Yes. It’s one of the most powerful words in the human language. And if you think about all the things we do as marketers, the ultimate goal is to get people to say “yes” to what we have to offer!
Yes to opening your email. Yes to clicking on a link. Yes to downloading, signing up, donating, or buying. And your job’s not over after just one yes — it takes several progressive “yeses” in order to move someone down your sales and marketing funnel, deeper into the buyers journey.
So how do you persuade more people to say “yes”?
When an offer is exclusive, scarce or in high demand, it becomes more desirable. Today we will look into creating irresistible elements for your offers, which can help overcome a leads’ typical doubt or concern. Why do these elements work? Because they all trigger a physiological reaction that makes the offer more valuable. If someone thinks the value of your offer is bigger than what you’re asking them for in return they are more likely to accept the offer. The higher this perceived value, the more irresistible the offer becomes!
So how do you create one of these irresistible offers? Let’s look into five different elements you can use..
If you look at the age-old principle of supply and demand, we all now that when supply is limited, demand goes up. Scarcity has this psychological impact on us. It makes us want something even more if we know there isn’t enough for everyone. It helps create a fear of shortage and with that comes a sense of urgency.
There are four easy ways to create this urgency:
#1 Limited Time Offers: Limited time offers are amongst the most popular. Good examples of limited time offers are for example daily deal sites like Groupon. There is a clear call to action with the time left you have for the deal.
#2 Limited Quantity Offers: When something is limited not by time but by quantity, it becomes more of an exclusive offer. In some studies [URL], limited quantity offers have outperformed limited time offers. Why? Because unlike the limited time offer where you still know when the deal ends, with a limited quantity offer however the deal can be gone before you know it!
In the book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Dr. Cialdini, he mentions an experiment by Stephen Worchel, where participants were asked to rate the quality of cookies in a jar. Some were given a jar with ten cookies while others only two cookies. Some of them who had two cookies were initially given ten cookies, which were then reduced to two cookies. The results indicated participants who had the number of cookies reduced from ten to two rated their cookies the highest. This showed that:
A good example of this is booking.com:
#3 Limited Time and Limited Quantity Offers: What if an offer was only available for a certain time and quantity? Then you might have yourself an even more irresistible offer. A good example of having a limited quantity and time offer are Amazon’s Daily Deals, it combines the best of the two items above making it an even bigger must-have to quickly start ordering:
#4 Limited Information: If the information is only known to a limited group of people it creates an urge to become part of the selected few. Urban Outfitters does this in a great way by offering the information about the latest arrivals and promotions first via their email newsletter. Research done by the Nielsen Norman Group proves that the desire to be better informed than others is a driving motivator to subscribe to newsletters.
#2 The Bandwagon Effect
As human beings, we have the tendency to copy one another, even with realizing it. We all like to be socially accepted and be part of certain social communities to show off our status. This is called the Bandwagon Effect and we can use this to our advantage as well. To do this, we can make an offer more valuable when we’re showing that other people are already participating in this particular offers. We can create this Bandwagon Effect in two different ways:
#1 Proof in Numbers: If possible, a great way to show how amazing your offer is, is to mention the number of people who are already participating, have downloaded, sign up or donated to your cause. Watch out though to make sure your claims are not only true but believable! An example of proof is numbers the statement buffer uses on their blog:
#2 Proof in Relevance: The second way to make this technique effective is to make the offer far more relevant to your audience. For example, if you’re trying to encourage more of your customers to pay their bill on time you could make one of two statements using statistics (another powerful persuasion technique):
- “89% of people in New York pay their bills on time. Pay your bills now.”
- “89% of people living in your neighborhood of Harlem pay their bills on time. Pay your bills now.”
It’s not that the first statement is totally irrelevant. It’s just that homeowners in Harlem would be more likely to pay their bills on time from the second statement because the second message is far more relevant due to it being way more specific — that’s the power of segmentation!
When you’re crafting your marketing messages, think about being very specific and targeted. Offers will become more irresistible if they are closely aligned to the beliefs, wants, needs and emotions of your target audience.
#3 Create Offers For Different Buying Stages
We already touched the subject in our blog post “How To Make Great Landing Pages (With Crazy High Conversions)“. But one of the items to start having a great conversion is by having a great Call To Action (CTA).
A lot of websites simply put a button with “Contact Us”. Of course you want your leads to talk to your (and your sales department), but not everyone is ready yet. 80% of sales are made on the 5th-12th contact. And that is after they first contacted you, most of your leads are more likely to first start doing their own research before even contacting you. Because of this every lead is always at a different stage of their exploration process, some are already educated more than others. That’s why it’s important to develop different kind of offers for different parts of the buyers journey.
Someone at the top of your buyers journey funnel might just be interested in a little bit of information like a guide or an e-book. On the other hand, someone at the bottom of the funnel might be more interested in a free trial or a demo. That’s why it is important to try to create different offers for each phase of your leads buyers journey. Include a primary and a secondary CTA to these different offers on various pages throughout your site!
Newsjacking refers to the practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news story to amplify your sales and marketing success. The term was popularized in David Meerman Scott’s book “Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage“.
When something is buzz-worthy, it creates high demand. In situations like this, you can align your offers with “that what’s hot.” Companies will often use Newsjacking because this works very well for not just getting attention, but for your offers, too. According to David Meerman Scott though, if we are going to be successful with newsjacking, we must act quickly. Time is of the essence. Speed and agility are crucial. For example, “What Breaking Bad Can Teach Us About Business Relationships” utilizes the hit AMC show in order to teach people about business relationships.
Newsjacking doesn’t always have to happen on-site. Another great example (and even faster use) of Newsjacking is Newsjacking being used on social media with the famous “Oreo Cookie blackout” tweet. During the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII when a power outage at the Superdome caused some of the lights to go out for 34 minutes, the sandwich cookie’s social media team jumped on the cultural moment, tweeting an ad that read “Power Out? No problem” with a bad lit image of a solitary Oreo and the caption, “You can still dunk in the dark.”
#5 Use High-Value Offers
Just like offering different offers at different parts of the buyers journey, it’s always important to make sure that you’re creating offers that your potential leads will view as something of great value. This generally depends on what you’re asking your prospect to give in return for your offer. Below is a list of offer types that are known to perform well. Don’t forget of course, that it’s important to test different types of offers with your audience to determine what works best for you.
- e-Books or Guides
- Templates or Presentations
- Research & Reports
- Kits (multiple offers packaged together)
These are our favorites, but there are dozens more out there. What techniques and tips have worked for you? Let us know in the comments below!