An offer is the final place where you tell your potential customers what you are offering them in exchange for their money. It might be a sales page, or a sales video or a pitch on stage at an event or on a live webinar. Whatever the format, the content remains much the same and there are some key points you should cover to help increase your likelihood of making a sale.
I previously became very confused about what exactly an offer is. I thought it was just the buy button on a sales page or simply saying you get this if you give me X amount of dollars. I later learned that an offer is a lot more than that. It includes the obvious component – a price and a mechanism to make the transaction – but it also includes other important things like price justification, risk reversal, background story and other marketing elements.
The offer is absolutely critical because it’s the final piece of marketing your prospect experiences before making a purchase. You might lead them towards an offer with all kinds of different marketing tools, but the offer is the final conclusion.
These ideas were derived from some materials I studied from Eben Pagan, Rich Schefren, Jeff Walker, Frank Kern and many other internet and direct response marketers. These guys didn’t come up with these concepts of course, guys like John Carlton, Jay Abraham and Dan Kennedy, among many others who have come before them, also teach these core concepts, which have proven effective for countless marketing campaigns.
In the spirit of interpretation, here is my take on the 7 steps, which you can use to craft an offer for your next product.
1. The headline.
This is the element that encapsulates what your product does in a brief sentence or two. It should focus on the core emotion driving your potential customer to make the purchase, and must be clear about specific outcomes. Like writing headlines for blog posts, this is the most important element because it’s the initial attention grabber. For a video offer, I consider what you say in the first 30 seconds equivalent to the headline, or you can include headline text above the video to entice people to click the play button.
2. Set up the scenario and explain the challenge the customer is up against.
In this section you frame what the potential customer is facing and what experiences most people have when trying to achieve whatever your product helps them achieve. This is where you demonstrate you know the problem or desire the potential customer has better than they do. This is very powerful because it shows your intimate knowledge of the situation and that infers you might have something that actually works, because you know so much about what doesn’t.
3. Tell your story.
I’ve relied heavily on this element in many of my offers when it comes to teaching how to make money online with blogs and membership sites. If you’re teaching how to do something or how you went through an experience to come up with your product, going through the before and after story is very powerful. It helps to hook the prospect in because stories are the most compelling content you can create. As you tell the story you should point out your ah-ha moments and how you came up with certain techniques or solutions that no one else uses.
If you don’t have your own story, or even if you do, telling the story of other people works well too. Adding some case studies of previous customers or people who have benefited from your work is a very good idea and another technique I’ve used many times before. Testimonials are good, but stories from other people who were just like everyone else with a problem that you helped them solve with your product, are much better.
4. Dish out a list of the benefits of your product using specific and tangible results.
Eben suggest you come up with twenty dot points you list out of all the amazing things your product or service does, focusing on tangible outcomes and specific problems (avoid abstract concepts like “you will feel better” – instead use phrases like “You will lose ten pounds and be able to play tennis again”). This is a good chance to touch upon sticking points that your prospects might have. If your prospect sees just one point that strikes a nerve that they simply must know about, this could be the trigger that convinces them to buy.
5. Next you state the price, but you don’t just lay it out there, you justify it by demonstrating how much incredible value you are delivering.
Eben recommends you focus on showing how you are charging just 10% of the value you are delivering, for example pointing out that you charge X dollars for private coaching, yet this product costs just a fraction of that. This is a good time to include bonuses, which as Frank Kern calls it – you “stack the cool” – including so many relevant and exceptionally valuable additions to your core product that people can’t help but say yes.
6. The Risk Reversal.
This is where you tell prospects that there is no risk buying because they are protected by a guarantee. The risk is then placed on you to deliver, since they can ask for their money back if they don’t like it. Of course you plan to over-deliver, so this is a win-win, your prospects are protected so compelled to buy, and you are committed to delivering a great product.
7. The Call To Action.
This is straight forward, yet needs to be very specific. Tell your prospects to buy by saying do this (e.g. click the buy button), then this will happen (e.g. you will be directed to our secure order form where you will make payment via credit card or paypal) and then this (e.g. you will receive a confirmation email within a few minutes of processing your order).
Don’t just say “please buy now”, tell them how to do it and say do it now. This needs to be explained as if you are teaching someone how to use the computer for the first time.
Obviously these points can each be dissected to much more depth, but this list is a good starting point. I recommend if you want more details on what to include in a sales page but you don’t have money to invest in a full course on copywriting, try Alexis Dawes Desperate Buyers Only ebook, which you can find my review of here and costs under $100.