HOW TO AVOID THE MARKETING BLUES WITH YOUR OFFERS
By Charlie Cook
"Here's a little tip I would like to relate
Big fish bites if ya got good bait."
To attract more prospects and clients, you need what Taj
Mahal calls "good bait" in his song the Fishin Blues. One
of the biggest mistakes you can make, as a small business
owner, is forgetting to use good bait in the form of your
offers. Whether you use direct mail, a web site or media
advertising to market your business, the success of your
marketing depends on whether you provide prospects with
Your offers motivate prospects and clients to visit your
web site, read your marketing materials, contact you and
buy your services and products. Without the right offer
you won't attract big fish or as many fish as you'd like.
What bait are you using to motivate your target market
- Visit your web site?
- Sign up for your free newsletter?
- Buy your products and services?
How many new prospects per week are your offers
Which Offers Work Best?
Your offer needs to be something that your target market
wants. You wouldn't use a worm to catch a whale or a
safety pin to catch a tuna. Offer your target market
something they can't refuse. Everybody likes to get
something for free, whether it's an article, guide, ebook,
report, consultation, a demonstration, offer of membership
or added services. If your offer helps your target market
solve a common problem, it will attract more prospects
Whether or not it is free your offer needs to provide
value. Prospects will judge the quality of your products
and services based on your offer. If you give away a
subscription to a newsletter, follow up with useful
content and substantive ideas your prospects can use.
Give them something that is so good they will want more.
My target market is service professionals and business
owners. I offer a 15 page free marketing guide to prompt
people to give me their contact information so I can
market to them in the future. My target market, want to
attract more clients, want ideas to help them. A 15
page marketing guide is something that tens of thousands
of people have found to be irresistible. Each week this
simple offer pulls in hundreds of new prospects.
You too can come up with an offer to prompt more prospects
to contact you. If you're a lawyer you could offer a
report on the "The 10 Biggest Legal Mistakes Homeowners
Make". If you're a massage therapist you could offer a
guide to "5 Ways to Avoid Damaging Back Pain." If you
provide an online service, you could offer a free or
almost free one-month trial.
People buy your products and services based on their
perception of value. Whether you are charging five
dollars or five thousand, your prospects need to be
convinced that the benefits you provide will outweigh
the cost. Too often service professionals and business
owners rush to quote a price, trying to make the sale
before clarifying the value to buyers.
To stimulate sales place your offer in the context of
your target market's concerns. Once you've clarified
how your product or service meets their concerns the
value of your offer will be apparent.
Use Problem Solving Offers
People don't buy your products or services because you've
been in the business for decades, or because your ebooks
are well written or designed to please the eye. People
buy your products and services because they solve a
Use Additional Incentives Carefully
In their rush to sell their products and services some
small business owners offer huge discounts or bundle free
services. Discounting and bundling can work but make sure
you're not undermining prospects' perception of the value
of your products and services or your profits.
Key Elements of Your Offer
Creating a compelling offer is an art and involves
blending the following items together to create a sentence
or two which will move people to take action, whether it is
contacting you or making an immediate purchase.
Include the following items to create an offer that helps
Name - What you are selling
Benefit - The problem it solves
Credibility - Why they should buy from you
Value - How useful it will be to them
Guarantee - Your promise to them
Motivation to act - A reason to take advantage of your
If you want to catch big fish, you need good bait. To
increase your catch, improve your offers and you'll be
reeling in many more new prospects and clients.
2004 (c) In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals
and small business owners attract more clients and be
more successful. Sign up to receive the Free Marketing
Guide, '7 Steps to Grow Your Business' and the
'More Business' newsletter, full of practical tips you can
use at http://www.charliecook.net