Thursday, June 30, 2005

Advice From The Godfather On Creating A Great Offer

I’m not a huge movie buff, but I do remember some quotes from some of my favorite movies. Bull Durham. Caddyshack. Major League. I know, they’re not exactly highbrow entertainment, but they’re worth my money to rent from Blockbuster.

Although I haven’t seen The Godfather from start to finish, there is one very memorable quote that you can apply to your business and customers that will make a BIG difference in your profitability. The Godfather himself, Don Corleone, who says these often-quoted, now-famous words:

“Make ‘em a offer…dey can’t refuse.”

And how do you do that? Pack as much value into it as possible. In order to do that, you must know what’s valuable to your customers. If you don’t know, for goodness sakes, ASK! When you send out a print newsletter or e-zine, have your customers/prospects fill out a quick survey.

Nowadays, time is a valuable commodity. People won’t do anything just because you want them to. You may need to offer a free gift, in exchange for them taking their time to help you out.

Here’s an example of a great offer from an Italian restaurant owner. Dan Kennedy writes a letter about Giorgio, the ‘Romance Specialist’ who wants to help busy, weary couples rekindle the flame of romance by spending a special night at his restaurant.

What’s the offer? This was written approximately 15 years ago, so adjust the prices in your mind. For only $99, a couple will get a limo ride to and from their house to Giorgio’s establishment, and an Italian dinner for two - with an unlimited amount of red wine - awaits them.

There the lucky couple will have a secluded, quiet candlelit table with a great view of a bay at sunset reserved just for them. Is that a great offer or what?

To create these great offers, look at the marketing ideas from companies and industries other than your own. You can copy and borrow the best and most applicable ideas for your company and industry. Combining this with the survey results from your customers, should allow you create an offer your customers can't refuse.

When you do this at least once – and preferably several times during the year – you’ll stand out from your competition, and give yourself and your business a BIG advantage.

Have a Happy, Fun and Safe 4th of July – appoint a Designated Driver, DON’T drink and drive!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Lead Your Reader Towards The Offer

After you’ve gotten a reader’s attention, you need to keep that vise-like hold on his attention, in order to get him to your offer. How do you do that?

Always, ALWAYS focus on the benefits for the reader. What’s in it for her. And present it in a compelling manner that keeps the reader eagerly jumping from one sentence to the next. If you don’t stay focused on this, it’ll be very difficult – if not impossible – to lead the reader to your offer.

When you’re writing, keep the sentences short and punchy. Just like I’m doing here. Don’t get overly worried about perfect grammar.

Dan Kennedy has another way that’s pretty effective, summarized in this formula:

Problem – Agitation – Solution.

Re-state the problem you addressed in the headline (lousy golf game, being overweight, looking or feeling old, etc.). Then – remind the reader how bad it makes her feel, and what she’ll miss out on by not using your solution to this problem.

This will lead to your product or service – the solution! - and how it’ll make your reader’s life better. Focus more on the emotional satisfaction, instead of pure logic. Remember, people make decisions based on emotion, and reinforced by logic.

By following these keys, you’ll write more effective sales letters, ad copy and website copy. This will lead to increased response rates and sales.