4 ways to beef up your offer and increase sales

If you read yesterday’s post, you might remember me rambling about how your list and offer are more important than the copy in direct marketing.

Sure enough, I was analyzing an online sales letter control for a pain relief supplement this morning and found lots of room for improvement in the offer.

Now, this sales letter was produced by one of the biggest direct marketers in the alternative health industry. They’re a smart company and have some of the best copywriters in the US on their books. But for whatever reason—in my not so humble opinion—the offer in this particular ad was weak.

Now, here’s the caveat: I don’t know if they’ve tested different offers and, if they have, what worked and didn’t work. So my ideas for improving their offer are only that: ideas. Ultimately, it’s only the market who can decide which offer is the most appealing by voting with their hard-earned cash.

But nevertheless, there are some guiding principles, based on advertising tests in various industries, that can be applied and tested to make offers more attractive to consumers… and… improve the economics for you, the seller.

Here’s a sprinkling of them:

Test a higher price

Almost everybody under-prices. Do you know that your market won’t pay more? The only way to answer that question is to test. Yes, you might get fewer buyers, but the higher price may still be more profitable. Or, indeed, a lower price with higher volume might be more profitable.

Increase perceived value

Add bonuses to your offer. The best bonuses are information products like special reports, booklets, etc., because they’re cheap to produce and, if it’s information your market wants, can be very valuable and make your offer more appealing.

Add scarcity/exclusivity/urgency

People are far more likely to act and part with their hard-earned money if they believe your offer will disappear if they don’t. Add time-limitations, stock-limitations, etc., to create urgency.

Make the offer more believable

The caveat to the above is that the offer, and the associated scarcity, must be believable. Case in point: the letter I analyzed earlier said: “if you order today, we’ll give you free shipping”. But there wasn’t a reason why I had to order today to get free shipping. I didn’t believe them. And I was right not to because the same page with the same offer has been up for months.

Summing up, there are lots of ways to make an offer irresistible. I could go on, but you have things to do. So I hope these tasters were thought-provoking… and… if you are selling products or services, I hope you can find a way to apply them to boost sales.