Recently I got asked by a client:
“How do you bring in the right clients to build upon the community of our gym? Do you use social media marketing, Facebook ad campaigns, word-of-mouth or face to face contact?”
I thought it was a very good question that needed more than my email reply. I decided to create a post based on what makes an offer irresistible.
I once read a story in copyblogger about a man who decided to run a marathon for the first time in his life. Running 26 miles is no easy task, and as the runner was approaching mile number 18, he was just in “autopilot” mode, his mind completely focused only on putting one foot in front of the other. When suddenly, a sight for sore eyes (literally!) appeared: a volunteer offering free orange slices to the runners on the side of the road. Even though the runner had to go out of his way for a slice, he just couldn’t resist.
“The piece of fresh orange was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” the runner explains. “Even though it was free, I would have gladly paid for it.”
An Offer You Can’t Refuse
A compelling, irresistible offer is that juicy slice of orange at the 18th mile of a marathon.
A marriage proposal from your other half, the one you’ve been waiting for your whole life.
How about a week of vacations? All-paid, all-inclusive.
That’s what an irresistible offer is, one that you simply cannot refuse.
Why Should You Use an Irresistible Offer
The runner I mentioned also talked about another type of offer on the 20th mile of the marathon. Another volunteer was handing out Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Delicious as that sounds, a doughnut is the last thing a runner wants in the middle of a race. Why is that?
First off, it’s no surprise that doughnuts are a bad choice for your health and figure. It’s a food that makes you feel heavy with its high calorie, fat, and carb content. The doughnuts were unattractive for the runners and, frankly, a poor offer in the context of a race.
In contrast, an orange slice was a healthy and refreshing offer that the runners went out of their way to get. That’s the reason why you should craft and use irresistible offers in your business.
As you can see, with an irresistible offer, you won’t have to chase your clients; they will come to you. They no longer have to debate whether to go for your offer or someone else’s—they’re convinced you’re the best and will go out of their way to get to you.
Let’s slice some oranges then!
It’s obvious that your customers want the best deal and the most bang for their buck. By showing your customers that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain if they choose your offer, you’re absolving them of all their worries.
And the best thing about this is that it makes it easier for others to refer you. According to a Nielsen report, 84% of respondents to a survey conducted in 58 countries said word-of-mouth was the most influential and trustworthy source of recommendations. What better group of people to have on your team than your clients who already think you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread?
The Components of a Successful Offer
There are 7 components of a perfect, irresistible offer that sells:
The outcome of the offer is stated crystal clear
I remember this little store I visited not that long ago. They had these paper bags near the register with a question mark written on them. They were literally mystery bags for sale filled with products from broken cases, open boxes, and clearance items. I grabbed one out of curiosity—it didn’t really matter which one—and paid the $2 it was marked for. When I got home, I opened it, not knowing what to expect, and was still disappointed. It had some loose pencils, gum, candy, and a toothbrush, among other random things. It looked like a bag of rejects after trick-or-treating on Halloween. I’m never falling for the mystery bag again.
The same goes for your clients: they don’t want to gamble and see what they will get for their hard-earned money. It’s an absolute must to have a clear and easily identifiable outcome of your offer. People want a specific solution where their investment was done wisely and creates a result that benefits them.
The offer satisfies your customers’ needs and wants
Once you understand what people need and want, everything else will get a whole lot easier. You might read or hear that your product or service needs to either satisfy a need or fulfill a want. I’m telling you it needs to do both. There’s a fine line between wanting something and needing it. Sometimes that line gets blurry and that’s where a good offer comes in.
Do you remember smartwatches? They used to be pretty cool but lately it seems the hype is cooling down and they are getting pushed to the back of the smart-devices market. Droid Life conducted a poll asking people if they still use their smart watches, and out of 10,469 voters, less than half said yes. Most responders said they never owned one, they stopped using it, or rarely use it.
I have one and the best use I found for it is to count my steps (and my phone can do that). So where did that hype train came from? More importantly, where did it go? Most people realized the features weren’t worth the price. Sometimes what we think is cool or looks attractive is not what we actually want or need. A good offer has to be what your customers actually want and are willing to spend their money on.
There’s social proof of the benefits
Every time I look for something to buy on Amazon I sort the results of my search by “Avg. Customer Reviews.” I’d rather buy the product with the most stars than the cheapest (or most expensive, for that matter). This proves that we rely on the experience of others to lessen the risk to ourselves.
Nielsen reports show that earned media sources, such as word-of-mouth from friends and family, remain the most credible source, followed by online consumer reviews. Proof based on results and testimonials of others reduces the perceived risk to your potential customers. The less burden you put on your customers, the stronger your offer will be.
The value outweighs the cost
This one is closely related to #1. You have to prove to your customers that their investment is worth their time, money, and effort. People want to get the best deal out there and the most value for their money’s worth. The perceived value of your product or service must outweigh its monetary cost and opportunity cost, which is “the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen,” according to Oxford Dictionaries.
The offer is targeted to your ideal customer
There are at least two types of customers: those who are browsing and those who are ready to buy. Center your offer on the latter, those who are ready and willing to buy your product right now.
Unless your offer is shown to the right people at the right time, it won’t do much. Make sure you’re delivering your relevant message to the people that matter to your business. After that, you just have to prove that you are the best choice.
Guarantees are going to vary depending on what you’re selling, but the idea remains the same. Make sure you offer some kind of satisfaction guarantee.
Most companies offer a short-term—of only a few days—money-back guarantee. That won’t work because your customers know the value of things, and if you guarantee it for a couple of days, they will wonder why two days is all you can offer. “Could there be something wrong with the product or service? Why are they just giving me two days to find out?”
Think about those free trials. If you offer a one or two day free trial at your gym, you’re not giving your customers enough time to make a decision, and most likely they will end up making a split-second decision to cancel. Your clients are not invested in your product after two days, so it’s not a big deal to cancel it.
If you give them a longer guarantee, it shows that you have faith in your business and gives them a chance to become invested in what you’re offering.
Your Offer Creates a sense of community
A sense of belonging is a human need. It’s up there with the basic need of food and shelter. Try to make your offer about something big that your customer can be a part of. Focus on the people, get rid of all judgments and emphasize the emotional connection your customer can have by being part of what you offer.
Irresistible Offer Ideas
I’m willing to bet you’ve spent years developing the knowledge that has made your business a success. Leverage this knowledge to become an authority—a celebrity even—in your field. When you become an expert, people go out of their way to do business with you, talk to you, and, most importantly, they talk about you.
Consider writing a pamphlet that people can take at your gym, or having a blog or a weekly email that you send to your clients. Sharing knowledge with your customers provides them with the opportunity to show that they know the answer if the need arises, and in the end, everything comes back to the source: You.
By consistently providing value in your customer’s inbox, you’ll be the expert for anything they need related to your industry. They need motivation? There’s your email with inspirational quotes for the week. Your clients don’t feel that workout burn like they should? Well, they’re lucky you just sent them “Surefire ways to make the most of a workout.”
But wait, there’s more! Sending timely emails to your customers gets them used to hearing from you, which is crucial if you plan on using emails to communicate with your customers.
Pick areas where you are proficient and know that a lot of people are struggling with, and write about them. Keep in mind that you’re not writing to impress people, you are proving your value to your audience. Write in plain English and as yourself and keep the words short. Take note of how fitness magazines are doing it.
Create How-To Videos
Facebook VP Nicola Mendelsohn recently talked about how the social network is definitely “mobile” and would probably be “all video” in the future.
“The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video,” says Mendelsohn. “It conveys so much more information in a much quicker period.”
Create videos sharing how to do a certain exercise correctly. For example, one of the most common exercise injuries is a strained back. There it is! The opportunity to create a video on how to correctly perform a barbell squat.
I have to confess, last weekend I went to Costco and end up buying 3 pounds of mozzarella sticks and 4 pounds of chicken wings I didn’t really need. Unhealthy, I know. Curse those free samples! (Just kidding, I love that place.)
Whether you’re selling a product or providing a service, offering free stuff is always going to get people interested. Some people may not be ready to buy your product or hire your services, but by offering them a free sample or free trial, you are helping them reach their decision to buy, and at the same time, showing off your business.
Not only are you proving the value of your product, you’re also applying the principle of reciprocity the best way you can. This principle states that when we receive something, we feel compelled to give something back in return.
The same goes for consultations. If you’re in the fitness trainer business, giving free consultations is a great way you can get more leads. If you’re teaching a yoga class, does it really make a difference if you’re coaching 10 people or 11? Assuming you have the floor space, of course.
Discounts & Coupons
Have you noticed most websites offer you a coupon in exchange for your email address? That’s brilliant! They grow their email list and you get a discount. Apply the same principle to your business with something like:
“Subscribe to our newsletter and receive 15% off your first 3 training sessions.”
Take a look at this great example from Old Navy:
Even if the person receiving the coupon is not ready to commit with a purchase at the moment, a coupon that can be used at a later time guarantees you a customer.
Urgency and scarcity are very strong catalysts. They make buyers feel like they will miss out on something if they don’t act immediately. Take advantage of this and create call to actions with a sense of a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. Keywords such as “Limited Time” and “Limited Quantity” motivate people to get up and act on the offer. Include time or quantity related phrases such as:
- Today Only
- Final Close-Out
- Offer Expires
- Don’t Miss Out
- Few Spots Left
Be sure to spend a good amount of time crafting that irresistible offer for your business. Remember, it’s all about creating an offer that even you wouldn’t be able to resist. This is done by reassuring your customers that doing business with you is the best option for them. Take all worries of perceived risk from them and convince them. Once you understand what your customers want and need, it will get significantly easier.
Are you ready to put this strategy to work for you?
Give us a call today at (915) 585-1919 to schedule a consultation or click here to fill out our online form. At 8 Signal, we believe you can outsmart, rather than outspend, your competition. We’re your marketing department—without the overhead!
Photos courtesy of: hayk manvelyan, hellonoelani, Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine, renaissancechambara, Graeme Maclean & Imre Péterfi.