Ever wonder what it is about those offers that you simply can’t refuse?
Whether it’s a Groupon email offering a weekend of horse backing for mere change or the restaurant promoting Tuesday as the night children eat free…these offers have a lot in common.
In fact, seven things in common. And if you’re a writer who’s responsible for selling a product, then knowing these seven steps is crucial.
Step 1: Find a Thirsty Crowd
It’s pointless to try and sell something to a group of people who do not want what you have. Men with a full head of hair will never want a hair-growth product. Women typically do not care for power tools. And children could care less about how to pick stocks.
On the other hand…
- Teach single men how to pick up women regardless of how much hair they have on their head…and you have a killer offer.
- Offer women a method to washing clothes that slashes the time in half and you will be a rich copywriter.
- Offer a child the latest technology in toys and you’re likely to live in a mansion for the rest of your life.
What this means is you need to keep your eyes and ears open to problems people have and things they want. You need to observe and ask questions. And if you really want to make a killer offer, unearth an unmet desire…and then build a product to satisfy that desire.
Step 2: Make the Value Greater Than the Cost
Let me come clean with you: I want an Apple iPad. However, I’m not willing to pay the $400 plus it costs to get one.
The cost is simply too high.
Heck, even the $79 Kindle is too rich for my blood. Because I am unapologetically cheap, I’ll live with borrowing library books even though I could buy a Kindle AND iPad this afternoon.
What you have to do as a writer is write an offer with so much value that the price point is irrelevant. This is one of the reasons the Groupon model works. Who in their right mind would pass up a $46 gourmet pizza meal for $20 or 70% off a dental exam?
The discount is so steep the value immediately goes up.
The trick to creating value is satisfying as many desires as you possibly can in an offer. Always think about the emotional, physical, mental, financial and spiritual aspects of your customer…and then weave those values into all of those elements.
Step 3: Use Social Proof
Here’s the deal with the Apple iPad. Whether you can really justify needing one or not (there are credible arguments that if you have an iPhone and laptop, you do not need one), you are more likely to buy one if you see someone else with one…regardless of price.
But as the price lowers and more people get one, you’ll eventually be the odd duck out and will buy one just so people will leave you alone about getting one.
This is called social proof.
We want to belong. And we want to feel safe in a decision. So when we see lots of people using a particular product or eating at a particular restaurant, we decide that those are good choices, whether they really are or not.
A classic way to communicate social proof is to say, “Could one million people be wrong?” In other words, one million people use this product. It’s got to be a good product…I should probably use it.
You see social proof on blogs that advertise their subscriber count. Social proof is McDonald’s “Now Serving 7 Billion.” And social proof is being a NY Times bestselling author.
What other ways can you think of social proof?
Step 4: Get Rid of Pain and Multiply Pleasure
I’ve alluded to this already, but the number one way to create an irresistible offer is to solve a problem.
It could be a lack of confidence. It could be a lack of productivity. It could be a bad marriage. It could be a gas-guzzling car. It could be a frustration with being a bad cook. Or using lame blenders.
Find out the problems people are having and then write an offer that communicates to them your product can solve that problem.
Some offers will do nothing but increase a person’s pleasure. Maybe it’s a week-long stay in Cancun. Or an hour-long massage. It could be that car that makes you look like a stud and your neighbors like duds.
Figure out ways to give people endless pleasure and you’ve got a great offer.
Step 5: Make the Offer Simple
It’s essential that your offer make sense to your customers immediately. For example:
- “One Free Night for the Price of Two.”
- “Learn French by This Friday.”
- “How Slackers Can Climb the Corporate Ladder”
Do you have a tough time figuring out what each offer promises? I doubt it. That’s what you need to do when creating an offer. Make it simple.
To make it simple you have to first understand all of the benefits the product provides. When you do that, you then need to identify the most important one. And that is usually the basis of your offer.
Step 6: Include an Irresistible Guarantee
Your offer is never complete until you’ve given a guarantee.
Think about it: if you can’t guarantee your product, why should people trust you that it will do what you say it will? Why think it won’t collapse into pieces the moment you turn it on?
An offer could be a 14-day free trial or three-year warranty. It’s simply a way of saying, “Listen, give this product a shot. You’re in love with it because it will make you’re life happier. Why not take it home, play with it and then see how you feel? Money back if you don’t like it.”
In this economy people are more price sensitive than ever before, so you need to think creatively on how to make price concern go away. A good guarantee will help you do that.
Step 7: “Take It Away” and “There’s Not Enough”
Two of the strongest motivators for getting people to buy your product are exclusivity and scarcity. Let’s deal with exclusivity first.
Exclusivity is like telling someone that they may not have what it takes to join your club or use your product. For example:
- Manly-man trucks want you to think that only a certain type of man drives them–burly, jackhammer-wielding, whiskey-swallowing types.
- High-priced restaurants are exclusive joints: if you can’t afford a $1,000 plate, you don’t belong.
Scarcity is the other side of the coin. For instance:
- Only one thousand of these cars produced.
- Fourteen seats left at this conference.
- One week before cost of registration doubles.
Exclusivity and scarcity work on two core emotions: pride and fear. Pride that we don’t measure up. And fear that we may miss out. Weave these two emotions into your offer and you’ll have to beat customers off with a stick.
I love thinking and writing about offers because it’s the part of the copy that you crystallize into a singular and simple message. And I love to see the results that it produces.
But hitting the right offer isn’t easy. Test, measure, change, test. Repeat until that offer is irresistible.
What other ways have you found that make offers irresistible? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Part of the Sales Letter Makeover Series. Other posts in the series:
- 10 Idiot-Proof Ways to Generate Trust with Your Landing Page Copy
- Gimpy Web Copy? Use This 4-Step Copy Formula to Make It Killer
- The List: What Copywriters Have in Common with Jockeys
- The 3 Ways a Sales Letter Can Fail (and How to Avoid Each)
- A Content Marketer’s Quick and Dirty Guide to Killing It with Google+ - August 1, 2012
- How Compelling Is Your Website’s Copy? A Simple, 4-Step Checklist - July 3, 2012
- You Might Not Be the Kind of Person Who Can Use This Copywriting Trick - April 18, 2012