Marketing Offers 101: Make ’Em an Offer They Won’t Confuse
Making offers. Those finnicky little things marketers do in order to generate an order. Free this, bogo that, buy now and we will back up a semi-truck with all kind of freemiums to your home or office.
All kidding aside, the offer you make is designed for one purpose: to reduce the friction between “should I buy?” and “yes, I will buy!”
So why do so many companies get it wrong? While I've written about this in the past, based on what I see “out there” in retail and e-commerce land, a refresher couldn’t hurt.
We all know that the most popular word in the marketing offer playbook is “FREE.” But “free” has become so ubiquitous in the lexicon of retail and digital marketing that it often cancels itself out. Free just ain’t enough anymore!
Here are some tips on how to make better offers and drive more conversions and sales:
- An offer is not just made up of a discounted price and/or something free. Your offer is the sum total of your product, pricing, presentation and reputation.
- Part of your offer is how you back your product. Is your warranty or guarantee clearly stated in an obvious place? Are your guarantee terms easy to read and understand? Do you make it easy to accept returns? I suggest doing an audit of your policies right way and then frequently there after.
- An offer is only as good as the product that's being presented. Make sure your products are presented in the best possible way. Your company’s unique selling proposition (USP, AKA value prop) must be embedded in every product, package and, most importantly, product page.
- Reviews are king. Make sure you have social proof associated with your product in plain view on product pages.
- Test, re-test and validate! Don’t just make an offer without testing. There are enough options out “there” that allow for split testing price and offer on product pages (and elsewhere on your site) that it should be easy to test. Run the numbers and see which offering drives the one-two punch of conversion and average order value (AOV) profitability. Bonus tip: Also look at how your offers affect customer lifetime value calculations as well. Do the math. You may wind up being surprised in that one offer that might not have converted as high as anticipated, but it drove better AOV and profits. Surprises happen often!
- And finally, make sure your offer is “merchandised” properly and isn't a confusing mess. It should be easy for the consumer to understand and thus make a buying decision. Not sure you know what I mean?
Check out the picture below, which I took at Outback Steak House. I read this waiting to pick up my takeout order.
I brought my credit card but I forgot my abacus to calculate this offer and what it means to me. ’Nuff said (oh, believe me, I could say more).
Got offers for me to review? Comments? Share them in the comments section below.
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Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.