How to create offers that make sense for your business ?

One of the key elements of effective marketing is the offer. Construct a generic copy but a very compelling offer, it will still sell. A lot of times, an offer can determine the success or failure of a marketing campaign. But what really is an offer? How do you start thinking about an offer? And how do you create an offer that is compelling for your customers so that they reward you with the appropriate financial compensation you are looking for? This article will help you answer all these questions.

Types of offers

As we take you through this article, we will first give you a walk-through of the most frequently used BFCM offers just as an initial grounding. This will serve as a starting point to start thinking about offers.

Here is a list of offer types.

How to construct an offer

An offer is a proposal of a potential exchange of value between two parties, in our case, party one is your business and party two is your customer. The business provides value in terms of the result that your product or service provides in the life of the customer.

💡 Teal Tip: The customer is looking not for you or your product or service. They're looking for the specific outcome that your product or service will help accomplish in their life. And hence for that enhancement on enrichment that you bring to the life of the customer, they reward you with a monetary benefit.

In such a scenario, it would make much more sense that in the customer’s mind, the value you are providing them with is very high compared to the money that they're shelling out. If they feel that the value they’re receiving in return is a lot more as compared to the money they’re giving out, they'll be inclined towards making that purchase and also towards buying on a repeated basis, and hence, a potential exchange will go well.

So now the next question would be - How can I provide much more value to that customer? How can I enhance the value that I am providing to my customers?

Part 1: Who are you selling to (type of customer)

Next, let’s understand the 2 key kinds of scenarios where you will be making offers, what your ideal objectives should be in both of those cases, and the best offers you can make in both of them.

Existing Customers

When rolling out offers to existing customers, the primary areas of focus should be:

  • Repurchasing: Once you’ve spent all that money on ads or otherwise to acquire people, it's important to get them to come back and buy again (if they haven’t more than once).
  • Regularising the order frequency: Another group that may exist in your customer base is people who have ordered more than once but order sporadically. These/heading people need to be incentivized to order more frequently.
  • Encouraging bulk buying: For a group of people who order regularly and frequently, what can you do? Festive sales are the best opportunity to maximize the revenue you get from these people. They already love your brand and don’t need to be sold on anything. Here’s when you can focus on getting them to buy more quantities from you to increase your average order value.

Strategies for Existing Customers

Product Bundling

Bundling products is a solution for you if you fall into category 1 - having a lot of one-off purchase customers. There are a lot of reasons why people may not have come back and bought products again - maybe they bought a product that they used and didn’t like, maybe the price of the product they bought was high or they used up the product so quickly that they got frustrated and didn’t buy again. Black Friday is the perfect time to cast a net on a runaway catch!

A good way to think about this is to look at the products that you’re selling to identify which ones sell the most. Identify 3 or more popular products that you’re selling and then create bundles of products that either giveaway a product for free or give discounts on all products in the bundle.

💡 Teal Tip: It's important to ensure that you have a healthy profit margin on this bundle that leaves you with enough skin in the game while ensuring that your customers feel like they got their money’s worth.

For example:
Lowered Pricing

For customers who buy from you but not frequently, a good way to have them come back and buy more products in the same period - discounting is a good way to go. These people who buy from you know your brand, and want your products and if they see that they’re receiving a “limited time offer” then they’re definitely gonna capitalize on that!

Even within this, there are two ways that you can do it - either offer a % discount or a discount value. How to pick a type of discount is something that varies from industry to industry and market to market. If you’ve tested both types of offers in the past, it's important that you go back to look at that performance and identify the one which has worked for you. If you haven’t, it would make sense to test out both, and depending on the uptake, focus on one which is getting you better results.

For example, this Disco Rejuvenating Face Mask is prompting the buyers to subscribe and save 33% where they would be getting a 2-month supply of their face mask and get their third order for free.

Bulk Discounts

Discounts encourage people to buy your products more frequently but having discounts that encourage bulk buying can really help you rake in the dough! Some regular customers may be further along than the trust funnel and would be willing to spend larger amounts of money than your average customer simply because they see the value in your offering. To do this, you will need to anticipate the needs of your customers to create provisions in product offerings to provide some real value-for-money offers.

For example, the cupcake brand Baked By Melissa has various sets of bulk bite-size mini cupcakes that their customers can choose from along with options like corporate customizations, Birthday gift packs, choosing from their variety of options for 100 cupcakes.

We will be focusing on exactly those offer strategies that will be useful for your business in the longer run.

New Customers

While reaching out to old customers is cheap, it's important to create a solid funnel that allows for the inflow of new customers. For new customers who’ve never heard of your brand, the objective is simple: it's to sell them your product by providing all relevant information about it and then convert them into customers. Therefore it is important to craft discounting strategies in such a way that you can communicate your offering effectively to each and every new customer coming across your products.

Strategies for Existing Customers

Cash Discounts

Case discounting is the most common practice seen online. These types of offers generate a higher perceived “value for their money” among customers since they feel they feel like they are getting a better deal for a limited time period than the regular year-round prices.

Flat Percentage Off On Cart

Offering flat discounting as a percentage of your entire cart value is a very common practice, too. Offering flat discounts on entire cart values also encourages customers to load up their cart to gain maximum discount.

Hybrid Percentage Discounts

Combinations of both dollar value and percentage value discounts are also a common trend to cover all bases. But to do this, it is important to have complete clarity on what your margins are and plan for the worst outcome (someone extracting the highest amount of discount from you).

For example, you can offer percentage discounts for any purchases below $100, and for purchases above $100 you can provide dollar value discounts. It can also be offered for individual products or an entire order due to its flexibility while giving you control over the margins.

💡 Teal Tip: If you are giving out Percentage Discounts it is important to have complete clarity on what your margins are and plan your campaigns accordingly. 

Buy One, Get One (BOGO) Free

This type of offer is ideal when you want to clear out inventory that has been sitting with you for a while. A variation of this offer would be to offer free products for a particular cart value.

Buy More, Save More

Bundled pricing would mean creating bundles with higher cumulative discounts to encourage people to buy more or to offer larger discounts on a cart that contains more than a specified amount of products.

Fixed Period Deals

This is another trend that usually drives up click-through rates. Offering discounts at specified periods of the day (noon, midnight, etc.) piques people’s curiosity. Once they’re on the website, it’s important to have a solid product offering and value proposition to encourage them to buy within the stipulated period.

Part 2: Offer Elements

How can you enhance the value that you are providing to your customer? This is a question that any business owner ponders upon at any stage of their business.

Therefore, to make things easy for all business owners there are certain value elements that we have identified certain value enhancers and intent enhancers or elements of urgency that can essentially help you make the most money out of your customer base while at the same time providing them with the necessary value that they're looking for.

So let's look at certain enhancers.

Value Enhancers

As the name implies, Value Enhancers are used to complement the perceived value your customers receive from your product offering. They are benefits that customers can derive from the product. These are important as people are more likely to avail of your offers when they know that the deal they are receiving implies some inherent value.

Tangible Enhancements

Tangible Enhancements are those enhancements that your customers can feel and use. It can be the products/services that they can experience first and buy later. Here are some examples:

Trials/ samples/ Demos

What it essentially means is you are getting the customer to try your product/service first in order to build more confidence and value that you’re offering. A customer would be able to try your product. They get to experience it before they have to make that commitment. And this happens by giving them free trials or samples so that they can test them out for themselves. And once they try the product/service for free then they can get obligated to purchase or make a commitment. It would be much more effective because it reduces the barrier to entry for them.

Free gift/event/ training

Gifts or bonuses essentially help build value because it indicates to them to look at your brand in a much more desirable way and in some way helps them to sample what value you can really provide to them.

Bonus

Bonuses help in adding and building the intrinsic value of the offer itself. For example, a bonus free mug with a packet of coffee. Now the combined packet has much more value as compared to just offering a free pack worth XYZ. amount.

💡 Teal Tip: Make sure that the bonus should be complementary in nature to the products or services that you are providing.

Intangible Enhancements

Intangible Enhancements are those enhancements that your customers can feel. They establish a sense of trust and transparency between your brand and your customers. Here are some examples:

The appeal of the offer - desirability

If you're providing a very highly desirable product or the outcome that you're providing is highly desirable for a specific customer, customers are going to be more inclined towards taking up your offer. A very basic example would be a silver coin worth Rs. 700 will have a higher perceived value as compared to an Rs. 1000 copper bracelet simply because of the way we see silver.

Guarantee

Guarantee any customer would be more inclined towards having a sense of certainty or confidence in the product's performance before they sell out the money or make that purchase. The more guaranteed, the more definitive guarantee you can provide to that customer about that purchase, it'll essentially help build more confidence in what you're providing and hence bring more convergence or, or the equivalent.

Price-savings

Price savings as the term suggests is basically about providing, let's say you're providing a hundred dollars products at a price of $80. By this, you're providing them with much more value.

Installment terms

Installment terms make sense when you are selling a product that has a higher cost.

For example, let's say your product costs $500, it makes sense to provide them with an option of installment terms so that they are able to pay it up with ease. So instead of paying the whole amount altogether, your customers can pay a fixed installments.

Intent Enhancers

These are elements that encourage customers to buy sooner. They nudge the audience further along their purchase decision journey by either communicating to them that the offer is scarce or making them feel special. Here are some examples:

Time limit

Now, it also becomes important to add certain elements of urgency or importance into the equation. Otherwise, people may procrastinate, people may equivocate, and people may not go for the offer. So it makes much more sense to add certain elements of urgency. For example, there is a time limit attached to the offer.

Limited Quantity

There is a limited quantity of products or services that you're offering to your customer.

First come, first served

There is a first come, first basis that you're offering to your customers.

Early bird discount

These are the early bird discounts that you provide for early joiners.

Priority and Exclusive opportunity

You are attaching some priority to the product/service that you are offering to the customers. Let's say your customers. There are a handful of customers that you've picked who you know for a fact have been purchasing from you better, uh, than anybody else. You have had a much more meaningful relationship with those people and you put them on the priority and you give them a very potential and exclusive offer. It would make them feel more important, more significant, and hence they may be more inclined, uh, towards taking up that offer.

Last chance

Last chances go in line with priority and exclusive opportunity. Essentially, this is the last chance for you to pick this up because once this offer is gone, it's gone forever.

Part 3: Infrastructure & Distribution

Once you know about the offer elements let's further know how to use those elements and create an infrastructure and distribution model which you can customize as per your business goals.

Discover the offer

After creating an offer your next challenge is to allow for it to be discovered. There are a few ways to do this. It can be done on the platform and off platform.

On Platform

This type of discovery involves showcasing your offer on the website in multiple ways through key points of the customer journey to encourage people to use them. As a result, you’ll be driving sales throughout the entire customer journey. Some prominent ways of on platform offer discovery are:

Website Header

A website header is a visually appealing typographic strip or menu that runs across the top of a website. It includes a logo, navigational tags, login buttons, and other clickable elements.

Add to Cart

The add-to-cart button is an eCommerce shop feature that allows users to choose goods to purchase without actually completing the payment. It exists on individual product pages in online retailers, acting as the digital version of a shopping cart in a physical store.

Checkout Page

A checkout page is the page(s) of an eCommerce business that deals with payment and shipping/billing information. Customers may submit payment information and finalize their order on the checkout page. The following information will be collected throughout the checkout process: a customer's shipping information and billing details.

Product Category

A product category is a set of linked items with comparable qualities. Product category marketing is concerned with promoting certain categories in order to match customer expectations.

Spin the Wheel

Visitors may win discount vouchers, free delivery, coupon coupons, and other prizes by spinning the wheel. You don't simply ask for their email address up front with gamified pop-ups; you encourage them to play a game in an unusual gaming setting, making the purchasing experience more enjoyable.

Popup

A popup is a type of online advertising and digital marketing tactic that is used to advertise information and items on the internet. The word popup refers to a graphical user interface display area that can appear as a window in various sizes and screen locations on websites' visual interfaces, often without the permission of the site visitor.

Off Platform

Off Platform offers are the offers that the customers are made aware of through various carriers like social media, phone, emails, etc. except the brand website.

Phone

This is when you get brands to call up their potential customers or their previous customers who have made a purchase with them to make them aware of their offer.

WhatsApp

It is the type of messaging that brands do to send their customers by using the social media platform Whatsapp.

Email

These are usually promotional offers that brands send to your email address.

SMS

These are short text messages that brands send to their customers mostly with a link or a code that urges them to buy the products.

Save the offer

In most cases, after someone has discovered your offer, they tend to buy your products if they’re interested. But in some cases and for a variety of reasons, people don’t end up buying. Here, it's important to capture their intent to buy either through low intent conversion levels (like signing up to a pop-up that says something like “sign up now to reserve your offer”. After which they would receive the same discount code via email and enter your email flows) or partnering with platforms like Honey that not only allow for discovery but also saving offers by adding them to your droplist. Droplist alerts users who use Honey when prices for your products drop. So all you would have to do is monitor the drop-listed items and then drop the price to get them to convert.

Apply the offer

Hopefully, through some of the processes mentioned above, your prospective customers have bought your products. In the off chance that they haven’t, you need to make the process to make them apply for the offer easy and streamlined. There are two ways prospects can apply offers:

The user Enters it Manually

In this case, users would have to come to your website. Rediscover the offer, check out and then apply the offer manually.

Auto-Apply

Another option to streamline the process could be to land users on a checkout page directly wherein the coupon code is already applied and they just need to buy the product.

💡 Teal Tip: Auto-Apply works best for cases where the prospects are hyper-aware of your product and are in the final stages of the decision-making process.

Offer Teardowns

Since an offer is a proposal for potential exchange of value between 2 parties.

The answer is simple we will be using the Value Enhancers and Intent Enhancers that we had identified earlier in the offer elements.

What you can do is pick up any of these elements and offers and curate an offer specific to your business and customer need.

Here are a few examples that further explain the process of creating an offer:

💡 Teal Tip: You can use your imagination and test multiple offers to your target market and figure out which offer works best. And then whether that offer brings you the most profit and whichever offer brings you the most profit, you can take it up and then keep scaling on it and correspondingly making money out of it.

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