For Entrepreneurs that need a better offer strategy that is designed to get more clients…
In order to be able to get more clients, your going to have to have a business offer that starts by solving the pain points that your business clients are suffering from, but also maximizes the revenue potential to cover your marketing costs and turn a profit for your business. This is the strategy that most Entrepreneurs skip and is the difference between a successful and failing business.
You Need a Business Offer First
Your sales acquisition service isn’t an offer…
With this said, I want to start out with what your offer is, a very important piece to help you to get more clients. We are fed so much automation each day from the many businesses we interact with, they each share similar traits. The common denominators each of those businesses share are, they have embraced fully automated marketing techniques and they have a sequence of offers that support each stage of their sales funnel.
Let’s start with what’s the true purpose of your offer, that’s to satisfy the need of your current or potential business client in such a way that it solves a problem or alleviates a pain point that they are experiencing. But an irresistible offer has other traits also, in today’s world, it should have social legs. If you can elate them in such a way that they are compelled to be your advocate, then your offer has reached hero status.
Your offer must be transformative, you need to be able to give your current or potential business client their desired outcome. This can be informative, strategic, or it can be an emotional state. The success of an offer will do this intuitively by understanding that it’s part of a conversation that has already been pre-written for a desired end result for your current or potential business client.
To get started, we’re going to approach this from the perspective of a direct response marketing campaign, where your offer will serve to produce your chosen effect. With this said, by the time we’re done, you should have a very good understanding of how an offer is created to produce the highest possible impact on your conversions.
The Different Business Offer Types
Let’s continue with the different types of offers you can use. Some of this might seem obvious, but it’s important that we address it now, later were going to be discussing different strategies where specific kinds of offers will be used.
A lead generation offer has the intent of introducing your current or potential business client to your business using something that’s of a desired value, or more specifically peaked their interest as solving a problem. While this is a simple description, it’s so much more than that, since it can be part of a multi-point communication plan that seeks to indoctrinate them to, first, a value, second, your brand as an authority, and then, third, your sales acquisition services.
Effective lead generation offers have a very low obstruction to receiving the value offered. As it pertains to an online offer, that would be an email address. As you begin to request further information, such as more identification or a phone number, you will be asking more of a commitment, therefore, run the risk of reducing your response rate.
Commitment level is important since it can influence your offer in many different ways. If you look at it as a scale, at the top is a high commitment level that is going to involve time, for example, to watch a demonstration, a webinar, or an intrusion, where they might be called for a sales call or consultation.
A lower commitment is going to seek the most minimal amount of access, that’s, an opportunity to expose them to information in the form of an e-book or video, or even a sample, that has the essence of addressing a need.
It goes without saying that a high commitment, where you’re asking more from your current or potential business client, is going to have an effect on your response rate, but you might find that your effective conversion rate is higher. Where you ask for a lower commitment, you could experience a high response rate, but your conversion rate might not be as positive, since these might be tire-kickers and not really interested in your sales acquisition services.
Lead generation offers are not only effective when the value is digital, they can also work with a shippable hard product as well. Consumer Packaged Good ( CPG ) companies have been giving away and shipping hard products for decades, their direct response efforts usually encourage a low-obstruction client acquisition strategy.
As a founder, lead generation can be a powerful tool. You can build segmented lists of business clients that you can use to target your specific sales acquisition services. Since you know their initial interest, you can then use messaging that matches each business clients interest, and custom tailoring the sales experience to match their problem with a sales acquisition solution you offer.
As a founder, a content offer lends itself to being impactful in educating but also doesn’t have a high cost factor to create. Usually, the information that your current or potential business client needs is readily available in your day-to-day operations, perhaps service documentation you’ve already prepared or even case studies.
Content has other advantages as well, you can adjust a single piece or multiple pieces to serve the overall tone of your offer. To give you more insight into this, let’s say your offer is going to be directed at a very niche part of your market, where they have an interest in a specific sales acquisition service you offer, you might want to steer away from general terms and place emphasis on specific language that is more informative to your current or potential business client.
There are going to be varying levels of interest with content offers, you might find that only a very specific subset is not only willing to engage with your content, but will also lead into a conversion. You can use a content offer as part of a lead generation campaign that is part of a wider indoctrination campaign.
In your case, producing high quality content that first educates your current or potential business client, this can add to the authority and expertise you offer as a Entrepreneur. Giving them value first, is a good strategy to build up interest and trust. If you produce content that outlines the long-term benefits of your sales acquisition service, as they read it, you will then know they have a problem that needs to be solved. In this case, the logical next step would be to offer more content that helps support the long-term benefits of your service and introduce yourself and your business. At this point, you have a qualified current or potential business client that is much more likely to engage with your offer.
A direct sale is perhaps the most straightforward example of your offer, we are bombarded by direct offers from the moment we wake up in the morning, to the moment when we’re ready to go to sleep. It’s important to note that a direct sale offer is not part of a brand advertising campaign where you might be enticed to go to a local grocery store to purchase a set of razors or baby diapers, rather it’s a direct response effort that has the dual intention of selling direct to your current or potential business client, while also introducing them to your brand.
Your direct sale offer will serve the same purpose, which is to reach your current or potential business client with a communication message that provides the introduction of your business, your sales acquisition services, and seeks to complete a conversion, whether it’s a value exchange or a transaction.
A direct sale offer shouldn’t be heavy in selling language, but instead it should educate and inspire the desired action. If it’s part of a multi-point strategy to capture them, then the introduction to your sales acquisition services is gradual, leading into your official offer.
While, it might not seem like it, but if you have ever seen an advertisement with an offer to save on your next purchase or a discount on your entire checkout, that’s a general offer to get you to return to a store or attend an in-store event. This is a traffic offer, where the intent is to get inbound traffic in the form of visits, but not specifically for a particular sales acquisition service you offer.
As part of an overall marketing strategy, a traffic offer serves the purpose of keeping your current or potential business clients engaged in your brand. Traffic offers can be themed, such as limited availability and reduction of overstock, or they can be seasonal, such as spring or summer events.
The Anatomy of Your Business Offer
So, now we’re going to get into the specifics of your offer, where you’re going to learn the details of what is of value you’re providing to your current or potential business client in exchange for information or introduction to your sales acquisition service.
You need to understand that, creating your offer, you need to consider many aesthetic details, but realistically, these items are of minimal importance. You need to follow the mindset that the literal offer and the target audience are not just the most important two items of your offer, they are the key reasons why it will convert.
Your offer needs to really make sense on two levels, first, it has to excite your current or potential business client, and second, it needs to make financial sense for you.
To create your offer, you really need to understand your current or potential business client. If you can put together an accurate analysis that lists all of their attributes, their concerns, and even their emotional states, you should be able to identify key aspects that your sales acquisition services can address. These are the pain points that they are experiencing and your offering the solution they so badly need.
Now, what is confining your offer from running out of control, is whether it can be profitable for your business. There might be a business that would consider acquiring a business client at a loss for the purposes of increasing their client pool, while that is an admirable attempt at future profitability or growth, it’s only a guarantee for failure. You’re in business to produce a profit, not at the expense of the your current or potential business client, but rather through a value exchange. Unless you have a well thought out system in place to ensure profitability, it doesn’t happen magically.
I guess the best way to describe how important the audience is to your offer, it could be best put as your offer is the star home run slugger or quarterback and the audience is the field. Now, imagine the key slugger or quarterback is ready, and past experience has shown, they will be effective against the opposing team. Now, think about how effective they would be if the entire team was playing in one stadium and the slugger or quarterback arrived at a completely different venue. Absurd, right? Well, that’s how absurd it is not lining up your offer with the right audience, a complete waste of money.
The audience is so important, that as you do your research, trying to find the best audience within a target market, you might find that some aspects of your offer really aren’t addressing the pain points of your current or potential business client. This is a good thing, first it means you’re doing meaningful research, and second it gives you the opportunity to take your weak offer and turn it into an irresistible offer. Your audience is a really big key, don’t just let your offer be let loose in any direction, give it some thought and do your homework to make sure you’re reaching only the right current or potential clients.
Since an offer can be created and applied in a wide range of ad campaigns, the image itself is more than just a picture of a product that is being offered for sale. To start, the image in context of an offer represents continuity in your message. If you can capture the essence of your business in an image, then you can represent that essence in every aspect of your ad campaign, starting with the first communication exposure, all the way down the sales funnel, and finally to the conversion.
As a Entrepreneur you provide a service, you can project trust by using an image of yourself. Alternatively, you can use symbols, icons, fonts, and colors to make that connection between your offer, the message, and your current or potential business client. The important takeaway is, you have an opportunity to use imagery to add continuity in your messaging.
You might find yourself in a situation where you want to begin cultivating new business clients, so you might choose to create a lead generation offer, where in exchange for a few pieces of contact information, you will send them an informative case study that meets their needs. Now, they may really want, or perhaps, really need the case study to better understand your sales acquisition service and how your services can positively affect them. There isn’t any confusion as to what will occur afterwards, as a matter of fact, it’s near perfectly understood what the implicit offer is, that you will be contacting them as a result of the exchange of value.
Depending on the sales acquisition service you want to promote or the price your setting for your offer, the more information that your current or potential business client is given helps in the indoctrination process. An explicit offer is intended to reduce churn as they are successfully converted. There are some rules that you might want to consider, for instance, if price is applicable, you might want to test whether adding it to your ad copy has a positive or negative effect on your response rate. Not adding it isn’t considered nefarious, but rather, you can slowly introduce it as they are led down the sales funnel.
For offers where your intent is to capture contact information, you need to setup a proper understanding with your current or potential business client that creates a sense of security with the information they are providing you. An example would be, using secure socket layer ( SSL ) security on all or only the pages where you capture their information. You can also declare your intentions with a message that explicitly informs them that you will be delivering useful follow up value and you can even go so far as to give assurance that your the only business that will be communicating with them.
The hook part of your offer should excite your current or potential business client, but it should also be unique to your business. For instance, a standard hook to drive traffic to an e-commerce website would be to offer an aggressive discount on all purchases, but you might have an ancillary sales acquisition service that you can offer for Free that can elevate the desirability of your offer. The idea is, if you can excite them and get them into your sales process, you would then have cross sell and upsell opportunities.
An offer really should take into consideration value perception, that is, how your current or potential business client sees the entire value of your offer. As an example, if your offer is Free, such as a case study or an e-book, your premium might be further access to alternative value pieces that otherwise might be for sale at a fixed price. For a paid product or service, while adding a premium for Free to reinforce the overall value of your offer sounds like a great idea, on its own it’s not going to be a profitable transaction. You would really need to have a long-term revenue strategy in place to benefit from an initial business client acquisition loss.
Target Your Client Audience
Besides the audience being a key part of the offer creation process, it’s the target audience that is going to dictate how it will perform over the long-term. If your target audience is small, for instance, you’re operating in a really niche market, then you’re going to need to consider a higher price point to compensate for less conversion opportunities. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad situation, you would just need to be able to think about other ways to cross sell, up-sell, or even attract post-sale opportunities.
Let’s say your target audience is larger, and your price point, not only is it lower, it’s competitive with the market. You may have more opportunities for conversion, but you are also going to be generating less revenue. Again, this isn’t a bad situation, you just need to understand the concept of price elasticity. Your current or potential business client, when presented with an offer, they may accept the price to complete the sale, but they may still have the ability to pay more, whether that’s from testing higher prices or increasing the number of items in a cart.
Your offer should have the ability to be adjustable, according to the qualification stage of your current or potential business client. You won’t find much success in offering a high priced product or service during a getting to know you or cold qualification stage. The ideal transition schedule would be, at a getting to know you or cold qualification stage you should be asking for less commitment, and at a like you or warm or trust you or hot qualification stage you will see much more success in beginning to ask for more of a commitment.
Don’t try to bypass the process of warming up your current or potential business client, it just won’t work unless you or your business have such a huge brand advantage, therefore, the trust factor is immediately apparent. Outside of this anomaly, this is a standard process, it takes time, but it works brilliantly and has long-term benefits.
Even with successful experience, it’s impossible to predict if your offer will produce the response that you intend. That’s why testing is important. You need to test various versions of your offer, from the message to the price to the call-to-action. Don’t decide on testing being too much work, because the danger is going to be that you proceed with an ineffective offer and you end up losing considerable amounts of money.
Try to isolate the pieces of the offer that you want to test and use the same audience for each to ensure that your results aren’t skewed. Ideally, you want to keep track of the results, since you’re going to be trying out several variations and as time passes, you don’t want to have to remember what worked and what didn’t.
It’s important to remember that if you maintain consistency in your measurement, your going to make better decisions. To start off, your response and conversion rate are the key aspects of your offer that you need to keep track of. But there’s a catch, under certain conditions, both could provide you with a false positive, that is, they seem to be working for you, but the effective result isn’t what you intended.
Unless your brand and your business is matured in the market, in general, response rates are going be higher when there is less of an obstruction in their way, such as with a lead generation offer. If your response rate is high for an offer that has a high price attached to it, you need to look at the conversion rate also. Low conversion rates from an offer with a high response rate are telling of a current or potential business client that is still not ready to purchase and may need further indoctrination.
Value Tools to Offer Your Clients
You’re going to need to have an arsenal of value tools to use when you’re putting together your offer. These tools are going to meet the needs of your current or potential business client, their pain point, and your method to offer value in exchange for the opportunity to build a relationship with them.
A lead magnet acts as its name implies, it’s a compelling reason for your current or potential business client to want to provide their contact information to you. A really good lead magnet is pure value in order to increase conversion, it also needs to address their pain-point, sometimes of which, they don’t even know exists.
Templates – It’s very common to see template lead magnet offers, for example, ad text, ad image, or audience templates. The templates can be very involved, depending on the industry, such as PR scripts, sales rejection responses, and even email conversion messages. The idea is simple, if you have an expertise in your field, you can provide a template version of one of those unique skills.
Splintering an e-Book – Perhaps the most accessible lead magnet is the splinter of an e-book, or part of an e-book. If your really good at writing and you have a good grasp of your industry, it doesn’t take much to put together an informative e-book.
Case Studies – One of the best ways to warm up your current or potential business client is to put together a case study lead magnet. It really does several things, first, it positions you as an authority for a particular subject, second, you can provide a real example of how your business can provide success, and third, you start building a relationship by going beyond just providing information, you’re speaking to a need.
Catalogs – Depending on your business, a seasonal or yearly catalog offering can be a really good lead magnet. Major companies use this as their way of keeping their customer lists warm, especially as they begin rolling out new products.
Samples – Stepping outside of the digital product or service, samples are an effective lead magnet, mainly because they close the feedback loop that an emotional desire starts. Due to its physical nature, a sample holds a lot of weight in the value category, but it also has a hard cost, and only makes sense if your business already has the means to manufacture sample sizes in large quantities.
A tripwire is an accessible product or service that serves to establish a first transaction with the intention of offering a future upsell. The concept is to provide something that has greater value than a lead magnet, going beyond just providing a single piece of information and offering an entry-level product or service. This could be a loss-leader or break-even transaction with the sole purpose of advancing the sales relationship.
e-Books – As a tripwire, an e-book seems like the most logical tool to use to encourage your first transaction. Ideally, the value the e-book provides far outweighs the cost, as long as you have a follow up strategy in place.
Research Analysis – Depending upon your business, you might have research analysis capabilities or access to them. Insight into an industry, a niche market, or even specific customer research, has incredible value, especially when you consider the costs to obtain this information.
Strategic Consultation – Sometimes the most effective tripwire is the experience that you posses, therefore, offering your time and strategic knowledge can be a worthwhile value exchange. You can have a first-hand opportunity to create the upsell opportunity.
Monitoring or Maintenance Service – Effective tripwires can be implemented across professions and services. First, a series of complimentary services should be available in order to be able to take advantage of the scheduled interactions. Second, the value you give needs to stand out so when it comes time to perform the up-sell, it becomes effortless.
Key Sales Acquisition Service
Your base sales acquisition service is going to be the key revenue maker in your business, in most cases this is true, but in specific cases, it may be just the driver of sales. Your business may be known for a specific specialized service that you perform, this can be considered the attention getters to draw in your current or potential business client.
If you have a key sales acquisition service that defines your business, the profit booster should be the ancillary product or service that can easily accompany it. Often times this is going to be a high-value, low-cost add-on that will provide you with a high profit margin. It can very well be any of the tripwires in an extended or advanced version. It can even be multiple products or service offerings that are coupled together into a single offering.
So, in summation, your irresistible offer needs to be outstanding, whether you start with a lead generation offer using a lead magnet or an unbelievable offer for a key sales acquisition service, it needs to be extraordinary and reinforced with value for your current or potential business client.
Ways to Communicate with Your Clients
You’re going to be working with several communication pieces. From the initial message to those that follow, they are all going to be standard ads that allow you to present your offer with a variety of ad types. Each ad type is made available to you but it’s up to your creativity and conversion results that will determine which is best to be used, how it’s setup, and under what conditions it’s served to your audience.
Before we get into the details of your communication messages, you’re going to need to understand the various advertising types that these ads fall under. The idea behind the ad type is to meet a tactical objective, but a successful campaign will use all the types together to reach, educate, and convert your current or potential business client.
Unless you have an already existing brand that your current or potential business client is aware of, or a sells-itself type of business, then your going to need to start with a lead generation ad. Even established brands start with lead generation, the motive is to turn them from passive interest into a passive intent, and guide them into active intent.
Since your trying to build a relationship with your current or potential business client, you’re going to want to keep providing them with value. For example, you might want to guide them to informative blog posts that address their pain point or a webinar where you go into detail how to use techniques that can solve their problem. The idea is to give them a really big reason, and that’s over-delivering on value, to want to get to know you first.
You need to be in the mind of your current or potential business client, simply put, out-of-sight, out-of-mind. So, if you can unobtrusively maintain that exposure, you’re going to stay in their mind, therefore, you maintain that tinge of awareness. Ideally, you want to reinforce previous behaviors, such as follow-ups for a lead magnet or dropping out of the sales funnel. If your know where they were, and where they currently are, you can guide them to where you want them to be.
It’s plausible to convert your current or potential business client straight to a cold sale conversion with a really effective call-to-action, but it’s highly unlikely. That’s why prior to a call-to-action, you have already transitioned them from a passive interest into an passive intent, therefore, you can now transition them to an active intent. Every piece of advertising up to this point has been leading to this point, where you can offer the outcome that will rid them of their pain point.
The 3 Principles of a Successful Business
Before I finish up this very long post, I wanted to end with the only principles that should be guiding your business, that’s if you want to experience growth. Your business offer is incredibly important, but these principles are the foundation that it will be built upon:
Principle #1: Increase the Number of Business Clients
To begin, your primary objective is to promote your offer to the right audience. The more communication you have with the your current or potential business client, the greater number of sales opportunities you will lead them into. This is the only way you’re going to increase the number of business clients you can sell to.
Principle #2: Increase the Per Business Client Sales Value
As part of an automated ad loop, you have an interested current or potential business client that is arriving at your landing page, either wanting to learn more about a remedy to their pain point, or they’re ready to take you up on your offer to get rid of it. Your offer has to be versatile enough to not only accommodate a single sale, but also be offered as an up-sell, therefore, increasing your sales value.
Principle #3: Increase the Number of Sales Per Business Client
You need to maintain a long-term strategic focus on your current or potential business client. In order to repeatedly beat your competition, you need to acquire them and keep them purchasing from you. The best way to do this is to keep the relationship healthy by keeping them in an automated email loop. It not only will help you prepare them for a sale, aid in saving a sale, but it also can give you an opportunity to continue to deliver them value in the form of scheduled emails. The benefit of putting together an email series that has relevant information that the they can use, further solidifies you as an authority.
Preparing your offer to meet the needs of your current or potential business client will help you to build your business. Sometimes, what you do, isn’t what you can offer, so you need to think about solving your clients problem first, then allowing that solution to become your business offer.
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