We’ve all seen those annoying direct marketing ads on TV. We can’t stand them. We make fun of them. Yet, we all know someone (if not ourselves) who has bought something from them – because they work.
So why does direct marketing captivate people to buy? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer (otherwise we’d all be rich!). The success of these annoying direct marketing ads comes from a mix of many contributing factors. But one thing that sure does work is the offer.
Making an offer
Other than your ‘call to action’, there is one factor that stands out when making the hard sale – the incentive to buy. We might think, ‘Hmmm, this sounds pretty good,’ but don’t actually pick up the phone until someone throws in something for free.
There is absolutely no reason why we can’t apply this idea to the web. If you’re looking to generate more leads or increase your sales, why don’t you offer your visitors something special that they just can’t refuse?
If your business can clearly promote a special offer online, you lure more qualified traffic to your site and increase the chances of converting your visitors into a sale once they’re on there. It’s all about adding value that your customer can appreciate to encourage them to buy.
Many successful websites use this strategy. They rotate special offers, so there is always something new and worth coming back to the site for.
What can I offer that will work?
If you’re a business struggling to think of the best offer you can provide, remember this:
The best offer is one with the highest perceived value but the lowest actual cost.
Try to think of something that doesn’t cost your business a lot to produce, but still costs the consumer money to buy.
Alternatively, your business could dive into the deep end and offer something completely free in the hope that your customer will buy more items while browsing your site.
The secret: Offer for a limited time only
The secret to making an offer really work is to put a time limit on it. Once you’ve made it loud and clear that you can give your visitors a fantastic deal, the best way to nail the sale is to tell them that the offer is available for a limited time only.
If people think that the offer won’t be available next week, they’re much more likely to purchase right then and there. It’s the law of the few – when something is scarce, it is perceived as being much more valuable.
Jetstar’s Friday Frenzy uses this foolproof marketing strategy. The appropriate name ‘Friday Frenzy’ tells you that the offer is only available for that Friday. If you don’t book by midnight, the magical airfare is lost. Look around; you’ll notice how commonly this marketing tactic is used in sales all the time. It’s amazing how quickly people will react to a good deal if they think it will soon disappear.
So if you’re looking to boost your sales, try to differentiate your business from your competitors with a special offer. Ask yourself what you can provide at little cost that will be of interest to your customers. Your special offer doesn’t have to be worth a million dollars, just something of high perceived value – and preferably available for a short time only.