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The Offer Is The Key!

Sep 5, 2007
When you put up a web site, craft a brochure, design trade show literature, or send a direct mail or email letter, you are hoping to generate a response of some sort. Perhaps your material is lead generating. That means, you want people who are interested in learning more to allow you to contact them. Or, perhaps, it is sale generating. You want the reader to buy your product.

The offer you feature can be the turning point that determines your success. Many B2B marketing executives are under the impression that offers are primarily for consumer products, or B2C activities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone responds to an offer.

In the nutraceutical/functional foods industry, I have noticed very few companies feature an offer on their web site. If your web site is one of them, give some serious thought to changing that. Develop an offer for your web site. You will be amazed at how your leads and sales will increase.

Why An Offer?

Think of an offer as an incentive, an extra nudge to encourage someone to act. You are willing to give something away, free, in exchange for them giving you their contact information and/or buying a product from you. An offer sweetens the deal.

It's the same thing as giving away gifts at a trade show. You're hoping to make a business friend. You have a chance to meet them face-to-face, learn a little about their business and give people something with your name on it as a free gift that they'll remember you for. Think about the law of reciprocity. This law is as old as civilization itself. If you give something to me, I feel honor-bound to give something to you. Another way to think of it: an offer is a "thank you" gift for doing business with you.

With electronic marketing (email, websites, on-line newsletters), you don't have the opportunity to meet people in person. But, you'd still like to get to know them. An offer will help open the doors.

If your goal is to generate leads, a good offer will give you names and contact information. The sales team can then follow up on this information, and in time, generate more sales. If you want to increase sales, an attractive offer can be the thing that turns a looker into a buyer. Use an offer to encourage a larger quantity purchase, or increase the frequency.

An offer is also a reward for a company that's willing to give you their contact information

Remember the old days, when Cracker Jacks came with a little toy inside? Maybe you're not old enough to remember that, but children begged Mom for a box of Cracker Jacks, just to get the toy inside. As a result, the company's profits soared.

The little Cracker Jacks toy won't work in the big world we're in now, but the psychology of wanting something is still part of our nature. Give your potential customers something they want or need. Give them something they will value.

A good offer can often be the deciding factor in a buyer's mind. If your offer is attractive enough, sometimes they'll order, just to get your free offer. They want what you're offering. If they are undecided between two companies selling similar products, they'll order your product because your offer was so much more enticing.

So make them an offer they CAN'T refuse!
About the Author
Pam Magnuson is a freelance copywriter with a wide spectrum of experience in Radio, TV and newspaper advertising. She specializes in the Dietary Supplement industry.
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