They Won’t Refuse the Right Offer

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Little girl offers flowerSometimes when someone visits your website they’re just doing basic research: Just looking, thanks. But sometimes they’re ready to get to know you better…and sometime they’re even ready to buy. With a well-planned landing page – and an irresistible offer – you can give that person a way to take the action they want. Lots of elements come into play: branding, calls to action, page design. The single most important element is the offer. Here’s how to make the offer work for both you and your prospect.

1. Conduct a brainstorming session on the offer
An offer is an exchange. You get money, or information, or something else you value, in exchange for something you give. What will you offer visitors to your landing page? Brainstorm with your team to review what you’ve done in the past, and take a look at what your competitors are doing. Remember that your offer isn’t necessarily your product. Common offers include newsletters, white papers, online events, pricing discounts, and free trials of your product. Make sure each offer gets its own landing page, and that it doesn’t have to compete with other page elements for attention.

2. Determine how valuable the offer is to the prospect
If your goal (your one and only goal!) is lead generation, you want to offer something so valuable that people will provide you with their information via a form on your page. (The fewer fields in your form, the better.) The offer is usually the key determinant of whether the page will have a good conversion rate.

3. Map the offer to where the prospect is in the purchasing process
Some offers target prospects when they’re just starting their buying journey. (An early-funnel offer might be something high-level such as Download this market overview.) Other offers sit deeper in the funnel and are designed to push the buyer to a final purchasing decision. (A later-funnel offer might be something that helps make a buying decision, such as Download this price comparison sheet.) Know which place this offer should target, and how you want the offer to further your relationship with this customer.

4. Make sure the offer moves prospects closer to the point of purchase
Offers that move prospects further down the funnel and closer to purchasing your product or service and convert at a high rate are the best kind, as the right offer at the right time can help shorten the sales cycle.

5. Make sure that prospects will understand the offer
The offer should be understandable in three seconds or less. Spend time drafting copy that describes exactly what the prospect will receive in exchange for completing the form on your page, and list the specific benefits the buyer will receive. Once you’ve thought that through, write your copy as sparely as possible. People don’t have time to read a lot of text; get to the point, and let the white space help showcase the offer. Make the call to action loud and clear.

6. If the offer doesn’t already exist, you’ll need to create it.

Offers in the form of content such as a newsletter, white paper, or online event are usually the easiest to create. Other offers like trial versions of the product often require product development work and may take longer to create.

7. Make sure that you can deliver the offer to the prospect
For example, if the offer is a newsletter, you’ll need a mechanism to add the prospect’s email address to your newsletter database so you can email the newsletter to the prospect. If you’re offering a T-shirt, be sure you have stock and a plan for sending. Have a back-up plan for extreme success or abject failure. What will you do if you run out of stock?

The fine print: It almost goes without saying: Make sure your offer is legal wherever you make it. Oh, and be responsive to the people who take you up on your offer. If you’re late in fulfilling an offer, you not only lose a friend but risk creating an enemy.

Shameless plug: These days, you don’t need a designer or coder to create a sophisticated landing page; your marketing automation system makes it easy. You can  build templates to use and reuse, saving time; with Act-On, you can even turn an email message into a landing page with a single click.  Contact us today to schedule a demo and learn how easy landing pages can be.

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  • bri44any

    Particularly for Item 6 in this post, I see a lot of people shy away from creating new offers. Maybe they don’t want the extra work, maybe they don’t have the authority, but for those who CREATE the perfect offer into existence, they are the truly successful ones.

  • Katherine Pomfret

    I am putting my efforts into points 3 and 4 at the moment. Sales teams seem to put pressure on marketing to push the product. I’m not sure they understand the importance of letting prospects engage with you at the level they want. Sales teams want to send business cases out to new leads and schedule demos with people who’ve only scored 20 in our lead scoring system. A very good way to turn people off! Any engagement is good, though moving people through the funnel quicker is obviously important.

  • Mary Spurock

    Nice no-nonsense advice. Oh so important but easier said than done. Recently we have been working on a step before #1 – buyer personas. Working to better understand the target audience so we can make sure we match up on 2, 3, & 4.

  • Jay McBain

    Great advice on creating that magical compelling event that will make someone act. Measuring and testing are critically important to understand the behavior of customers.

  • Noé Martí

    Very good article. Our company has been working on #3 and we are seeing good improvement on leads getting to the bottom of the funnel.

  • Ian Nate

    Great article Sherry – This is something I got to speak about at the I Heart Marketing conference for Act-On. One of my favorite things to do is to ask your audience for something – a quick response on a follow up, to take a quick survey, to vote for you in a reader’s choice poll, etc. It’s amazing how effective a simple ask can be.

  • Boris Palanov

    Good article for sure! A lot of Marketer’s push product information out instead of pulling prospects in. It’s important to understand and tailor the offer to the prospect to get a much higher conversion rate.

  • Chris Kiersch

    In many cases the best offer depends on where it is being used, it’s difficult to find a one size fits all offer, if you make the time to understand the conversion rate of all the various places prospects and clients are interacting with you. I believe you will become better at creating offers that are personal, timely and relevant.

  • Sam Sims

    Spot on! Love how you approached the concept of knowing your audience before you communicate with them or within their space. Our successes happen when we truly know the options that alleviate the pain points of our clients and making sure the offer solves the issue completely.

  • Tim

    Great post Sherry. I think one of the keys is to make sure you have offers for various stages of the buying cycle. As you said, not everyone is ready to buy, and some are closer than others, so its important to have offers that meet the needs and interests of prospects in every stage of the buyer’s journey. I also think its important that the offer is truly premium. If a prospect is going to give you their contact information, they are going to expect something of value in return.

  • Guest

    Great post Sherry. I think one of the keys is to make sure you have offers for various stages of the buying cycle. As you said, not everyone is ready to buy, and some are closer than others, so its important to have offers that meet the needs and interests of prospects in every stage of the buyer’s journey. I also think its important that the offer is truly premium. If a prospect is going to give you their contact information, they are going to expect something of value in return.

  • Guest

    Great post Sherry! Love the way you breakdown the steps – a must read!

  • Truman

    Very on point. Especially with the last point of the follow through. Getting them to purchase the offer is one thing but you should also maintain the relationship.

  • Jay McBain

    Completely agree – customers are at different stages in the marketing cycle and giving them different options focused on moving them forward as opposed to closing is key. Offer for an e-Book, demo, whitepaper or webinar can all be effective.