Previous research has documented only a modest success rate for imposed sanctions. By contrast, the success rate is higher in cases that are settled at the threat stage. In this article, the authors provide new insights about the circumstances under which sanctions cause behavioral change only after being imposed. First, the target must initially underestimate the impact of sanctions, miscalculate the sender's determination to impose them, or wrongly believe that sanctions will be imposed and maintained whether it yields or not. Second, the target's misperceptions must be corrected after sanctions are imposed. A game-theoretical model with incomplete information is used to develop and clarify the argument.