Element 7 of 32 Using Special Offers to increase your business
24th March 2010
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Offers - The Most Effective & Overlooked Tool of Business Owners


Customers need a good reason to buy from you, the quality of your product or service alone isn’t enough.  Offers and special promotions have to be in your marketing toolkit.  But for many small businesses, offers are nothing more than an afterthought.

Branding’s over-rated

There’s absolutely no reason why a small business should run an ad for “branding” (or ‘getting our name out there’ as it’s sometimes called). 

If your business is spending money on branding you’re not spending it on what really matters: SELLING.

Make your marketing actionable

Instead, move your customers to take action: you need a hook, a pull, a motivation for the customer to buy. Use compelling offers with an incentive the buyer cares about and watch your responses increase.

Offers make you money – not cost you money – if you do ‘em right.

Know your target. If you’re selling conservatories at five grand a pop then your customers won’t be motivated by a £15 voucher. The offer has to match the scale of what you’re selling – but it doesn’t have to be about money off.

One of the best offers I’ve seen recently was this from a Chinese Takeaway:

“Free Coke & Won-tons with every order over £30”

That offer is a thing of great marketing beauty. Here’s why:

The takeaway owner knew that her average customer spend was £27. The offer was designed to push up that average spend. The coke and won-tons cost her 65p. Not only did her average spend go up to almost £33 – a 22% increase, almost all of which was profit – but her volume of sales went up as well because people came to her Chinese Takeaway as opposed to the other two or three that they could have chosen in the area.

How to use offers and incentives

Easy ideas for offers include discounts off the next purchase, (to bring people back); a coupon for a complimentary product, and or entry into a high value draw.

If you want to make an impression, go high value - cheap options won’t get buyers’ attention and they don’t make you stand out

Don’t forget the focus of the offer is always to increase sales AND profit!


(Source: 'thebestof'; 1 of the 32 elements to success, 2010)

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