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Creating a Compelling (and Manageable) Offer

One of the most basic sales principles (and like it or not, we’re all in sales) is giving value to get value. What are your goals? Someone to sign up for your email list and/or buy a product? How do you achieve them? By giving value to a visitor to your site with a great offer. In fact, Microsoft recently conducted research among consumers that showed that 89% of consumers are willing to share their personal information in exchange for clearly defined benefits.

Coming up with a great offer can be tricky, so consider these three things when trying to decide what will work best for your business:

What do your visitors care about?

Think about the visitors to your site and why they have come there in the first place. Are they driven by your mission? Your products? Word of mouth? Your offer should reflect what you know about their intentions.

What is the behavior you are trying to drive?

With any on-site message or web copy, this is always a key question to answer up front. Is it simply to grow your list and engage them with a welcome series? Is it short-term sales? Is it pushing a specific product? Knowing what you are trying to achieve will help you craft the right offer.

What can you afford to give?

You need to find the balance between giving something great to your customers and not bankrupting yourself in the process. The intersection of those two things make a great offer and reduce the amount of risk involved. If your offer isn’t obviously going to bring in more than it costs you to deliver, it’s probably not the best one for your business.

Once you've answered those three questions, think about your specific offer:

The Emotional Appeal

If people love your brand or cause, they may sign up for your emails just to stay informed. A great example of this is 4Ocean, which sells bracelets that help fund their ocean cleanup initiatives. With a simple “Join the Movement” message, they have generated thousands and thousands of sign ups. 

The Discount

One of the most common offers is a site-wide discount in exchange for signing up for your email list. This gives visitors something of value if they choose not to buy today, but it also gives them a reason to come back in the future. Just be sure to send the offer immediately after the subscriber opts-in. It’s what they'll expect.

The Sweepstakes

One of the most impactful offers is an enter-to-win or sweepstakes offer. This allows you to give away something of higher value without breaking the bank because you are only fulfilling it for one customer. The higher the incentive, the more likely a subscriber will opt-in.

The only downside is that this offer may draw less engaged leads who want to win but won’t ultimately be good customers. Be sure to let entrants know they will receive emails from you as a result of entering. Otherwise, those subscribers could turn around and unsubscribe if they don’t recall opting-in in the first place. 

The Exclusive Content Offer

For organizations who prefer not to offer discounts or aren’t selling a tangible product, exclusive content can be a great draw for an email sign up. Things like special behind-the-scenes videos, ebooks, and case studies tend to work really well and can start building up the number of leads for your organization.  

Pro tip: Once someone has filled out the form, you should automatically redirect them to the piece of content and send a permanent like via an email autoresponder.

Regardless of the display type and offer type you're thinking about, you need to put together a compelling message that will encourage your visitors to pay attention to what you have to say. We'll talk more about that in the next section.



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