Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to Craft the Perfect Offer and Weed Out the Bad Ones

There are a lot of moving parts that go into creating an effective postcard campaign. Make sure you are addressing the ten elements of a successful postcard design. One of the most important parts in the article "Ten Elements of a Successful Postcard Design" is "The Offer". This article will show you the difference between a good offer and a bad offer when marketing to your customers and prospects.

It may seem counterintuitive to give your customers a price break when you are struggling with your revenue, and it may seem crazier to give them one when they are lining up to pay your normal rates, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Allow me to explain...

There are two major functions that an offer (special rate, sale, discount, etc.) plays in your marketing campaign:

1. Enticing new customers to try out your product or service.
2. Rewarding current customers and ensuring future loyalty.

In a successful marketing plan, these are your two main goals. Neglect new prospects, and your business will plateau. Ignore your current customers, and your business will see high customer turnover, and plateau - right before it drops off a cliff! Here are some tips you can use to reinforce your marketing.

Marketing to New Prospects

The offer you present to prospects will be different from what you offer to your customers. It needs to have the following attributes:

1. High Value
Do your homework. Come up with something that would be considered a great value in your industry.

· Good Example: FREE Dental Exam & Cleaning
It is of high value to the prospect, and it gives you the chance to WOW them with your service and professionalism.

· Bad example: 5% OFF Haircut & Style
The incentive is not valuable enough to inspire action. Nobody jumps at savings in the single digits.

2. Low Cost
The prospect needs to feel as if they are getting a steal, especially if they're trying something for the first time. The profit you gain from a lifelong customer far outweighs the price of a free promotion. If a free promotion brings in a new patient who spends $400 a year for 10 years, you more than paid for the free promotion.

· Good example: FREE!
Anything FREE is enticing. But don't attach many strings or you will lose customers' trust.

· Bad example: $400 OFF Outdoor Kitchen!
You may know that's a great savings, but if the dollar amount is too high, it will frighten away your prospects.

3. Believability
Your offer needs to be straightforward. It can't sound "too good to be true," because the prospect will write it off.

· Good example: Buy one sweater, get a second one free!
It is believable. The customer understands the cost involved and will think it is a great value.

· Bad example: FREE* Phone!
The customer instinctively (and thanks to that asterisk) knows you're not giving them a phone for nothing, and will not trust you.

Our results manger tracks successful offers based on industry. Here are a few examples that were great successes for my clients:

· Dental — FREE Teeth Whitening
· Chiropractic — FREE Massage ($260 value)
· Landscaping — First Two Lawn Cuts FREE
· Restaurant — Celebrate your anniversary with a FREE dinner on us!

These were successful for our clients because they offered something that had a high-perceived value — for free! Free is great because it has automatic value for consumers. But as long as your prospect feels they are getting a great value, it will work.

Remember! Price differs in many industries. A free massage at Benson Chiropractic is worth $260, while a free dinner at The Grotto restaurant may be worth $15, but both were successful deals because the offer was valuable within their respective industries.

Marketing to Current Customers

To tailor an offer to your customers, you need to follow the same basic principles as a new prospects offer, but with an added condition.

The offer must have:

· High value
· Low cost
· Believability
AND
· A reward

Your customers need to know they are getting this deal as an exclusive reward for their loyalty, and because you value their business. This is not an attempt to draw them in — you've already done that!

Here are some examples of what reward offers look like:

· Dental - Free cleaning on the anniversary of your first visit!
· Jewelry - A "secret sale" scratch-off coupon to customers who spend over $100 in a month!
· Skin Care - $100 off next purchase and a free sample product!
· Theatre or Entertainment Services - Save $10 off your next ticket!

It's important to reward your customers and continue the relationship. Even a small gesture can go a long way. Consider what you can offer and make sure your bottom line isn't taking a huge hit. If you can't offer a free product or service (e.g. free dinner), scale down your offer to something that still offers value, for example, free appetizer with any 2 entrees.

Follow these simple tips and you'll see your offer will do the work to bring in more sales and build loyalty! Remember, if you give a little, you'll get back a lot!

You can find the article "Ten Elements of a Successful Postcard Design" at http://www.postcardmania.com/marketing_articles/article.php?articleID=58

About the Author:
Using a powerful, simple, extremely cost effective way of communicating with customers has earned Joy Gendusa Inc Magazine's recognition as the nation's fastest growing direct mail postcard marketing firm with year 2007 revenues estimated at $19,000,000. Gendusa began her firm, PostcardMania, in 1998 with zero investment capital. Today her firm employs over 150 people and prints 4 million postcards each week. Visit http://www.postcardmania.com/ No. of Times this article has been viewed : 244
Date Published : Dec 5 2010

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