By Craig Huey
One critical element of any direct marketing campaign is the offer. Many in the industry agree that as part of the marketing strategy, the offer constitutes 40 percent of the overall success of any campaign.
Couple this with the fact that Americans expect a special deal (e.g., half off, “freebies,” sales), and it’s easy to see why the offer can make a difference between success or failure.
With this in mind, here are seven tips to improve your offer:
1. Concentrate on selling your offer instead of your product. This especially works for lead generation programs in which your initial goal is to identify prospects who can be sold later on.
2. Emphasize your offer. Don’t bury it. State it prominently and often. And make sure it’s evident at the point of action–the order form.
3. Layer your offer heavily with benefits. What the prospective customers perceive as valuable is what sells. Remember, they are buying benefits.
4. Try to personalize your offer. This can be easily done with the help of computer personalization. For example, the most popular items in many catalogs are name-imprinted pencils.
5. More leads will be generated if your offer appeals to a broad market. Two good examples are the marketing of cookbooks–because everybody eats–and using unique athletic socks as a “freebie”–rather than just golf balls–for sports fans.
6. The best leads will come if your offer closely relates to your product or service. If your offer includes something unrelated, you’ll get too many less-qualified leads. On the other hand, if it’s too specific, you may limit those responding. But you can control your response somewhat by carefully considering your offer.
7. Know to whom you’re making your offer. Gear it accordingly, whether it’s to CEOs, families or upper-middle-class investors. A dream house will appeal to growing families, but probably not to singles. Presidents of companies want to save time and money, while employees want promotions and less hassles at work.
Craig Huey is president of a direct response advertising agency, Creative Direct Marketing Group, Inc and InfoMat. 310-212-5727 (firstname.lastname@example.org).