Offer Series, Part 2 of 6: Why You Should Think About Offering Offers On Your Website
During this blog series we're exploring how offers (aka “freebies”) transform your website visitors into leads by enticing them to exchange their emails (thereby becoming a lead) for your irresistible freebie/offer.
(If you missed the first post in this series, make sure to go back and read Part 1 before you read this one.)
6 benefits + let's pretend
Let's take a quick look at six meaningful benefits you could be experiencing if you were providing offers sort to your website's visitors.
IMPORTANT! -> As we walk through the benefits below, let's pretend 3 things.
- you already offer a free, very helpful checklist for download on your website,
- the checklist is extremely valuable and extremely interesting to a segment of your potential customers who are considering purchasing your products or services (but who aren't yet ready to buy or talk to you), and
- potential customer Mr. Jones has visited your site, seen a graphic promoting your checklist, visited your site's page promoting the checklist, entered his email address into your form, and grabbed a copy of the checklist.
Benefit 1: You've increased the likelihood of being remembered down the road
Offers provide the opportunity for your brand to be remembered by potential customers who might have otherwise visited your site, left, and forgotten about you.
Remember: Not everyone who visits your website is ready to buy—or even pick up the phone and talk to you.
If the only actions visitors to your site can take are to buy or email/call you, and your visitors aren't ready to take those actions, they leave. After all, there's nothing else they can do, right?
Consider yourself fortunate if these potential customers return or even remember you, considering all the other companies and websites and business challenges and life challenges out there competing for their attention.
The checklist Mr. Jones downloaded from your site is branded with your logo, website address, and contact information in the footer. He might file it away and pull it back up 2 months down the road and say to himself “Oh yes, I remember this company when I was considering XYZ service. I should visit their site again now that I'm ready to move forward…”
Your offer serves as a friendly, gentle reminder, especially if it's worth saving or referencing in the future.
Benefit 2: You've increased the likelihood of having your company marketed for free
Many a time I've downloaded interesting offers from websites and ended up forwarding them to friends, colleagues, or clients when I thought they'd be interested in the content as well.
Sometimes I've linked to offers from our Facebook page or my personal Twitter feed.
Perhaps you have, too?
Helpful, valuable offers are perfect for sharing. And assuming your offer is branded with your logo and contact information, your company receives an increasing amount of free exposure the more your offer is shared.
You can even actively encourage people who download your offers to share them with friends—a simple request at the beginning and end of the offer will suffice.
Through the sharing of free offers, even potential customers who have never purchased from you can become brand advocates who promote your business and spread the word about your company.
Benefit 3: Stick your foot in that door before it closes for good
Offers allow you to take full advantage of a powerful, proven, psychological persuasion technique often referred to as the "foot in the door" technique or "commitment psychology".
Susan M. Weinshenk, PH.D., sums up this persuasion technique concisely and eloquently: "If you ask someone to commit to something small first, then it will be easier to get a larger commitment from them later."
Ask someone to download an offer, and, if they do, they're more likely to respond to additional communications or requests from you.
Benefit 4: Offers are like workhorse vampires (Yes, I said workhorse vampires)
Once you've invested in creating and promoting a fantastic offer, that offer becomes a website workhorse vampire.
I'm calling it a website workhorse vampire not because it has fangs or turns into a bat or sparkles in the sun, but because it works tirelessly and never dies.*
Once offered for download on your site, an offer will continue to labor day in and day out, weekdays and weekends (even holidays!), to capture new online leads for you.
Benefit 5: Your credibility goes up, up, up
You know what you're talking about.
Your company is damn good at what it does.
Problem is, those website visitors who aren't yet ready to make contact with you probably don't realize these things.
Offers afford you an opportunity to prove your expertise to potential customers who know little (if anything) about you.
When Mr. Jones downloaded your checklist, you included helpful tips at the top of it for him to keep in mind. Plus, the checklist proves you know the exact process and the most important components of a project that he needs to be aware of if his company wants his project to be successful.
You've organized helpful information he didn't previously know about into a clear, easy to understand format.
You've displayed your expertise.
You've shown your company knows what it's talking about.
That can go a long way.
It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: Put together a sloppy offer that's boring, generic, confusing, or doesn't provide value to your potential customers and you'll not only lose this benefit, you'll turn it into a negative that can decrease your chances of leads becoming customers.
Don't make yourself look bad. Be careful, and remember you'll only experience these benefits if you put together a strong offer that provides real value to your target customers.
Benefit 6: Your list of leads continues to grow
Having a list of leads you can (smartly and unobtrusively) market to is akin to pure gold.
Enewsletters, specials, reminders, etc. can all be confidently shared with these leads because you know they have at least some level of interest in what you have to say.
In fact, creating a list of leads and collecting email addresses is one of the most powerful benefits of having offers on your site.
(Quick note: In this series, we're focusing on turning traffic into leads. Turning these leads into customers is a different piece—the next step, actually—of the overall marketing puzzle, and is outside the scope of this blog series.)
Sounds good, BUT...
This all sounds good.
But it won't work for you, right?
Of course it won't work for you. You've got a great reason why offering offers on your company's website just isn't realistic for your business.
Great news: We'll tackle your excuse and a variety of others in the next couple of blog posts, as I explode the most common responses I hear when the topic of online lead generation via offers is brought up.
See you next time, and make sure to bring along all the many reasons why this technique won't work for you.
* Okay, yes. The word “never” may be a slight exaggeration. However, so long as they're well planned, well written, and not time-sensitive, an offer's magnetic strength to attract new leads can last for a very, very long time. Years and years and years. Possibly forever, but only if we're talking in internet years.