Success in eCommerce is the continual pursuit of getting more people to say “yes.” And you need to get more than just one type of “yes.” You need someone to say “yes” to visiting your website, “yes” to opting into your list, “yes” to visiting your store and adding a product to their cart, “yes” to making a first-time purchase, “yes” to your upsell offer, “yes” to buying from you again, and “yes” to giving you a referral. It makes sense then that you should master the art of making people say “yes.”
In this article, we’ll primarily focus on getting people to say yes for the first time. Once you get prospects saying yes, it’s easy to carry them through the process. Without that first yes, then you never have a chance for the more profitable “yeses” to come. This first step in getting people into your sales funnel is all important.
No matter how long you’ve been in business, watching orders come in or watching your opt-ins grow is just plain fun. The ultimate dream then, for a marketer, is creating scenarios where prospects have to fight to say “no.”
Here are three types of offers you can use to your advantage to attract the right customers into your funnel. It pays to master all three.
Before we get into the details of crafting deals we need to address two important concepts.
- Aligning with your USP.
First, you always want to keep your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) in mind when crafting an offer. Your USP is what makes you different and valuable in the marketplace. It’s also the brand story you tell. You want your offer to support and strengthen your USP, not undermine it. For example, if you’re selling high end products, then you need to be strategic on if and when you offer discounts.
- Focusing on hot-button issues.
You want to focus on either areas of pain or areas of pleasure for your customers. What areas of pain is your market wrestling with right now? What is hot or of great interest (pleasure) to your market? You want to make sure your offers address either an area of pain or an area of pleasure. Without one of those, it’s hard to get someone to take action.
When you get those two elements right – aligning with your USP, and focusing on hot-button issues, then you’re well on your way to an irresistible offer.
3 types of offers that make it hard for prospects to say “no”
Deal-based offers are what most people think of when they hear the term irresistible offer. Certainly, deal-based offers can be very effective and very profitable in the long run for you, but it’s important to remember that this is just one type of offer.
Deal-based offers are great for any product that naturally leads to repurchases. This deal then becomes the first purchase in what will hopefully be a long and profitable relationship. The best example of this had to be subscribe and save. This is perfect for supplements, skincare, or any consumable. Offer the customer a one-time purchase price and then a price 5-15% lower (or more if it makes sense) if someone subscribed to automatic orders and shipments.
When you offer education two things happen. One, prospects begin to see you as the expert, and two, you have a great opportunity to show why your product or service is superior to the competition. The key here it to not be boring. Remember what we discussed in the beginning about hitting hot-button issues. Make sure your education covers an area of pain or an area of pleasure. Here are a few types of education to offer up.
Videos: online video is hot and there is no sign of them slowing down any time soon. If you want to require an opt-in before people can see your video then it had better be pretty darn good, but it’s still possible to get an opt-in. Offer a video with the #1 Secret to…or the #1 Tip to overcoming
Webinars: While not the hot commodity they were several years ago, webinars can still be effective. So how does an eCommerce company make use of webinars? Consider what you might do for an in store event if you had a brick and mortar store and translate it for online. Product demonstrations and how-to classes work well. The kitchen supply company can bring in a chef to do demos and share cooking tips. The makeup company can bring in a professional makeup artist to do a lice makeover and reveal common makeup mistakes. The exercise equipment company can bring on a trainer to share stretching tips and ideas to shorten your workout without reducing results. The webinar can then be turned into a video that is shared by YouTube or on product detail pages.
Reports and Guides: This can still work, but it’s not as easy as it used to be. Once upon a time, the “white paper” was novel idea and was met with minimal resistance. Now you need to offer a really interesting and valuable white paper in order to get someone to opt-in. A 13-page report on tomato farming if you sell kitchen supplies probably isn’t a good strategy. However, a report titled “3 Diet Myths that are Making You Fat” might be of real interest to prospects if you sell weight loss products.
Every business needs to provide education of some kind. Education will set you apart and endear prospects to you. You also need the 3rd type of offer – experience-based offers.
People are motivated by experiences. That’s why families save up for trips to Disney and it’s why we spend so much time and money on sports and entertainment. I recommend that every business work in an element of “experience” into their offers.
I have a friend who owns a brick and mortar jewelry store. Each November he hosts a “Ladies Night” by invitation only. The staff of the store hand addresses over 500 invitations to customers and prospects in the community. Each lady who attends gets a free long-stemmed rose just for coming and the first 50 who show up receive a free gift worth $50. The ladies spend the evening talking, shopping, sipping wine, enjoying hors d’ oeuvres, and filling out wish lists. The biggest “hook” of the evening is that someone will win up to two items on their wish list absolutely free. The ladies go nuts over this. The best part? We also get the contact information of the husbands, boyfriends, or fiancés and send them a letter after the event saying, “good news, we know what she wants for Christmas this year. Come in and we’ll make you a hero.” Each year they have a few hundred women attend and they sell a ton of jewelry. I might also add that they don’t offer any discounts. They sell at their normal markup all year long. This same event could be modified and hosted online with special deals after someone fills out an online wish list.
You can also offer VIP events, product release parties and more - all online. When you offer experiences that are fun and memorable, you can attract and convert customers in ways you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. It’s usually fitting to put on events or experiences a few times a year or more.
Another great “experience” based offer is to provide free samples. A good friend of mine runs a skincare care company. Recently when they wanted to launch some new products they started gifting samples into existing customers orders. This allowed customers to experience a new product with no risk. If they love the new product they’re likely to become a paying customer. If they don’t like it, they still might appreciate the chance to try something new for free.
So what about you? How can you use deal-based, education-based, and experience-based offers in your business? Once you master the art of getting the first “yes,” you are well on your way to closing sale after sale.