3 Tactics to Update the Offer
Chances are, if you're doing direct marketing, you already have a good offer. But it may not be working as well as it used to, or you simply may want to try something new.
I'm all for that—but before you toss aside an ailing offer, you may want to consider some proven ways to revive it. Here are three suggestions.
1. Promote the "Most Popular" Offer
People always want what other people have—particularly in very competitive industries like high technology and even travel. The moment we flag a tour with something like, "Our Most Popular Tour to Italy," response goes up and so do sales for that particular tour. No wonder envy is one the seven deadly sins—people always want what other people have. You can use that in direct marketing.
2. Make It New and Improved
Your offers shouldn't be set in stone; you can always update them with new information. Just make sure you tell people it's new and improved. Nonfiction books use this technique frequently. My favorite example is when Bob Stone updated his classic, "Successful Direct Marketing Methods." The ad for the latest edition read: "Bob Stone Just Re-wrote the Bible."
You can take this idea and apply it to your whitepapers, information kits, resource guides, etc. It turns an ordinary whitepaper into a living document, always relevant and always up-to-date.
3. Ask How They Would Lose Out
Research shows people have a greater fear of loss than desire for gain. That makes sense—you don't want to lose what you already have, do you? One way to revive an offer might be to gather all the positive information you have, and take the opposite approach.
For example, Fisher Investments used to offer information on how to succeed in the stock market. That worked well. But then they offered "8 Mistakes to Avoid," which appeared to pull much better. Think: What's the worst that could happen if people don't buy or use my product or service? Then turn that into an informational offer.
Alan Rosenspan is the president of Alan Rosenspan & Associates, a direct marketing creative and consulting firm. He and his teams have won more than 100 awards for creativity and results, including 20 DMA ECHO Awards. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.