Here we are, the end of the year and the marketing budget - if there ever was one - is gone, Your target market might be in the same situation, "waiting until the New Year" and yet, as an entrepreneur, you can't give up.  In fact, this time of year might just be one of the best to pull in some last-minute sales to close out 2017.

There's a question, though - have you ever taken the time to craft a compelling offer for your products or services?

For many small businesses, they've cobbled together something in print or online that seems to convert decently and they stick to it religiously, but let's a take a few minutes right now to deconstruct your offer and see if you haven't left some money on the table...

Now, a few rules - we're strictly talking about the offer as you put it forth in marketing - social media ads, landing pages, and even printed materials.  In my experience, these all suffer some of the same problems, but let's look at how we can solve them and not get lost in the minutia.  The biggest problem?  Too much clutter.

When you market your offer, it needs to have seven pieces - and they need to be succinct.  Don't teach them to build a watch to simply tell them what time it is.  With that in mind, let's look at the elements of a compelling offer...

·         Title.  This should be simple enough, but if you are selling soap, you have to mention that.  Your title needs to draw attention to the soap, not the scented candles you also sell.

·         Tag Line.  What is it?  Here's a hint - keep your tag line seven words or less so that it conveys and is easy to remember.

·         Your Benefits ARE your Deliverables.  Loads of small business owners have told me over the years that they aren't sure what benefits to discuss - simple!  The things you are going to deliver to your customer are the benefits.  Be proud of what it is you have to give them and make sure they can understand how much you have to give!

·         Bonuses.  This time of year, when a lot of business is slowed down for the holidays, you can capture extra sales easily when you incorporate bonuses into the mix.  You might not offer some items the rest of the year, but a compelling offer can become a powerful offer when you factor in some bonuses for your clients.  Put your thinking cap back on and see how you can maximize your customer's value.  Here's a hint - that "bonus" doesn't mean you have to cut your prices - it simply means that you are adding in more value.

·         Price and Payment Options.  We've talked about these plenty of times over the years.  Split-testing the different ways that you can collect from your client, be that over time, extending credit, a free month, etc... can all lead to higher conversions.  This time of year, for your taxes and their budget, one option might be to collect a deposit on the sale and not require full payment until January.  Don't give them so many that they cannot make a decision, but open up your options on payment to get them to open up their checkbook.

·         Guarantee.  Nobody likes to make guarantees, but I'm willing to bet that you have the knowledge and skills to create one you and your product can stand behind.  Much like your tag line, you want to make the guarantee short in general and then have the longer specifics available.

·         Call to Action.  THIS is the most common problem.  People forget to ask for the business!  Remember, too, that what you think is a clear call to action - especially in print - may not be clear to your reader.  If buying takes three steps, leads them through a myriad of pages, or simply is too hard, your client may simply decide not to complete the purchase.  Make it easy for them to buy!

There is no doubt that the digital world opens up vast markets to any entrepreneur.  In many ways, though, the lessons learned in print media in the last two centuries seem to have been lost in the digital realm.  There's no need to overthink how you can be successful with simple marketing, nor is there a reason to believe that "more is better."

Keep it simple, be concise, and make it easy for your prospect to actually become your client.

Published on: Dec 29, 2017