John E. Fike Copywriting Services; Copy, Content & Custom Publications for Companies Who Make Life Worth Living

Direct Mail/E-mail Secret #3: An Outstanding Offer That Is Difficult To Reject

No matter how good your copy is, a bad offer will kill response rates.

Your offer is not just the end of your letter or e-mail where you tell the prospect how much the product or service costs. Your offer is everything you are giving your customer and everything you are asking your customer to give you or concede to you in return.

Don’t make the mistake that thinking the only thing your customer is giving up is their money. They are also giving you their trust and, in many cases, their time. Many customers, especially in the B2B arena, are also putting their credibility or reputation on the line when they recommend your product or service to someone else, like a boss.

Your offer includes both the tangible and intangible.

Most marketers do a decent job of including the tangible elements of an offer, such as price and features. But only exceptional marketers also include the intangible elements—the things that can’t be measured or counted.

The key to a good offer is providing more value than you are asking for in return. The mistake most people make here is believing that they have to slash their price point or give away the house in order to accomplish this. But that is not the case.

Fortunately for you the biggest elements of value are intangible and don’t have to impact your price point or cause you to give away more than you can afford to. Let’s take a look at the principle components of an offer:

Risk Reversal
How can you make your prospect feel that they have nothing to lose by trying your product or service? What are you willing to risk instead? The money-back guarantee is the most popular form of this, but you can eliminate risk in other ways as well. For example, my unlimited revisions policy states that I’ll revise your copy as many times as you require so long as it doesn’t constitute a change in assignment. It assures customers know that they will get what they want. The tangible benefit is that their money isn’t at risk, but the intangible benefit is peace of mind knowing that I’m not going to stick them with copy they don’t like. Don’t underestimate the power of peace of mind.

Price point
The price you’re charging for your product or service is a key point of value for many customers. But instead of lowering your price, show how you offer more value per dollar than your competitors or show how much lifetime value you offer and how small your price is by comparison. For example, a client of mine who is a coffee retailer sells coffee in 1-pound (16 ounces) bags while her competitors sell it in 12-ounce bags. Her price is higher, but only because she sells more coffee in a package. I recommended including this phrase on all her bags: “LOOK! FULL 1-POUND PACKAGES! Leading competitor only 12 oz. Pound-for-pound, KaffeeScape gives more value!”

Unique Selling Position
What sets you apart from your competitors? What will your customers get from you that they can’t get anywhere else no matter what the price? Sometimes just being different or having a name that’s associated with a particular concept is enough to ensure the sale—that’s part of a good branding. But if there is something unique about your product or service that addresses a real need creates even more value. A great example of this is Market Leader Solutions. This executive and sales headhunter takes a step beyond its competitors by guaranteeing the performance of new hires for an entire year instead of just 90 days.

Payment options
How many ways can your customers pay for your product or service? How can you make payment easier for your customers? Internet retailers usually find that sales go up when they offer purchase by both credit card and PayPal (or similar), but sales are pretty meager for Internet retailers that only accept check or money order—it’s a trust thing. Another option that works well for high-ticket items is offering a payment plan. If customers frequently turn away because they can’t afford a lump-sum payment, try breaking it into monthly or weekly payments.

There are many more ways to add value to your offer, but these are the key points to consider when working on your next campaign.

If you’d like to talk about ways to increase the value of your offer, I’d be glad to schedule a FREE, no-obligation 15-minute consultation. Just give me a call at 419-371-2302.

Next time we’ll move on to Secret #4 in the Secrets to Generating Huge Response and Outstanding Profits in Direct Mail and E-mail Campaign series. Secret #3 is A Response Mechanism that Tracks Response for Testing and Follow-Up Promotions.

Talk to you then.

John E. Fike

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posted by John E Fike @ 6:22 PM, ,