How to Create Marketing Offers Your Prospects Can’t Refuse

by Charlie Cook

“We do marketing for small to medium sized business, mainly self-mailers. Clients aren’t getting the results we would like. We are trying to create better offers. Is there a book or some information on the web about offers that get good returns for different kinds of businesses?”

Mark T., Seattle, WA.

Have you ever sent out a mailing and had hardly any people respond?

Whether you’re involved in marketing other peoples’ products and services or your own, you know how frustrating it can be when you don’t get the results you want. After hours of work writing the copy, designing the layout, paying for the list, the postage and processing the mailing, what have you got? All too often it ends up being just a big waste of time and money.

What’s the solution? Should you give up on mailings or on advertising?

No! Don’t shoot the messenger when it’s the message that’s to blame. Direct mail and advertising can work with the right marketing copy.

If you want to get better results with your small business marketing, you’re going to need to change the information you include in your mailings, how you get prospects’ attention and your offer. If you keep sending out the same stuff you’ve been using, you’re going to get the same old minimal results when you could be getting ten to twenty times as many people responding and buying from you.

Ready to discover how to write compelling offers that overcome every objection your prospects throw at you >>

To begin, put your mailing to the test:

1. Does it have an attention-grabbing headline?

2. Is the focus on a problem your prospects’ care about?

3. Are you offering a solution that works?

4. Does the copy include third party verification of your claims?

5. Did you make an offer that will motivate prospects to take action today?

Most mailers fall short for the following two reasons. They headline isn’t about a problem that prospects’ are concerned about so they never read further to discover the solution you provide. Secondly the offer that’s included doesn’t motivate prospects to take action and or make a purchase.

So what makes an offer irresistible?

Assuming that one through four above are in place, the biggest motivator is prospects’ perception of the value you provide relative to cost. Put another way, it’s not price that gets in the way, but prospects balk when the value of products and services aren’t clear.

How can you help prospects understand the value of your offer?

Relate the value to the problem(s) they want to solve and express this value in their own words. The benefits define value and should outweigh the cost.

Tell your prospects about what they’re going to get. Even if you’re giving something away for free, you still need to give your prospects a convincing reason to act. For example, I don’t just tell people visiting my web site to sign up for my free guide; I use the name of the marketing eBook to tell people how it’s going to help them. This simple strategy has prompted over 30,000 people to subscribe to my newsletter.

Want a step-by-step guide to show you how to create cash copy >>

You may use an initial free offer simply to build your database of prospects, but at some point you’re going to want to prompt your prospects to buy. What kind of offer will motivate people to buy?

Give away something for free or for practically free.

  • Oreck successfully sold one of its vacuums by offering it free for the first 30 days along with a $130 iron as a gift.
  • Time magazine’s current online offer is; “Subscribe to TIME! Plus, get 6 months more for 1 cent!!
  • Cingular offers “Free Camera Phones” when you sign up for a 2 year agreement. Other phone services “give away” free minutes when you sign up.
  • Send people a check. AT&T mailed out 200 million checks to former customers and 10 million became clients again. By cashing the check, prospects agreed to sign on with AT&T.
  • A local Stamford, Connecticut investment advisor gave away a free workshop and grew their assets by $20 million.
  • Google gives away its search top quality search services in order to attract viewers for the unobtrusive ad space they sell.
  • Charles Schwab gives away access to its select list of mutual funds.
  • As a skier, this is one of my favorite offers. Andes Tower, a small ski area in Kensington, Minnesota, started a free after-school program three evenings a week that included transportation to the hill, equipment and lift tickets for 4th, 5th and 6th graders. In other words, they gave away everything and then some. The benefit? Their ski shop immediately sold every piece of junior equipment (for 7th-12th graders).

The long term benefit is that they’re developing a grooming a generation of kids who love skiing and will be back with their parents to buy more gear, buy lift tickets in future years and. down the road. will be back with their children to ski.

Want to supercharge your offers? The more you give away in terms of perceived value, the more money you’ll make.

A downside to free offers is that, even if it’s a great offer, prospects tend to procrastinate. Overcome this by putting a time limit on your offer. Good for ten days or until July 20th. Give people a reason to act in the upcoming two to four weeks and they’ll line up to take advantage of your offers.

(VALUE: $200)
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