part 4 of a 4-part series
We’ve been looking at offers because offers are the heart of direct response advertising.
In fact, I’ll remind you yet again, there are three absolute requirements if you want to do direct response. You must:
- Make an offer.
- Provide sufficient information to allow your prospect to accept your offer.
- Provide an easy means of responding to your offer.
If you’re not doing all three, you’re not doing direct response.
Finally, we’ll look at 14 offers to increase profit (specifically dollars per sale) and generate inquiries for multi-step sales.
Let’s get started.
In the long run, profit, not a high response, is your goal. Offers that increase your total profit per sale can sometimes pay off better even if fewer people respond.
Deluxe Version — You offer a second version of the same item with enhanced features for a little more money.
Good-Better-Best — This gives your prospect a choice of quality. It also subtly urges people to spend more than they might if you can demonstrate that the “best” choice is the best value. Ideally, you should show more features for higher-quality items.
Load Ups — In a continuity series, you send all the items in a series after the first few are paid for, allowing your customer to continue paying month-to-month. Or you might offer a certain number of items for a low price with a commitment to buy a certain number at the regular price within a certain time frame.
Membership Fee — You ask your prospect to pay a one-time fee to become an exclusive member of your club or organization in return for reduced prices and other benefits not available to the general public. The fee can be assessed yearly or it can be a larger lifetime fee.
Ship Till Forbid — This is often used with continuity programs, business services, or perishable products. Your customer gets the convenience of regular shipments and the option of canceling those shipments at any time while you get regular orders.
For products and services that you can’t sell in one step, you need offers that can identify prospects for additional sales efforts. This usually involves giving away something.
Free Information — This is the ideal offer for identifying interested prospects, making two-step sales, creating a list, and initiating a first contact for a long-term relationship or sales cycle.
Free Samples — If you have a good product, it can sell itself if you can get a sample into a prospect’s hands. You can offer a free sample or charge a nominal fee (which may encourage the prospect to actually try it).
Free Gift for Inquiry — You offer a gift as a reward for requesting information about your product or service. As you might expect, this can boost the number of prospects who inquire but lower their quality.
Sales Call — Your prospect asks for a someone to contact them and set up an appointment for further information. This produces high-quality leads, but much lower overall response. Generally those who want to talk are ready to buy.
Free Survey of Your Needs — You offer to analyze your prospect’s requirements with no obligation. Then you show how your product or service can fulfill those requirements.
Free Demonstration — This is especially good for something that is new or complex. You offer to provide an exclusive demonstration not available to the public, which could be a video, a special version of the product or service, or temporary access to the item.
Free Estimate — For those who want bids or who analyze costs carefully, this a good first step for getting your foot in the door.
Free Subscription — You offer a subscription to a newsletter, journal, or other company publication to educate prospects and build your database. It should include valuable editorial material, not just promotional puffery.
Member-Get-a-Member — You give your customer a free gift for providing the name of someone else who may be interested in your wares. This is a good way to build your customer base.
In selling, everything comes down to offers. The 58 offers we’ve covered in this series are just a few of the most popular and successful.
Keep your eyes open for new and exciting offers. Mix them. Test them. Improve them. A great offer may be the easiest and fastest way to boost your sales.