Sean Griffin is the President and Owner of Cornerstone Services Inc. a mail house located in New Paltz, NY. Tel: (845) 255-5722 ex. 100 EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s face it–
many of us who own or run businesses or those who advertise don’t have much experience in comparing which ad offers work and why, in running data analyses, or in creating ad copy that gets the job done effectively. More often, many mailing campaigns revolve around educated guesses, cutting prices, and various coupons.
It is often the case
that when a business cuts their prices or discounts their products or services, they are uncertain in what it is that their customers want and need. It is almost always the obvious case that people want lower prices. While discounts, price cuts, and coupons can be an effective offer in your campaign, they can also situationally hurt your campaign. For example, if your customers aren’t ordering these discounted products and/or services in large quantities, the cuts in price you give to your customers can actually make you lose money, ultimately deeming your campaign unsuccessful.
So how do you know what offers work, and what you should avoid?
First off, let’s discuss how you can actually make your “money-saving” offers work. The key in offering discounts, coupons, and price cuts, is to offer any of these in the form of what would be considered “valuable” to the customer. For example, say you own a pet grooming salon, and the regular cost of clipping a dog’s nails is $5.00. If you offer this service for just .50 cents with the purchase of a dog wash, the customer values this because they are getting two services for the price of one. How does this help you? Clipping a dog’s nails costs you far less than $5.00 to do, but at the same time, you are getting more customers to purchase the dog-washing service. You are effectively saving your customers money without hurting your costs.
Similar to money-saving offers, “bonus” offers add value for the customer as well as enticing the prospective customer into purchasing your products or services. This added value which is attributed to the current product or service can then quickly increase your sales conversions. For example, a local pizzeria might offer a FREE order of garlic knots when you purchase 2 large pies. These “bonus” offers often times act as a “push” to those uncertain customers on the fence, turning them into actual purchasers.
If your goal is to drive immediate course of action upon arrival of your ad/offer in the mail of your prospective customers, the sense of “urgency” which a “time-dependent” offer emits is an effective direct marketing practice. When you advertise an offer that is for a “limited time only”, customers are likely to redeem the offer before it’s too late and they lose out. This technique tends to drive a large volume of customers to your business in the specific time-period you set for your unique offer.
The principle of scarcity means that your supplies are limited. Generally, when you announce that your supplies are limited, people are likely to order larger quantities for fear that not acting upon the offer will result in the loss of a deal. This kind of promotion can also be used to offer some kind of bonus for the first X number of customers/callers/orders. An example of this is: “The first 100 callers will receive FREE shipping!”
In order to help your customers get what they really want or need, “problem-solving” offers can have all sorts of benefits. For example, to save a person time, reduce pain, banish issues, eliminate frustration, increase happiness, and countless other problems solved. Using a “problem-solving” headline on your offer allows you to acquire more sales. People face endless problems, issues, and inconveniences on a day-to-day basis, so using this technique captures the attention of your audience right away.
All of these strategies can be used interchangeably and in unique combinations in order to increase your return on investment and mail truly effective offers.