It’s true. You’ve really got under my skin of late because of this one thing. Like a stone in your shoe. Or an itch which won’t go away. Let me explain…
This is a special Rant. It comes to you from Nashville, Tennessee in the US. I’m here to present at the GKIC Info Summit with Dan Kennedy.
Beautiful city, Nashville. About 1.5 million people so it’s not too crowded and the hotel we’re at has 2,800 rooms and is nothing short of spectacular.
Also, the Fall (autumn) is in full swing and the countryside is awash with many colours as the trees get set for the winter.
I’m alone in my room at the moment. My travelling companions are off doing their own thing… Ian Marsh is working in his room. General Manager Adam Webb and Copywriter Steve Plummer have taken a trip downtown to sample the live music scene.
So I’ve had time to contemplate.
And yes, you’re bugging the heck out of me because…
Almost universally I’m seeing WEAK, LAME, UNINSPIRING offers in the copy I’ve been critiquing.
So I thought I’d give you a quick mini-class in offer construction which is my next direct mail secret for you. Because one of the key principles I’ve built my fortune on is…
WEAK OFFER = WEAK RESPONSE
Makes sense because THEY BUY THE OFFER.
It never ceases to amaze me how often even experienced marketers get this wrong.
So here are the 4 key components you MUST include if you are to have any chance of hitting it out of the park.
- It might seem obvious enough but always follow the principle of “give them what they want”. If you just sell what you’ve got and not what the market wants your business will suffer. This is where you must know your market. Their fears, wants, frustration, needs and desires. It takes thought and work. Get to know them and what makes them tick. Only then can you offer them what they are interested in and want (which is different by the way, to what they need, but that’s a whole other Rant).
- Add bonuses. Make their value bigger than the product itself. But make sure everything you offer is what they want. I love a saying from the great copywriter Ted Nicholas… “If you can’t sell it you can’t give it away either”.
One of my most successful promotions ever offered free airline tickets to Hawaii with ticket purchase. It’s called “taking their eye off the price”. So what can you add to the offer to take their mind off the money they will have to part with?
- Tell them what to do and how to get it. Assume nothing. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your market is sophisticated and will automatically know what to do. So tell them. Pick up the phone and call toll free 1800 000 000. You will be greeted by a recorded message and asked to leave your details… is just one example.
Make sure they know what to do and what will happen to them because people don’t like walking into a dark room. So switch the light on for them by telling them what will happen.
Makes the sale easier when you do.
- Deadline. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a deadline. You must include scarcity and urgency. ALWAYS. Limited time. Limited number. “Call now” without pain or penalty if they don’t does NOT work. If it doesn’t have a deadline, it’s not a REAL offer. This is no place for wimping out. This is where the sale lives and dies.
Remember… they buy the offer and weak offer = weak response. So get to work and make sure you nail this most vital part of your marketing.
All the best,