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, it’s ultimately to get people to say “yes” to our offers.
When an offer is exclusive, scarce, or in high demand, it becomes more desirable. Whether they are whitepapers, free trials, memberships, sales promotions, or downloads, these irresistible elements can overcome a lead’s typical friction, doubt, or concern.
Why do these elements work? Because they trigger a psychological reaction that makes an offer more valuable. People need to perceive the value of your offer to be greater than what you’re asking for in return. The higher the perception of value, the more irresistible the offer. So how do you create irresistible content offers that attract sales leads? Glad you asked....
#1: The Element of Scarcity
Sometimes people don't even realize they want something until they see that what's being offered won't be offered forever. Scarcity has a psychological influence on people. It creates an urgency around the specific item that is limited in quantity or time, making a potential customer want the item even more. There are a few ways to implement the element of scarcity into your offer:
- Limited time offer
- Limited quantity offer
- Limited time and limited quantity offer
#2: The Bandwagon Effect
Remember when the Boston Red Sox ended the Curse of the Bambino in 2004, winning their first World Series in 86 years? If there was a graph of Red Sox hat sales before and after the 2004 baseball season, it would look something like this:
Though this is a (somewhat) fictional graph, you can see how the bandwagon effect works. One great way to make an offer more valuable is to show that other people are participating in that offer.
#3: Leveraging Newsjacking
When something is buzz-worthy, it creates high demand. In situations like this, you can align offers with “what’s hot.” Companies will often leverage newsjacking for this type of technique and it works very well for offers, too. Think of a current event that has been trending and create an offer based on it.
For example, when Pokemon Go was the craze around the nation, people began offering maps as to where certain Pokemon were located in specific cities. People wanted to catch rare Pokemon, so people put together a resource that would help meet that want for the consumer.
#4: An Amazing Title
Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO and co-founder, once said that “you can have a great offer with a bad title and no one will download it. But if you have an amazing title, suddenly everyone wants it.” Yes - people do judge a book by its cover. If your offer is a piece of content, such as a whitepaper, ebook, or presentation, put effort into creating an amazing title.
#5: Creating for Different Buying Stages
The most common offer I see on most websites is “Contact Us.” Sure, you want all your prospects to talk to sales, but not everyone is ready. As you know, buyers are more likely to do their own research before even engaging with a sales rep. And, every prospect is at a different stage of exploration. Some may need more education than others. That’s why it’s important to develop different offers at different buying cycles.
Someone at the top of the buying cycle may be more interested in an informational piece like a guide or ebook, whereas someone more committed at the bottom of the cycle might be more interested in a free trial or demo. You don’t need to pick and choose; create offers for each phase, and include a primary and secondary CTA to these offers on various pages throughout your site.
#6: Avoiding Corporate Terms and Phrases
A professional image is necessary, but you still want to avoid the dreaded corporate gobbledygook. What is gobbledygook you ask? Great question.
These are jargon terms and phrases that have been over-used and abused rendering them meaningless (you’ll find them mostly in the high-tech industry, but everyone is an offender at one point or another). These words are meant to add more emphasis of a particular subject, but instead they make your eyes roll.
Avoid these words when describing your offers:
- Easy to use
Best of breed
#7: Using High-Value Offer Formats
Not all offers are created equal. Some “formats” of offers perform better than others at converting leads. For example, what’s more valuable, a whitepaper or an ebook?
Below are the type of offers, in order of performance, that generate the most amount of leads.
Ebooks or Guides
Templates or Presentations
Research & Reports
Kits (multiple offers packaged together)
Blog (including offers in the nav or sidebar)
Blog posts (if there is a CTA in the post)
Middle-of-the-funnel offers: Demo Requests, Contact Sales, RFP, Etc (more sales-ready offers)
It’s important to test different types of offers with your audience to determine what works for you. While ebooks tend to score high, you may find that reports, videos or other formats do better.
Start incorporating these elements into your content offers and you'll see online sales leads rolling in before you know it!
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