The art of the irresistible offer

If you’ve been paying attention over the years, then you know that all of your marketing materials must include an offer.

But not any old offer – you need an irresistible offer!

A kick-ass offer that will get readers to get off their duffs and call you for an appointment, or buy your widget, or whatever you want them to do.

Why? Because the strength of your offer will often determine if your campaign or promotion will make money or be a complete failure.

What I’m saying is… include great offers in everything your prospects see from you.

  • Brochures
  • Space ads
  • Letters
  • Postcards
  • Web copy and content

Actually… everything related to marketing!

So… how do you create an offer that’s irresistible?

In theory, it’s easy. Just like the scene from the GodFather…

Simply “make them an offer they can’t refuse”.

An offer that’s so good, they’d have to be a complete idiot to let it pass by.

Here are a couple of ideas to get you thinking…

But first… you need to know your target market, what they want, and what will get them excited.

You could offer a discount off normal price…

50% off… or 2 for 1…  Restaurants use this one a lot. There are a couple of downsides to this however.  First, you may be attracting the people looking only for deals, which may not necessarily be who you’re looking for.

Second, offering discounts often diminishes the value of your product or service, and some people may think your discount is too good to be true. So use this one wisely.

You can add extra value to your product or service…

Personally, this is the one that my clients get the best results with.

Add some bonuses or incentives that people will want and value. For example, a shop that sells digital cameras could offer a camera at $150 full price, but also include a carry case, a memory card, and a book about taking the perfect digital photo for a limited time only.

The retail value of these items could be $100, but the store’s cost is only $30. To the customer, it’s like getting $100 worth of stuff for free.

So instead of discounting the camera, they add a ton of value and get full price. And the customer thinks they got a great deal – which they did.

Now there are lots of ways to add perceived value, only limited by your imagination.

So keep thinking for your business… what can add value to your customers?

I’d love to hear your comments below…

If you want help with your marketing strategy, writing effective sales copy, have any comments, or have a marketing project you’d like help with, e-mail me or call me at 603-686-5140

If you need help with website design, writing SEO optimized web copy, email marketing, or other online marketing strategies, I can help!

To your marketing success!

Merrill Clark

Website and Marketing Copywriter

Join my discussion by leaving a comment below…

6 thoughts on “The art of the irresistible offer

  1. Roger C. Parker

    Dear Merrill:
    This is a relevant and timeless post that opens up lots of discussion possibilities.

    Often, business owners view their offers as part of a win/lose situation–i.e., “buyer wins and I “lose when providing an incentive.

    Electronic offers
    Electronic incentives, i.e. information that can be provided as PDF, audio, and video downloads, opens the door to many possibilities for sellers of both products and services.

    Video information can provide buyers with set-up and usability tips to help them save time and maximize their purchase can provide the tipping point to making the sale, for example.

    Like you say, it all comes down to “What does your target market want?” and setting up Internet-based automatic delivery mechanisms to provide it.

  2. Merrill Post author

    You’re absolutely right, Roger.

    Customer incentives (or you may call them premiums or bonuses) that can be delivered electronically, even automatically are perfect.

    They are low cost to the business, and provide a high perceived value to the customer.

    Great idea!


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  4. Carol burgard

    I like the idea of adding value to a product instead of discounting it. I need to think more on this. When we’re ready I would definitely love you to help us create a direct mail piece that will bring customers to our store. Thanks again.

  5. Merrill Post author


    Discounting is soooo easy to do. There’s a time and place for it, but I think once a business falls into the trap of continually discounting, the customers they got from the discounts aren’t so loyal, and go somewhere else as soon as the coupons stop.

    If you add perceived value instead of discounting price on a coupon or ad, it’s a whole different mentality.

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