Marketing Strategy Offer

Marketing offers are a great way to get your product in front of customers and introduce them to your business. There are plenty of ways to market your products including creating marketing offers. What exactly is a marketing offer? Rather than blabber on, I’ll get straight to the point. I’ll walk you through what marketing offers are, and how you can create them for your own business.

Marketing offers can help you get more leads, traffic, and sales. You can use marketing offers to reach a cold audience and generate hot interest in your business. Marketing offers are a tool that helps you to communicate with your potential clients directly and interact with them one-on-one. However, they don’t work on their own! They need the right strategy, planning, and execution to get results.

What Exactly Is A Marketing Offer?

A marketing offer is something that you provide to a website visitor in return for them taking a specific action, such as giving you their email address for signing up as a member on your site. It is a valuable tool for any inbound marketing program.

Marketing offers are great for building an email list of engaged and interested prospects and clients. Curating a list of people who were interested enough to download what you have to offer, allows you to hone in on your target market and give them more of what they want.

Good Marketing Offers

There is a lot a company can offer as part of their overall marketing strategy, but the following are some of the most effective free offers:

  • Spreadsheet Templates: A good template is something that a customer will want to use multiple times because it simplifies something they were trying to do- you’ve built the hard part for them, now all they need to do is enter their own information and it is customized to them. For example, a spreadsheet template might tell them how much a given service will cost per month, how to create a small-business budget, how many bricks they’ll need to build a wall of a certain size, or what colors compliment their design idea.
  • White Papers: For more serious matters, a white paper can serve as an in-depth example and explanation of something your company did for another customer. Remember that the people who actually read white papers tend to be managers and executives – so it needs to be long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep their attention. Be sure to include a summary of the paper’s findings at the very front – that alone is often enough to convince them that you’re worth their time.
  • Slide Presentations: Any kind of self-contained slideshow such as SlideShare, Google Slides, or PowerPoint works well for offering information that is more visual and image-based. These kinds of offers work best when you’re addressing a subject at a fairly high level and want to convey the important details instead of the minutiae.
  • Educational Documents or Templates: Educational material is always popular if your visitors are there to learn something. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean “scholarly” content – rather, educational material is content that teaches them how to do something. Step-by-Step instructions, “How To” guides, and similar material all fall under this can be easy to create.
  • Access to Educational Videos: These are exactly the same as the above but in video form. Note that most people would rather not download the videos, so you’ll need to host them online. Regardless, educational videos are appealing to a certain percent of the population and can help you convey things that are hard to properly explain in writing.

Who Can Benefit From Marketing Offers?

Any company – regardless of size – can benefit from these kinds of offers.

Marketing offers are a key component of any inbound marketing program. They can be included on your website, in email marketing, and on social media platforms to attract and convert potential customers.

To decide what would make a good offer for your business, consider your target audience or your ideal customer. What problem are they trying to solve? What can you offer that would make them consider you a trusted source? It’s helpful to turn to your FAQs and create an offer around one or two of them!

What makes a good marketing offer?

While the types of offers we mentioned above are all great options for marketing offers, there are several qualities that an offer should possess for it to be effective for lead generation and nurturing. Offers should:

1. Be High Quality and Valuable to Your Target Audience

The important thing to remember is that, if you’re requiring a site visitor to complete a form to obtain your offer, the value of that offer needs to be compelling enough to convince those visitors to do so. People don’t like to give up their contact information freely, and your lead-capture form will create some friction. So if you start putting mediocre, low-value offers behind your forms, your business will eventually be known for having a poor user experience and subpar offerings, seriously hurting your lead generation and nurturing goals.

In the simplest sense, an offer is valuable if it addresses the problems, needs, and interests of your target audience. This value could also mean different things for offers used in different stages of the sales process. For example, an offer you’re promoting to generate net new leads at the top of your funnel (like, say, an educational ebook or a webinar) is likely valuable because it educates your prospects and fulfills a need. A free product trial, on the other hand, may not be as educational, but it’s still a very valuable offer for existing leads you’re trying to nurture and who are closer to making a purchasing decision.

2. Align With Your Business and the Products or Services You Offer

A great marketing offer complements the products and services your business sells. That educational ebook is probably not very focused on how awesome your products and services are, but it should address concepts that align with your paid offerings.

For example, HubSpot sells inbound marketing software, so our offers focus on helping prospects with their marketing challenges. These offers help set HubSpot apart as an industry thought leader and educate prospects about the problems our software helps to solve.

3. Be Tailored to the Right Buyer Persona at the Right Time

As we hinted at before, a truly great marketing offer also takes into account a person’s point in the sales process as well as that buyer persona’s specific interests and needs. How this comes into play is in lead nurturing campaigns and how you decide which calls-to-action (CTAs) to place where on your website.

lead management interface

If you use lead management software, you can easily collect key pieces of information (AKA lead intelligence) about your prospects that will help you segment your leads into nurturing campaigns based on their buyer persona, their point in the sales process, and what you can determine their interests are based on their activity on your website. Sending them offers that appeal to those interests as well as how close they are to making a purchasing decision can help you better qualify a lead before they get handed off to sales.

For example, if your business is in plumbing and a first-time visitor comes to your site and downloads an ebook on how to unclog a minor plumbing backup, you might enter them into a lead nurturing campaign that then invites them to also attend a webinar about common plumbing problems and how to fix them. As they move further through the sales cycle, you could then offer them a coupon that discounts your services for that (apparently) not-so-minor drain problem they’re having.

The same concept applies to how you choose which calls-to-action should be placed on different pages of your website. For example, if you conduct analysis that shows that your blog is typically how new visitors find you (whether through social media, search engines, or another referrer), you can infer that many people who land on your blog are first-time visitors to your website. Therefore, on your blog, you should probably place CTAs for offers that appeal to people who are just entering the top of your funnel and know little about your company (like an educational webinar, ebook, or kit, for example).

On the other hand, a visitor on something like a product page probably indicates they are much closer to a purchasing decision. What might be more valuable to those types of visitors is a CTA for a free product trial, or a demo if you’re a software vendor.

How to Use Marketing Offers

Now that you have a much clearer understanding of what makes a good marketing offer (and what doesn’t), let’s dive into some offer best practices. After all, you can create a ton of great offers, but if you’re not using them to your best advantage, they’re not going to do much good to generate and nurture leads.

1. Create multiple types of targeted offers.

First things first. With all that talk about targeting and segmenting the right offers to the right buyer persona (at the right time), you can probably guess that what all that translates to is a need for a variety of offers. Building up an arsenal of offers can be a big lift, but it can mean the difference between good results and awesome results.

Create a spreadsheet that allows you to list the offers you currently have, highlight the holes in your group of offers ( what topic are you missing an offer for that your audience would appreciate?), and map offers to the various points in your business’ sales process. Then slowly work through your offer to-do list, gradually filling in those gaps.

2. Put offers behind lead-capture forms.

If offers are the gateways to lead generation, lead-capture forms (AKA conversion forms) are the gateways to your offers. Always place your offers on landing pages, gated by forms. This allows you to collect information that helps you qualify a new or reconverting lead and track what they’ve downloaded from you throughout the sales cycle.

3. Create calls-to-action, and place them appropriately.

We mentioned this above, but it’s an important one. Create CTAs for each of your offers, and align them with the pages on your website. If you’re that plumber we mentioned and you just wrote a blog post about the best and worst products to unclog a drain, you might place a CTA for your free guide to the best plumbing products on the market. Once you have created awesome-looking CTA buttons for your site and you’re moving onto ninja status, you can also test different versions of your CTAs to determine which ones generate the best click-through rate.

4. Create content around your offers.

Taking things a step further, create content specifically around your new offers to help launch and promote them. If you just created that ‘Best Plumbing Products’ guide, write a blog article that highlights the top 5 products mentioned in the guide and couple that with your CTA, explaining that readers can learn more by downloading the new guide. Excerpts make for easy blog content, so you’ll be killing two birds with one stone!

Video is also a powerful tool to keep in your marketing toolbox. You could create short, how-to videos explaining to viewers how to fix common plumbing issues. Using a CTA, prompt them to subscribe to your newsletter or YouTube channel for more content and resources.

5. Promote your offers on social media.

The promotion of your offers shouldn’t be limited to just your website. Use social media as a promotional vehicle by sharing links to the landing pages for your offers and briefly explaining their value in your tweets, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn posts. Spend some time building your social media reach so you can expose your offers to as large an audience as possible.

6. Entice potential customers with contests.

A great way to leverage social media exposure is through contests. For example, surf brand Billabong ran a contest to win a trip for two to Baja, Mexico. To enter, contestants must enter their contact info into a form. You could run a promotion for free services or products that would be of interest to your target audience in exchange for them completing a form.

Billabong advertises vacation giveaway marketing offer via Instagram

Other contests may ask users to tag a friend under the contest’s post, which helps build brand awareness and acts as free promotion through word of mouth.

7. Use them in email marketing and lead nurturing.

As we mentioned above, offers are critical to a business’ lead nurturing efforts, but you can also promote them using general email marketing as dedicated sends. Promote your new offer in a dedicated email send that only highlights that one offer and conveys its value. If it’s a very general offer that every buyer persona in your audience would enjoy regardless of their point in the sales cycle, send it to your entire list. If it’s a more targeted offer, segment your list, and send it only to the people to whom it will appeal.

8. Align offers with prospects’ stage in the sales process.

This is another one we’ve already talked about, but it’s worth emphasizing. Aligning the offers you use in your lead nurturing campaigns and in the CTAs on your website with a prospect’s likely position in the sales cycle will not only help to better qualify a lead, but it may also shorten the sales cycle, as a prospect will be much closer to a purchasing decision with a ton of knowledge about your business before he/she even talks to a salesperson.

9. Track performance and update strategy as needed.

Measure the performance of your offers. This will help you identify which types and topics of offers are successful in generating leads and customers so you can create more offers around those topics or in those formats, helping you become a much more effective marketer. Do your prospects prefer webinars to ebooks? Do they only care about certain topics that your offers are addressing? Use what you know to improve your lead generation and lead nurturing efforts in the future.

Ten ways to promote a new offer

1. Give existing customers an exclusive preview.

Your key existing customers are the most likely to buy your new offer, so make them feel valued. Arrange one-to-one meetings to tell them about your new development and ask for their valued feedback in advance of the main launch.

2. Get your customers to spread the word.

Word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective form of advertising, so get your customers to work for you. Offer them a reward, such as a discount on their order, for introducing a new contact to the new product or service.

3. Get customers through the door.

Use established products or services as door-openers. Give away taster sessions, free samples, or discount vouchers when you make a sale of an existing product.

4. Use special offers.

Offer a special introductory price or a two-for-one deal. Always check your margins and be clear about the duration of the offer before you announce a promotional price; do not leave yourself committed to a loss-maker.

5. Stress the benefits.

Create point-of-sale material that lists the benefits of the new offer. If applicable, put a sign up outside the premises, and update your website with a banner that promotes the new offer on the home page.

6. Get staff to evangelise for you.

Ask your employees to spread the word. Brief them fully about the benefits of the new product or service, and encourage everyone – not just salespeople – to tell customers and other contacts in their networks. Online social networking tools such as Twitter can be particularly effective for this.

7. Send updates to your network.

Use your customer database to tell everyone about the new product or service (but make sure you comply with data protection laws). Add brief details to everyday emails, too – you could add them to your signature – and include leaflets in outgoing correspondence to save on postage.

8. Make friends.

Affiliate marketing means teaming up with another business whose products or services attract similar customers to yours. Agree to promote their new offer, while they promote yours. If appropriate, combine forces to see off a competitor.

9. Say it for nothing.

Make the most of free advertising. If you apply online, web directories such as yell.com and Thomson Local will include your business listing under a product or service category without charge.

10. Be an attention seeker.

Try to get publicity in the press for your new offer. Which magazines or newspapers have the sort of readers who would want to buy it? Create a press release that sells the benefits to readers, and include photographs if you can. 

Conclusion

A marketing offer is a carefully crafted offer made to the exact person you would like to buy from you. It is designed to appeal to that person’s sense of value, urgency, and personal situation. A great marketing offer will align the conscious and unconscious motivations of your prospect for your product or service with ease.

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