Warrenton VA business owners sometimes ask our advice on how to design ads and what their ads should say to attract more ideal customers and clients.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were tried-and-true advertising recipes that produced predictable and reliable results for every business? When baking a cake, we can be reasonably confident that if we mix certain proportions of flour, sugar, eggs, oil, salt and other ingredients according to the recipe and bake those ingredients according to instructions, then we will have a predictably delicious and satisfying result.
Marketing and advertising are not as straightforward or predictable as baking cakes. We can never know for certain that specific words and images arranged in certain ways will always yield a predictable and profitable return on your advertising investment. There are too many variables beyond our control that can influence an ad campaign’s effectiveness, or lack thereof.
However, years of experience show that certain kinds of offers deliver a higher response rate than other kinds of offers. Here’s what we have found:
Coupons generally produce the best results and the highest return on advertising investment. Coupons may not make sense for your business model, but if there is a way to incorporate a coupon into your ad, it will usually be successful.
Benefits of Coupon Marketing
Coupons work because they are:
- Trackable – they can be stored and counted for a precise ROI.
- People will go out of their way to redeem a coupon if the offer appeals to them.
- The dashed lines around a print coupon trigger a perceived “savings”.?• Coupons are personal, particularly when delivered through the mail.?• Coupons can be stored and viewed at a later time.
What are the Best Types of Offers?
There is an art and a science to structuring offers that will attract more business without sacrificing too much profit. A good place to start is to ask yourself:
What do I want to happen with this ad?
Do you want to bring your existing customers in more frequently by offering them a new reason to buy from you, and a deadline to spur fast action?
Or do you want to attract new customers?
Do you have inventory you need to clear out quickly to make room for new products?
Do you want to promote and build excitement around a new menu item or other offering?
The first step to designing a high response ad that will generate a good return on your investment is to decide what you want to happen when a prospective customer sees your ad. It will be easier to come up with a good offer once you have decided on the goal of your ad.
1. Percentages Off
10% discounts are classic offers that people see everywhere. Percent-off offers usually don’t work as well as other kinds of offers because:
Percentage discounts require extra thinking and mental effort.
Many people are not good at math and have trouble translating percent discounts into actual dollars saved. Smart business owners make it easy for prospects and customers to understand their incentive offers and the value they represent. When consumers can’t understand quickly how much your product or service typically costs and how your percent-off offer translates into actual dollars, they are less likely to act.
2. Dollars Off
A good strategy for store owners to gain new clients is to offer a high dollar savings on their first purchase or first visit, to entice people away from competitors. When you offer a dollars off discount, make the dollar amount something that they can relate to in terms of physical money, such as $5, $10, $20, $50 or even $100.
Dollars off also work well because you can put them into effect only when a certain purchase is made, for example “Save $5 on any purchase of $25 or more.”
Dollars off offers usually outperform the same deal using percentages. Dollars off require no thinking.
3. BOGO Buy One Get One
BOGO offers are always popular with customers and can be applied to a lot of different scenarios and services. If you can include more than one coupon in an ad, it is worth testing at least one BOGO offer to see if it works well for you.
4. Completely Free Offers
Giving away free stuff may be counter-intuitive to making more money but there are many situations where it can generate a ton of response. As examples, free vehicle checkup, free consultation, free appetizer, free kids meal, etc. can all be given out without an end loss due to the ease of upselling or piggy-backing sales.
Yvonne Herbst owns and operates Herbst Marketing, a marketing agency serving local businesses in and around Warrenton, Virginia. Her Top Shops & Local Deals “Mighty Mailer” postcard helps local business owners reach their target market in and around Fauquier County, Virginia in a low-cost, high-impact, high-ROI way. For more information about Herst Marketing’s services or to learn more about the Mighty Mailer postcard and how it can work for your buisness, please call Yvonne direct at (540) 729-4076 or (540) 937-7234.