Think about an offer you’ve received and acted on in the past.
What do you remember most about it?
For me, it’s not the details of the deal or the content of the promotion that stands out.
It’s the value that the deal provided that I remember most.
This is something I experienced firsthand, at the start of last summer.
A friend sent me a local deal from a seafood restaurant located less than 10 miles from my house. The restaurant has been open for 50 years, but despite its close proximity I had never tried it out.
Looking back, I couldn’t tell you the specific discount included in the offer.
But I can tell you just about every detail of the night that I used the offer — what I ordered, where I was sitting, and who I was with. I could also give you a list of about two dozen people who I’ve recommended the business to since.
For me, the value was simple: discovering one of my new favorite restaurants for the first time.
If you want people to care about your offer, you need to understand what they’ll find valuable.
This isn’t just measured by the number of dollars they save, or the discount you’re willing to give —although both will be important when constructing your offer.
It’s about understanding the needs of your audience, and coming up with something based on those needs to help you reach your goals.
If you’ve had offers that fell flat in the past, don’t worry.
There are four steps you can take to improve your strategy and make your next offer a success.
Step 1: Set a goal
Before you do anything, you need to set a goal for your offer.
Of course you’ll want people to visit your store. But specifically, what would make it a success for you? Ultimately, this boils down to generating more revenue. What is that dollar amount?
Also, think about how many existing customers you’d like to get in the store. How many new customers? These things can color the strategy behind your offer and how you present it.
Step 2: Understand your audience
With a goal in mind, you can then shift your focus to your audience.
It’s not enough to just say, I want more customers.
Instead, think carefully about the people you’re trying to attract. If you’re like most businesses, these people will be similar to the best customers or clients you have today.
So, ask yourself:
- What does your best customer want or need?
- What type of incentive has inspired this customer to take action in the past?
- What is it about your business that would make this person want to refer you to a friend?
When focusing on creating an offer your very best customer will find valuable, you’ll be in a better position to attract other great customers in the process.
Step 3: Understand your value
When I received a local deal, offering the chance to start off summer with a plate full of seafood, while watching the sunset ten feet from the ocean, I knew it was an offer that couldn’t be ignored. With a half of century of experience, this restaurant knew its value.
As a business owner, you know your value better than anyone. And I’m willing to bet that value extends a lot further than the discount you’re willing to offer.
Your customers have a lot of options — why would they want to support your business? What products or services do you provide that make your best customer’s life better?
Keep in mind that your value can look different, based on the time of year you’re sending your offer.
Focus on one key value you can offer potential customers at a given time, and build an offer from there.
Step 4: Create a great offer
Now, that you’ve taken the right steps, creating the perfect offer should be pretty simple.
Use steps 1-3 to answer this important question:
Why would someone want to redeem your offer?
Remember that not every offer needs to be a discount.
For a service company like Flint Energy, the perfect offer was a downloadable piece of content, with home energy saving tips. For a bike shop like Orange Cycle, it was a free pair of socks.
Use these steps to decide what your audience will find valuable, and create an offer your audience will love!
Ready to start planning your offer?
In our newest guide, A 5-Point Checklist for Online Marketing Success we provide a four-step template for planning a great offer.
When you’re ready to create an offer, print out the template and block off some time to start planning.
In addition to the template, you’ll also get the practical, “how-to” advice you need to succeed!
Have additional questions about creating a great offer? Post them in the comments below.
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