offers for local businesses

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

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!

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