything related to digital currency especially Bitcoin and the Blockchain.