3 critical factors to marketing a special offer

Have you got a killer offer that offers fantastic value to the client but isn’t taking?

You might be pitching the offer all wrong.

Offering limited availability is a great way to create the urgency (through scarcity) to generate sales. But getting the message and the psychology right is critical to communicating your special offer. Buyers are intelligent and need to know they are using that intelligence to make a logical decision. They do want you to acknowledge that intelligence. They don’t want to think you are manipulating their emotions. Make a customer feel like you are railroading them or forcing their hand, it doesn’t matter how great your deal is, it’s not going to happen.

Let’s look at an example.

You are a business owner selling a 5 Steps to effective Product Development workshop. You are one month out from the end of the financial year. You know many businesses are prepared to spend at this time and you are looking to leverage this enthusiasm. For a limited time, you are offering some fantastic EOFY pricing before it goes back to normal at the end of the month.

Your workshop is usually $500. Until the end of the financial year you are offering a special deal at $300.

Pitching the offer.

Option 1) ‘We are currently offering 40 percent off our 3 hour 5 Steps To An Effective Product Development Workshop, usually valued at $500. Don’t miss out! This deal is until the end of the financial year only!

Option 2) ‘We believe that our 3 hour 5 Steps To An Effective Product Development Workshop offers fantastic value at only $500. However, until the end of the month we are offering $200 cash back making it only $300. If you would like to take advantage, call us today!

I would be interested to know how people feel about the 2 above offers. Which one is easier to understand? Which one makes the customer feel more in control and more intelligent? Maybe you think, they are both saying the same thing.

I believe the second offer is the strongest for the 3 following reasons:

1) People understand dollar amounts much more easily than percentages.

With option 1, even with a simple equation like this, a customer still has to spend time working it out. This is valuable attention time you are using which is in short supply in today’s environment of instant gratification. The slightest stutter can break the attention, and the success of the deal.

2) Always have a clear call to action.

Yes, in option 1 the client is told that the offer ends at the end of the month but this leaves any further action open-ended. The customer knows that there is still time without prompting any immediate decision. Option 2 presents a clear opportunity, an immediate decision to be made and encouragement of when to make it. If you don’t ask, you usually wont get. 

3) The difference between undermining and understanding the customers’ intelligence.

The first offer projects a thought process of ‘you lack intelligence if you don’t take this deal’. Trying to persuade customers along these lines can lead to a rude awakening. People aren’t stupid. Insinuating that they may be if they don’t take your offer is a quick route to the client walking away. The second offer has a subtle difference. You are letting the customer know that you believe in your product. You are showing an opportunity to get it at a great price. You are appealing to the customer’s intelligence, with a clear call to action.

Making a special offer is a balancing act. So make the offer easy to understand. Make it appeal to your customer’s intelligence. Make it clear what you would like the customer to do. You can do this with clarity, respect and a simple, honest request.

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