Message & Media: Make Your Best Offer
Offers are the secret weapon of direct marketers for generating response. An offer is not just a discount, free shipping or free gift. It’s a package of elements that work together to encourage action, differentiate you from the competition, build your brand, answer buying objections and encourage fence-sitters to jump off the fence.
While offers first claimed fame in direct mail, today they’re used in all types of direct marketing media—digital included. Savvy email marketers and landing page gurus know the value of strategically sound offers. They are the reason we hit submit and clickthrough to learn more.
So, what’s an offer? It’s everything you are willing to give in exchange for a response—whether that’s a click, call or visit to your store. Remember: It’s more than your product, price or a free gift. It’s the proposition you make to your customer, donor or client that motivates him or her to take action. It’s the answer to, “What’s in it for me?”
Here’s a list of offer elements to use in various combinations to create your own offer packages. Pick and choose the elements that address your marketing challenges.
• Product: While your product or service is what you are ultimately selling, it takes more than a list of product features and benefits to stand apart from your competition. That’s where your offer comes in, so keep reading.
• Pricing: How you position your pricing is part of your offer and can differentiate you from the competition. Examples include discounts and quantity, wholesale, direct from the manufacturer, premium and value-added pricing, to name a few.
• Payment and Terms: If you offer the wrong payment options and/or terms—or don’t communicate what you do offer in the way of payment and terms—it can make a huge difference in response. Which of these have strongest appeal to your audience and their cash flow requirements? PayPal, cash, credit, debit, check, money order or electronic transfer of funds? Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually?