How to Create an Offer Your Prospects and Customers Can’t Refuse Affiliated Business
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Business Know How by Stacy Karacostas: Do you know what the two most important parts of any marketing or advertising piece are?

The first one is easy—the headline. But the second one is tougher. Because unless you’ve studied copywriting, you’d be hard-pressed to guess. Yet it can make or break your entire promotion…

The second most important part of your marketing and advertising is the offer.

Think about it. If you want to tons of sales, you really do have to make people an offer they can’t refuse. Because even the most powerful call to action won’t work unless your offer is practically irresistible.

Let’s look at a few examples...

Which one is the better offer?

OFFER A – Sign up for our Free newsletter.

OFFER B – Sign up to receive your Free copy of “The 7 Deadliest Small Business Marketing Sins…Are You Guilty?” and have Bright Ideas for building your business sent to your inbox each week.

OFFER A – Call 867-5309 for your complementary consultation.

OFFER B – Be one of the first 10 business to call 867-5309 and receive a no-cost “Smart Business Tax Strategies Review” (a $500 value) that shows exactly how you can save up to $5000 on your federal taxes.

OFFER A – Just click on the button below to buy your very own Garden Mole today.

OFFER B – Try the Garden Mole for FREE. If you’re thrilled with the results, keep it and we’ll bill your credit card. If not, just send it back within 30 days and you won’t be charged a penny.

Anatomy of an offer they can’t refuse

Regardless of what you’re selling—and even if you’re giving something away—there are four things that go into creating a really effective offer. If your offer doesn’t have any one of these, chances are it’s not going to generate the results you’re after.

1) You need to offer something your client wants, not just something you think they need (or something that’s easy for you). Keep in mind, of course, that what people want and what they need are rarely the same thing.

2) Prospects must to be able to understand, right away, why they would want it (This is that “What’s In It For Me?” or WIIFM factor us marketers talk about all the time). After all, if there’s no clear benefit to them, why would they bother taking the time or spending the money?

That’s why just offering a free consult or a free newsletter isn’t very effective anymore. We’re all far too busy to go for those generic offers. You need to promise something more compelling (see #1).

Besides, these days most people think ‘free consult’ means ‘time-sucking sales pitch’ anyway. So that offer is pretty much a waste of space.

3) It has to have more value then risk. Part of this is price. But this is also where bonuses, free reports, cost comparisons, free trials, and money-back guarantees come in. They all either add value or reduce the risk. And they’re all part of the offer.

4) They need a good reason to take action now. People are super busy. So if they don’t take action right now, they’re likely to procrastinate then forget all about your offer. That means you need to give folks incentive to act immediately. Think limited availability, limited time offer, early bird rates, special bonuses, emphasizing why waiting would be worse, etc.

Just make sure if you do a promotion with limited availability or a limited time offer that it’s true. If you don’t stick to the promise made in your offer your credibility will go out the window. And the next time you say you only have five available it’ll be like the little boy who cried wolf.

A classic example of a highly effective offer...

Remember the old Ginsu knives commercials? Those knives seemed like a pretty good deal all on their own…But wait, there’s more. For one low price you also get the knife holder, the sharpener, the insta-chopper, and the kitchen sink.

And, if you act right now, they’ll even throw in a special salad spinner as a special bonus.

As if that wasn’t enough to convince you, they also included a money-back guarantee.

Talk about a lot of value for little risk, and a good reason to act now. If you were in the market for a new set of knives, how could you resist?

So next time you get ready to promote a product or service, don’t just stick your contact info in there and hope for the best. Make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse!

About the Author:

Practical Marketing Expert Stacy Karacostas specializes in taking the stress, struggle and confusion out of growing your small business. She's the author of "Putting Your Business on the Road to Success", "The Small Business Website Bible" and more than 200 articles on marketing, copywriting, sales and success. For more information, visit
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