How To Improve Your Response With an Offer

If you have been reading my newsletter for a while, then hopefully you know what your prospect is thinking when they read your messages..

…are they thinking, “Wow, I would like to find out as much as possible about this company”?  No! They are, of course, thinking “What’s in it for me?”.

So, let’s say you have attracted the attention of your prospects and convinced them that you understand their pain, and that you have a solution.  That really, is only half the battle; you still have the difficult task of convincing them to actually respond.  This is where an irresistible offer comes in.

The importance of some kind of offer cannot be overemphasized.

Let’s take a look at some of the alternatives:

1.    The Discount

This is an offer which I implore you to treat very carefully.  Offering a discount suggests one of two things: (a) that you were trying to overcharge in the first place, or (b) that you are desperate enough to charge less than you, or your products, are worth.  Neither of these is really a selling message that is going to work well for your brand image.

If you really must discount, try to think up a good reason – overstock of a particular item, a seasonal special for valued clients, that kind of thing.

2.    Early Bird Special

This is really a version of discounting, but it does come with the suggestion that most people will be paying the full price (which, is by implication, therefore, not too much).  The message here is that your prospects are providing a value to you by assisting in your planning/inventory control etc, and that this is their reward.

3.    Added Value

This is always preferable to discounting, even though in many ways it boils down to the same thing.

Rather than giving money off, you are adding a bonus to the package of goods or services that your clients are buying.  So, for instance, you are selling two for the price of one, or adding a complementary item with purchase.  This makes your product or service seem more valuable, rather than implying that it may not be worth the list price.

4.    Free Report

If you have a product or service that requires some planning or research before a purchase decision can be made, offer a free report that will make that decision easier.  Remember, though – this is not really much of a bonus if it is just a selling piece, so it needs to be an impartial, informational piece which will help your prospect to pick the right supplier for their needs.  Some ideas might be:

(a) Ten things to look out for when choosing a widget

(b) Eight questions to ask when looking for a consultant

(c) “But, I don’t need a doo-dad” – fifteen reasons why you do

(d) How to do something (to give ideas of how they might use your product)

Although these pieces need to be informational and impartial, of course they will help your prospects to see that you are an authority that they can rely on, and that you have the answers they need.

5.    Free Trial

If you have a product that people will want to try before buying, make it as simple as possible for them to try without any commitment.  If it is not possible to offer a totally free trial, then perhaps you could offer two free trial products with the purchase of one full-size item, or bundle trial sizes into packages for sale at a more manageable cost.

These are some of the more generic ideas – you may be able to think of others more suited to your own business.  But the point is that an offer will achieve two very important things for you:

Firstly, your offer will dramatically improve your response rates.

Secondly, your offer is a great way to obtain new contacts for your database.  And, of course, building and working your database is an investment in future sales.

There is a very good reason why the most successful direct marketers have for decades been offering bonuses and incentives with every sales message – come up with one for yourself and make it work for you too!

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