Years ago, a friend of mine… who built up a $200 million travel club business from scratch… told me his entire philosophy of direct response marketing could be reduced to just two words:
He told me he has tested every variable imaginable both online and offline – copy, lists, colors, text sizes, formats, you name it. But when push comes to shove, he said, nothing — absolutely NOTHING — produces sales like an irresistible, no-brainer, “you’d have to be crazy not to accept it” offer.
That was his specialty. He would cobble together 50% to 75% discount offers from airlines, car rental agencies, luxury hotels, restaurants, and cruise lines and put them all together into a package that he’d sell for something like $49.95 a year.
The offer was simply incredible. If you liked to travel, you’d have to be crazy not to accept it. Why pay $350 a week for a car rental when you could get the same car for $125? You’d pay for his service with a single coupon!
So, what does this have to do with marketing non-travel products?
Well, too many marketers spend a lot of time on every other element of their marketing campaign and very little time thinking through their offer. You have to really ask yourself some tough questions: What’s in it for the customer? Is the offer you’re making something that is SO GOOD — such an incredible deal — something that provides so many overwhelming benefits — that he or she would be insane not to accept it?
The best resource I can think of for health marketers to bone up on creating superb offers is Mark Joyner’s now-classic The Irresistible Offer: How to Sell Your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Less (John Wiley, 2005). You can pick this up used at any decent bookstore or order it from Amazon.com.
I don’t have time online casinos to go into all of Joyner’s theories right now, but let me just summarize a few key points. For Joyner, the Irresistible Offer has three basic elements:
1. An incredibly HIGH Return on Investment (ROI) for the buyer…
2. What he calls a TOUCHSTONE or instant summary of your offer… and
The TOUCHSTONE is what is unique about Joyner’s approach – and which is difficult for marketers to achieve.
Examples are Domino’s Pizza’s “Pizza in 30 minutes or it’s free” or Columbia House Records’ “10 CDs for 1 Cent.” Another best casino bonuses good Touchstone is Federal Express’s: “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” That tells you immediately what they are offering – and, if you have a package that HAS TO BE THERE, it’s irresistible.
Believability is something everyone understands. If I offer to make all your wrinkles disappear overnight, I have to have some pretty heavy credibility enhancers. But if I can tell you I can make your wrinkles FADE in just 7 days, you might believe me – especially if I’m an MD and I have loads of studies to back me up.
The final point that Joyner doesn’t really discuss is the target audience. The best offer in the world will flop if you make it to the wrong group of people. You can’t sell ice to an Eskimo, as the saying goes, but you CAN sell ice… a lot of ice… to a thirsty crowd. All you have to do is give them a taste… and then offer them a second glass.
I recommend you check out Joyner’s book. He has dozens of valuable insights about such essential copywriting elements as offer intensifiers, risk reversal tactics, pricing tricks, viral marketing and more.
Take the time to master these secrets of top-level copywriting, and you can have orders flying in from every which way! Coming in via call centers, email, your website, fax machine, FedEx, mail, etc.
Copywriting is the ultimate security in a very un-secure world. Your ability to produce cash on demand for your business, through the power of persuasive words alone, is truly the modern-day equivalent of alchemy.
And it all begins with those two words: The Offer.