Direct Mail: Energize Your Offer
If you want to improve results for your promotions, your offer is one of the first places you should look to make changes.
Offers are central to direct marketing. Strip away the techniques, formats and tactics, and you’re left with people accepting or rejecting offers. “Offer” is one of the three key elements that define direct response advertising:
1. Make an offer.
2. Provide sufficient information for acceptance of the offer.
3. Provide a means of easy response to act on the offer.
A Quick Definition of Offer
When people call me for advice on improving their direct mail and ads, I always ask, “What is your offer?” Frequently, the answer is, “Oh, we really don’t have an offer.” This is their way of saying, “We don’t have a discount or promotion.”
However, an offer is much more than a discount. An offer is the combination of all the elements that make up the deal you are presenting, such as the product or service itself, price, guarantee, etc.
Offer can be defined simply as the terms of the deal. It’s the entirety of what people get when they become paying customers. When you make an offer, you’re saying, “When you pay us, here’s what you get in exchange.”
Have a Look Under the Hood
An offer is like a car. If you want to improve performance, you pop the hood, take stock of the various parts and start tinkering with each to rev up the power. Here are a few elements that compose a typical offer:
- The product or service
- Optional features
- Presentation of price
- Unit of sale
- Trial period
- Time or quantity limit
- Shipping and handling
- Future obligations
List the elements of your offer, and ask questions about each. Is your price optimal? Testing a range of prices may reveal that a lower, or sometimes even a higher, price could net more revenue overall. What about the presentation of your price? If the price is $50, would it make your offer more attractive to present it as $49.98? What about terms? Do you ask for $49.98, or could you offer three payments of $16.66?