How to Create an Effective Offer for Your Local Business – Part 1

offers for local businesses

What is an offer, exactly, and why is it so important to your marketing?

First off, The right audience will never buy the wrong offer. It doesn’t matter how good your audience targeting is. It doesn’t matter how good your copy and your creative are, or how well your destinations convert. What matters most is that the offer is something that people actually want, not just something you hope they want or think they should want.

This is a big problem that I’ve seen in the local marketing space. Business owners and even marketers don’t really think about offers in the way that online businesses do. Online businesses have kind of naturally been programmed to think about the offer from the start.

For a local business, they need the same thing. It may be different from what you would see from an online business, but the offer is still what’s going to attract your ideal prospect or client.

So, what exactly is an offer?

There are a lot of misconceptions about what an offer actually is. Many businesses think that their products or services are their offer, but that’s not the case. Some people assume an offer is strictly a discount.

Well, That can be true, but that is in no way the only thing that it can be.

Your offer is NOT your products and services, it’s the way that they’re packaged and presented.

You may already have several offers, but you don’t realize it, or you have all the components of a great offer, but they’ve never been properly packaged.

What are the three types of offers?

Gated Content Offers

A gated content offer is something that is gated, meaning you must provide your contact information before you can access this piece of content. The word content can mean a variety of things, but it’s information or it could possibly be a giveaway or contest.

A Gated Content Offer Is:

    – Something valuable that you’re going to exchange for their information
    – What many consider to be a lead magnet
    – Directly tied to your offers as a way to identify interest and ascend the lead through email marketing or other forms of follow up.

This could be delivered through messenger, email, or a landing page. It could be a video, pdf, or series of valuable messages. It could be audio, a webinar, or a challenge.

The beauty of a gated content offer is that you’re building your list, and if done correctly you’re also going to use it to drive leads.

Loss Leaders

I rarely see businesses using these, but they can be amazing revenue generators for the right business.

A loss leader is something useful, but incomplete. It should lead to the core offer. It also could get people in at that right moment in the buying cycle. Your loss leader must be valuable in its own right and does not require an additional purchase in order to qualify.

Typically it could be free, or it’s going to break even in terms of cost, whether it’s your time materials or a mixture of both. You don’t have to be losing money on this, but the goal is not to make money on this offer at the point of sale. The goal is to get a new client at the break-even point (or at a loss, with the data that shows you’ll profit on your other offers or recurring sales).

The thing about marketing in today’s world on social media is that you may truthfully need a loss leader to capitalize on your budget. You can use your loss leader revenue to cover marketing costs, get increased touchpoints, and build trust before pitching your core offer.

There are a lot of businesses that have a very strong customer lifetime value. If that’s the case, loss leaders can be ideal. However, they tend to be focusing on making their money back on that initial purchase, not long term which is more realistic. You want to turn someone into a lifelong customer or at least someone who’s with you for a significant amount of time. Someone who could buy other products or other services. That’s what loss leaders can do for you.

This is a really good offer type and I’d encourage you to brainstorm how you can use it in your own business. I’ve seen them work very well but a few too many people do not even consider using them.

The main thing to keep in mind when creating a loss leader is that you need to have a clear and strong upsell processes such as strong salespeople or an ascension campaign after the initial purchase. You need to ensure you can capitalize off the loss leader, or you will in fact lose.

If your customers don’t stay past 1 or 2 purchases, fix that before creating a loss leader.

If your salespeople don’t upsell or can’t see what other services or products would benefit the lead during the consult, fix that first before creating a loss leader.

If your business can’t fulfill on the parameters set by the loss leader, fix that before using it.

You need to be able to have long term vision when creating a loss leader, but for those that do, it can totally transform their business.

Product Preview Offers

A product preview is something that doesn’t have any real value unless someone intends to buy. This gives them a little taste of your business, either for free, at a lower cost, or with unique terms or purchase.

Essentially there’s just nothing really in it for them unless they were seriously considering your core offer. These bring in quality leads typically, but will only ever attract a small percentage of the market that is actively looking for your products and services. The result of this offer typically depends on the quality of the offer or product/service itself.

Good offers overcome the objections

Good offers overcome objections that may prevent purchases. These could be time, effort, skill, competition, money, etc.

For instance, if what you offer requires that some skill is attached to it in order to fulfill the desired goal, such as a course, then your offer could include something like training or support to make those things easier.

To overcome convenience, that could be a bundle. You’re saving time from someone having to research and find all of these different parts and pieces themselves. You’re giving it to them at once.

Time and effort are really effective, too. If your type of business typically takes 1 month to deliver the end product, do it in 2 weeks. If someone typically has to do certain aspects of the offer themselves, do it for them or give them an “easy button”.

Money is an obvious one. Make it more financially beneficial to buy.

You should really think about where your audience is struggling. Think about what your offer can do to overcome their biggest challenges and you’ll be so much closer to creating the offer they really need, and that makes it easier for them to buy.

Your Offer Matters

A great offer needs to incentivize buyers either to act quickly. You don’t have to come up with a false sense of urgency, however, anytime there is some sense of urgency attached, it’s going to work well. This could be a natural sense of urgency, like an event.

There is an exact date that this event is happening. Maybe it’s based on a holiday, like a memorial day special.

There are a lot of different ways that you could use a sense of urgency honestly. I don’t ever encourage anyone to be dishonest, just creative. It can be a great way to get people to buy when they may have delayed or talked themselves out of it.

To create an offer that drives local business revenue, it is important that the offer is something that people actually want. Your offer is typically the first thing to look at when your marketing is not producing the results you want to see.

Do you have offers in each of these categories? If not, why?

As you can see, there is a lot to consider and plan around when trying to develop an offer that will actually be effective in helping you achieve your goals. Stay tuned for part 2 for more details and examples on each of the 3 core offer types to get some ideas that you can utilize in your own business!

Have questions? Drop them below. Want to talk about working together? Visit to schedule a time to talk!

Understanding Traffic Temperatures in Local Business Marketing

In digital marketing, there are three levels of traffic, which we call traffic temperatures. This refers to the level of familiarity that they have with you and your business. Because of this, they need to be spoken to in a way that reflects that. There are different audiences and goals for each temperature, which will guide your advertising as a whole.

The goal is to funnel them through each level. The ad type is going to be different based on which traffic temperature they’re in.

Cold traffic – we’re educating and building an audience.
Warm traffic – We’re trying to offer something to get them to convert.
Hot traffic – retargeting to convert, to ascend, or validate.

You want to segment the audience based on what they engage with. Your content should be very tailored to the products and services that you offer.

If you do this in an educational way, you’re going to really see:

    Who is very interested?
    Who is moderately interested?
    What topics or services or products are they most interested in?

For instance, let’s say you have a blog and it’s on a specific question that someone would have before purchasing a product that you offer.

If someone clicks on that blog, they’re raising their hand and saying, “I have an interest in this”. Even if they don’t read that blog, they’ve still allowed you to segment them based on their interest.

The next ad, they should receive should be directly tied to that product that they showed interest in.

So again, not just building an audience of people who like your funny cat video, but it needs to be so tied to your products and services that it allows you to send those targeted ads that are going to be more successful.

By doing this, you are creating this smaller audience of people that you can show your offers to, but essentially you can do that at a lower cost because they’ve already signified that they have an interest in this.

If you’re trying to send your offers directly to cold traffic, it’s going to be far more expensive, a lot more inconsistent, and less successful than using this strategy.

Ultimately, it may not work at all moving forward.

Let’s look at some of the differences.

Cold Traffic:

For cold traffic audiences, you’ll be using:

    Saved audiences
    Look-alike audiences
    Demographic, interest and some behavioral targeting

You want to turn cold traffic into warm traffic, segment, and build the relationship.

Warm Traffic:

Your warm traffic audience is going to be someone who has engaged with you or visited your website.

These custom audiences include:

    People who have viewed your videos
    Those people who have gone to your website
    Some people who have read your blogs
    Those who have liked, commented or shared your Facebook or Instagram post content
    Possibly your email list

The goal at this level is to convert:

    To get an email subscriber
    To get someone to convert on your offer

Hot Traffic:

Hot Traffic is often going to be your list of past buyers, past clients, or current leads that have not converted.

The goal at this level is to upsell or cross-sell or get them to convert after they have shown several signs of strong interest.

Again, validate that the decision to work with you is going to help them. That will help them follow through and ultimately purchase from you. Nine times out of ten if you’re a local business, your actual transaction is happening offline. We can’t let them go the moment they sign up as a lead, because the battle isn’t won just yet.

There are still steps they need to take, such as:

    getting on a phone call
    getting to an appointment
    buying additional products or services

We have to make sure that the lead is not wasted and we maximize every opportunity.

Remember, the way you target, speak to, and funnel people in will be different at every traffic temperature, so if you’re not segmenting these groups currently, it’s time to implement NOW.

Have questions? Drop them below. Want to talk about working together? Visit to schedule a time to talk!