It’s 08:33 on Wednesday 7th February 2024. I’m sitting on my bed. I have to clock in for work at 09:15. That means I have the next 42 minutes to work on launching startups.
When my alarm sounds, I’ll close my laptop and dump my notes into a big brown box ready for tomorrow morning. I’m telling you this because the hour I get to work on startups each morning is precious. And yet…
I feel compelled to use the next 42 minutes to share an idea with you.
For the last 7 days, I’ve been working on forming a strategic alliance between my wife’s business and a local osteopath. All of the components are in place for it to work well. My wife offers ultrasound scans for pregnant women. The osteopath offers a Mummy MOT for women who have just given birth. There’s a logical progression from one to the other. My wife has access to the market for the osteopath’s service. She has affinity with them – so her endorsement carries weight. She has delivery channels in place – website, email lists, social accounts – to communicate with them. The osteopath’s service is terrific. The mummy’s will have a great experience. It going to be a win-win-win.
So I’m putting the deal together.
I plan to do 99% of the work before I approach the osteopath so that it’s easy for her to understand. I’ve figured out a compensation structure. I’ve established which delivery channels we’ll use. I’ll also need to craft the emails, website copy and sales page.
This morning, I realised that I can’t write the emails yet. I can’t create the sales page. I can’t write the website copy. Why not?
Because I don’t know what the hell to say!
What are we even doing here?
In other words, what are we offering to the market?
We can’t just say, “hey, Niamh offers a Mummy MOT, it’s great, check it out!”
I mean, that would go so far, but it’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. There’s no urgency. It’s boring. It’s casual. In short, it won’t work very well.
So the next thing I need to do is design an ‘offer’. A proposition. Something irresistible that makes Maria’s clients want to say, ‘yes – take my money NOW.‘
Alright, so that’s the next step. But damn, have you ever done this before? Have you ever sat down to craft a new offer? Something beyond a simple discount? If so, you’ll know as well as I do that it’s HARD. It’s also extremely important. There’s a rule of thumb in the direct marketing world. It says that the success of a promotion is determined by:
- 40% list
- 40% offer
- 20% creative (copy + design)
The numbers aren’t exact, of course, but it highlights the relative value of the list and the offer in comparison to the creative.
What’s strange, though, is that most people talk about the design and copy. Very few people outside of the direct marketing world talk about the value of the ‘list’ of people you send a promotion to or the proposition you make to them via your design and copy.
So when I sat down this morning to develop an offer – despite doing this many times before – I had absolutely no idea where to start.
When I want to write copy, or design, or draw, or create pretty much anything, the first thing I do is look around at other people’s stuff for inspiration. It gets the juices flowing, gives me ideas, and provides a launch pad.
This morning I discovered that it’s hard to find inspiration for offers.
The first place that came to mind marketingexamples.com (which I’m a huge fan of). It does demonstrate offers, but offers aren’t the main focus, so it required some sifting and analysis of my own. I also pulled out books I’d read about offers. A popular one is $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi. A less well-known one is How to Create Irresistible Offers by Bob Bly. Both great books. But as books, they’re explanatory and designed to give processes for developing offers.
What I want is simple, clear, quick examples of how other people have designed offers.
To my knowledge, that doesn’t exist.
Which is why I felt compelled to write this and tell you: I’m going to make it.
I’m not thinking of it as one of my 24 startups.
I don’t have any plans to monetize.
I’m just going to gather and present examples of offers for my own inspiration – and hopefully it will be valuable to you as well – and help you create and improve your own offers (or design them for clients).
If that sounds interesting, give me a sign by sharing your email address below, and I’ll let you know when I’ve got something to share: