Recently a client came to our offices to tell us all about his fabulous line of art books. They were great, and we enjoyed seeing the art, before it was published. He mentioned the thickness of the books, the special art historian who was the author, and so on.
Then I asked him the big question: what is your offer? His reply was, “I don’t need an offer”, and “these books are high quality and stand on their own”.
I explained to him that in direct marketing you always need an offer, or you’re just selling retail in the mail. The offer answers the customer’s questions of “what’s in it for me”, and it is really the closer for the sale.
If you think about it, when you go to a regular store at the mall, you are usually on a mission to make a particular purchase. With direct marketing that is not the case at all.
When you get a direct mail piece or read a direct response ad or open up an email, you’re not necessarily in a buying mood for the product I’m trying to sell you. You might not have an immediate need for this beautiful artbook, unless there is a compelling reason or an incentive that will overcome your “sitting at home, or at your office inertia” and get you to buy immediately.
A good offer represents 40 percent of the success of your program and it has to be: believable, creative and involving.
If you want to learn more about crafting a great offer, pick up a copy of my book, Response! The Complete Guide to Profitable Direct Marketing at amazon.com, or at your local library.
Good luck and let me hear about your amazing offer. Maybe I’ll blog about it.