The Avenue

How to Craft Powerful Offers

Powerful offers that drive your audience to take action can be used in your business to do a myriad of things. They’re great for moving old or overstocked product, overcoming buyer objections, eliminating purchase risk or just building your customer database.

Well-crafted offers are fantastic lead generators; in this case, the offer is designed to get potential customers to identify themselves, not to close sales. Once those potential customers have identified themselves, they enter the formal sales process and then you can convert them into a loyal customer.

Offers designed to be lead generators drive more qualified prospects to your business, sometimes bringing in buyers who would like to take advantage of your offer, but who are not otherwise a part of your target market.

Speak to your your potential customers’ “hot buttons” and craft a powerful offer that is irresistible to their emotional motivators
In simple terms, a powerful offer gets people to respond, or take action. It will provide enough motivation for the reader to pick up the phone, visit your website or walk into your store. These irresistible offers make your target audience think, “Wow! This is the chance I’ve been waiting for!” or, “I’d be nuts not to take advantage of this opportunity!”

Using emotional motivators in your offer will make the job of converting customers into repeat business easier and more cost effective.

A powerful offer will feature an element of urgency or scarcity as a key motivator for action
If I offered “2-for-1 mother/daughter haircuts” every day of the year, chances are I wouldn’t have a stampede of prospects at my door. I would likely draw a few new clients a week, but the majority of those who saw the offer—even if they were interested—would probably put it off for later.

When you create an offer for lead generation, you want your prospect to take action as soon as possible. Now, let’s face it, we’re all procrastinators at heart, so you have to give your audience a reason to take action without delay.

So, instead of just “2-for-1 mother/daughter haircuts” I could offer, “2-for-1 mother/daughter haircuts, Mother’s Day weekend—20 spots available, book your appointment today!” This offer has an element of urgency—the offer is only valid for a two-day period—and scarcity, as there are a limited number of appointments during those two days.

Here are some other ways to use scarcity or urgency to sweeten the offer:
Limited-time offer:
2-for-1 mother/daughter haircuts—Mondays from 1–4 p.m.

Limited supplies available: Free! Mother’s Day gift ($50 value) with purchase for the first 20 customers on Mother’s Day.

Seasonal specials: Mother’s Day Special: buy one, get one free on any service in our spa, Mother’s Day weekend only.

Free gift with action: Bring your mom in for a free haircut on Mother’s Day, and receive a salon bonus pack, worth $45, absolutely free!

Daily deal: Book an appointment with us by the end of the day, and we’ll add on a free haircut for your daughter.

Let’s walk through an easy step-by-step process for creating powerful offers that will generate qualified leads for your business.

1. Establish who you are trying to target, and what you want them to do.

Like all of your lead generation efforts, you need to establish who your target market or audience is before you can attempt to reach them. In my salon example, the target market is middle-class women aged 18 to 65 with an interest in the latest trends in fashion and beauty. Even more specifically, I could limit my target audience to women with daughters.

Also, be clear about what you want your readers to do. In my example above, I asked customers to call and reserve their appointment today. You may ask your readers to come to the store for a free trial, or place an online order.

2. Identify the emotional motivators or “hot buttons” that will get your target to take action.

Why does your target market need or want what you have to offer. What problem does your offer solve?
• Safety and financial security for self and family
• Convenience and time management
• Freedom from worry
• Self-improvement
• Acceptance and recognition from others
• Basic needs, including food, shelter, love, personal maintenance, etc.

In my example, I’m targeting the emotions associated with the bond between mothers and daughters, especially on Mother’s Day, and their common interest in beauty services. The offer alludes to an opportunity to spend time with each other, and a way to save money while doing so.

3. Once you have identified the emotions you will try to target, determine which type of offer will work best.

Free Offer: Ask your potential customer to act immediately for a free reward. This is a great lead generator if you can offer a solution to a common problem for free. Examples would be “Contact me now to receive your free 10-page guide to financial freedom,” or “Act now and get your first month of home security for free—a $99 value!” Try to include the dollar value of what you are providing for free.

Guarantee Offer: Guarantee the performance of your product or results of your service, and you’ll take away the fear many customers feel when making a purchase. This is a great way to overcome barriers when a customer is making a large or important purchase, or when safety and security are involved.
• Money-back guarantee: full refund for unsatisfied customers.
• Double-your-money-back guarantee: double refund for unsatisfied customers.
• Long-term guarantee: one year, multi-year or lifetime guarantee.

Free Trial or Demonstration Offer: Another great way to reverse purchase risk is to offer a free trial or to provide a free demonstration. This works with all kinds of products or services, and allows the customer to convince himself that he needs what you have to offer. Those customers who are concerned about making the right purchase decision will be put at ease by this offer.

Package or Value-Added Offer: This offer appeals to customers looking for convenience because their needs are met in one place or one purchase, like start-up kits and special packages. Packaging products also increases the perception of value, sometimes without adding costs. For example, offering a free printer with computer purchase.

Premium Offer: Always offer premiums over discounts, as they will better serve your bottom line. Reward purchases with bonus products or services, and you’ll give new customers an incentive for choosing your business over the competition.

4. Draft several hard-to-refuse offers based on these motivators.

Brainstorm as many different types of offers as you can, using emotional keywords or hot buttons. Depending on the type of business you have, and the products or services you offer, you may wish to focus on a single product or service, or open up the offer to all the items you have in store.

Are there any freebies you can throw in? Any overstock that can be handed out as a free gift, or packaged with another product? What about bonus services that you can add on to products for a limited time (with limited costs)? Will a simple guarantee make a big difference?

When describing your offer, be as specific as possible and avoid lengthy description of product details and benefits. Your goal is to sell the offer and motivate readers to take the next step, not to sell your product.

5. Evaluate the financial viability of each of your brainstormed offers.

Even though you’re using these offers as lead generation tools, you need to make sure that each transaction will turn an acceptable profit, or at least allow you to break even. The last thing you want to have happen is a store full of leads redeeming an outrageous offer that will leave you broke.

So, for each of your brainstormed offers, calculate your break-even point. If I were offering 2-for-1 mother/daughter haircuts, my calculation would look something like this:

A. Costs:
Service costs:
Adult Haircut: $20
Junior Haircut: $10

Marketing costs:
Advertising: $200
Flyer Drop: $100

B. Profit: Price minus hard costs
Adult Haircut: $40 (retail price) – $20 (cost) = $20 profit
Junior Haircut: $0 (offered free) – $10 (cost) = $10 expense
Profit: $20 – $10 = $10 profit per transaction

C. Break-Even Point: How much profit will you need to make to cover soft costs
Advertising (total): $300
Profit: $10
Transactions: $300 / $10 = 30 transactions required to break even.

From here you can assess whether or not you can realistically break even, and if your offer is financially viable. In this example, 30 transactions is a reachable target for my salon over the course of a weekend, but I may consider extending the offer over the course of a week, maintaining an element of urgency, but allowing more time to recover my costs.

Keep in mind that the customers’ initial purchase in response to your offer may only allow you to break even, but if you are able to convert them into repeat customers, the profit of their subsequent purchases may make up the difference.

6. Select two of your financially viable offers, then test them to measure which works best.

I like to test two offers at a time. This will tell me what emotional motivators really work with my target audience, and then I can continue to build on that knowledge.

Use your lead tracking system to measure which offers generate the highest number of leads.

Remember that testing and measuring is a vital component of your lead generation efforts, and it produces some really valuable information on emotional motivators that work.

Get creative and put together new and exciting offers for your potential clients on a regular basis
Keep improving and revising your offers to ensure you continue to draw leads from them. Otherwise, your audience will get used to seeing the same offer, assume it is always available, and it may become stale.

Use opportunities like seasons, events, anniversaries and other celebrations to change and renew offers. When you bring in a new product line, feature a new service, or try to go after a new segment of your target market, check in to see if you can create an offer around the news and bring in some new leads.

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About the Author

Robert Ritch is a successful entrepreneur and business consultant, and has helped numerous small businesses increase their profits by assisting them in planning the steps they need to take and the order they need to take them, and in identifying and reaching their target market. Contact Robert at ceo@robertritch.com or at robertritch.com.

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