The 4 Elements of an Irresistible Marketing Offer

The 4 Elements of an Irresistible Marketing Offer


1. Package the bait

Businesses should be prepared to communicate their unique selling proposition – what distinguishes you from the competition. What do you have that’s new, different or better than what others have?

For example, airline Jet Blue announced it would allow family members to pool their miles at no additional cost. Before that, T-Mobile in the Netherlands entered the competitive music service business by offering a number of playlists for different occasions, such as the ‘Run Till You Drop’ playlist for runners and ‘Time for Another Drink’ playlist during happy hour.

By ‘packaging the bait’ and making it easy for consumers to try the service, the campaign netted trial numbers at 700% over their target and paid conversions at 12% over their target.

2. Mention the savings

If you’re going to offer volume discounts for a service, such as R9,99/month or R99/year, always do the maths and include the actual savings on the ad. This lets the customer see the actual benefit.

Businesses should also consider the long-term effect of offering discounts on sales. For example, does the customer make a repeat purchase? Does the discount cannibalise full-priced sales? In other words, are you simply shifting the timing of the purchase?

3. Throw in an incentive

Incentives can give consumers an opportunity to try something with low risk, or offer a ‘free gift with purchase’ that appeals to the target audience for a product. For example, tax preparer H&R Block offers a free ‘Second Look’ review, where tax specialists review a tax return to find deductions that may have been missed. This type of offer makes customers say, “I’d be crazy to ignore this.”

Premiums or gifts that enhance a product or service are popular as well. Just be careful that the gift doesn’t overshadow the product. Pay attention to which programmes other businesses repeat; they’ll repeat what’s worked for them.

4. Create a sense of urgency

A free trial or low-risk commitment offer is another way to get consumers to act. For example, eBay offered consumers the chance to sell one item on its mobile platform for free over a three-day period.

Businesses may set deadlines or limits to encourage consumers to get off the fence and act.

For example, online retailer eBags has a ‘Steal of the Day’ offer with a limited number of bags available. The site also shows the remaining quantity available, as well as a message to ‘Hurry, there are X people shopping now’.

This gets consumers asking, “What am I going to miss out on if I don’t respond?” If you’re going to run a limited time offer, provide an end date, between two and four weeks.

Lindsay LaVine
Lindsay LaVine is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has worked for NBC and CNN.