Offer Series, Part 5 of 6: Tips, Ideas, and Suggestions For Getting Started
By Erin | March 05, 2014 |
Today we're continuing our Offering Offer series. If you've missed any of the previous posts in this series, you can go back and read them here:
Part 1: *This* Is How We Keep Our Clients' Leads (And Our Own!) Rolling In
Part 2: Why You Should Think About Offering Offers On Your Website
Part 3: “Offering Offers On Our Site Wouldn't Work For Us" Excises 1 -5
Part 4: “Offering Offers On Our Site Wouldn't Work For Us" Excises 6 - 9
It’s easy to read about a new online marketing or website improvement technique that promises to increase the number of leads your site generates.
It’s easy to get excited about new techniques.
It’s easy to think “We're going to do that for OUR business website this year!!”
But when it's time for the rubber to meet the road, the crickets start chirping.
Some good news
Let’s make this easier for your company.
First, know that we empathize: Coming up with creative, effective ideas for offers typically feels challenging—if not downright overwhelming at first.
The good news is that your business can learn from and be inspired by all those who've come before you.
Before you begin...
Before you begin thinking about what your company could offer, make sure to first spend time seriously thinking about your company's ideal customers.
What are your ideal customers' biggest and most pressing concerns, fears, and questions?
What types of information are your ideal customers typically looking for when they initially call or email your company?
The concerns and goals of your ideal customers should be what guides your efforts of creating effective, lead-generating offers.
Exclamation Point! Important!
Remember: no website offer will ever appeal to all your website visitors.
Oftentimes, the more a company tries to create an offer that appeals to everyone, the less compelling the offer ends up being.
That's why, after time spent considering your company's ideal customers, you should next map out the main (and most profitable!) sub-segments into which you can divide those customers.
For example, let's say you're a high-end appliance company. Most of your ideal customers live within a 75 mile radius (so you can easily deliver and install purchased products) and have a lot of extra money to spend on your premium products. Within your target customer profile, you might have...
- ideal customers looking for entire kitchen remodels
- ideal customers looking for entire laundry/utility room remodels
- ideal customers looking for one or two appliances only, and who are interested in purchasing only the most top-of-the-line appliances you offer
If you were to place a general "All About Appliances!" report or offer on your company's website for visitors to download, it would likely not appeal very much to any of these 3 ideal customer sub-segments.
So instead, (over time, of course) your company could post 3 different website offers, each one appealing specifically to the interests of just one of the 3 sub-segments.
These offers would be based on your expert knowledge and past experiences regarding what these 3 types of customers are most concerned about and interested in before they buy from you.
Here are a few examples (disclaimer: I don't know what people purchasing appliances *actually* care about, so this is a best-guess, off-the-cuff stab at some ideas...):
- (for the customers interested in a full kitchen remodel...) Ten Steps To a Successful And Beautiful Kitchen Remodel
- (for the customers interested in a full laundry/utility room remodel...) Five Things You MUST Know Before You Remodel Your Laundry Room To Prevent Costly Mistakes
- (for the customers interested in one or two high-end appliances only) The Discerning Buyer's Guide To Purchasing High-End Appliances
Some ideas and possibilities to get your brain-gears a-turnin’…
Skim through this list of offer possibilities below. Do any appeal to you or generate additional ideas?
- a summary of industry research (and what it means to your potential customers)
- a one-page checklist your potential customers could use to determine which of your products might be a great fit
- a simple best practices sheet
- a list of expert quick tips to help your potential customers do something more quickly or easily
- a sweepstakes or contest with an exciting prize
- podcast (perhaps an interview with an industry expert on a specific topic that commonly confuses potential customers)
- "idea" book with creative concepts that inspire potential customers who may feel overwhelmed by their choices
- a step-by-step To-Do/task list for completing a specific process
- complimentary assessment
- a "Beginner's Guide to Understanding XYZ"
- free gifts (example: a graphic design firm could offer beautiful desktop or phone backgrounds)
- buyer's guide
- free samples
- templates your potential customers can use on their own (example: quilt templates for a yarn shop)
- report sharing the most common mistakes made my buyers in your industry
- a "How To Care For Your XYZ" guide
- quiz that helps potential customers self-assess whether your product or services is a good match for them
- free 30 minute consultation
- free 30 minute personal evaluation
- series of instructional videos (example: a small yoga studio offers a series of 5 instructional videos walking a sub-segment of potential students through beginning poses, and a separate series walking another sub-segment of potential students through very advanced poses)
- project planner
- report explaining the differences between various products that often seem similar to new customers
- product demo video
Which ideas jump out at you?
Which ones make you think “Oh, we could do that…”?
Which ones would be most fun for your company to consider?
Which ones might be most attractive to your best potential customers?
Please keep in mind!! --> Your offers should NOT be...
Remember that offers should not feel like blatant advertisements or promotions for your products or services.
And good heavens, remember that offers should not be fact sheets that simply describe your business.
Are those brain gears a-turnin' yet?
By now you should hopefully have some ideas (or seeds of ideas) floating around about what your company could offer its ideal potential customers. (And all you overachievers reading this will likely already have multiple ideas for each of your sub-segments, don't you?)
The next steps
If you're serious about moving forward, it's now time for your company to start planning how you'll turn ideas into reality, so your business can begin experiencing more website leads ASAP.
Take baby steps. Break the process into chunks.
Many people use some combination of the following actions when working on offer creation:
- research + gather inspiration
- review other websites
- write or delegate the writing
- write in chunks/working through content creation in stages
- gather feedback
- upload to website
- collect more feedback
What steps will make the process feel more manageable to you or your team?
If you're still struggling, not to worry.
Next week we'll wrap this series up with a variety of real-life examples that might be the exact thing you need to jump-start your offer generation efforts.