When it comes to marketing success, the offer is far more important than the advertising. Some top marketers even say that the offer is responsible for 80% of the success (or failure) of a marketing campaign.
Your offer is the thing a prospect says yes to.
Have you ever seen an amazing ad for a service or program that turned out to be a total dud? You're drawn in by bold promises only to have your interest quickly evaporate when you learn more about it.
Maybe you just didn’t believe it was relevant to you, or you couldn’t see the benefit, or you didn’t believe the provider could actually deliver. The end result is that you walked away without buying.
If you have a lot of sales conversations that don’t convert to clients, this is very likely how your prospects feel about you.
On the flip side, think of a time you discovered an incredible new tool or service that made your life easier. It was an easy and enthusiastic yes - and you were excited to start and see the results.
That's the power of an irresistible offer.
As coaches, consultants and course creators, our offer is everything. It's the core of what we do. The dream we sell. The transformation we promise.
Advertising may catch eyes, but the offer captures hearts and minds. Marketing dollars and effort are wasted if the offer falls flat.
So as you craft campaigns, never lose sight of the offer. It's the sun your marketing orbits around. The magnet that draws people in. The engine that drives growth.
Refine that offer first. Make it irresistible. Then amplify it with marketing. Not the other way around, because no amount of brilliant advertising can save a weak offer.
The 7 Essential Elements of an Irresistible Offer
1. Know the specific person you are selling to
You may think casting a wide net attracts more people. But an unfocused audience leads to an unfocused offer. Unfocused offers usually fail to move people enough to convert.
Imagine you are in a room of 100 random people and have been given 10 minutes to introduce yourself with the goal of getting people to want to talk more with you later. Are you going to try to say something general enough that it might have something for everyone? Or are you going to say something super-relevant to a small portion of the room?
The broad appeal speech is, by necessity, vague and generic because there are so many different people. That’s what happens when you try to make an offer to “everyone” - it becomes vague and generic in an attempt to reach the lowest common denominator of what they care about.
When you decide to speak only to a very specific person in the room, you can speak directly to what matters to them. When you make an offer for a very specific audience, your ideal clients feel instantly understood. It resonates like an insider whispering in their ear. This is for you and people like you. Specificity breeds connection.
Plus, a narrowly-defined audience makes everything easier. You know where to find them and how to engage them. Your messaging is crisp and consistent across platforms. Campaigns drive focused traffic that converts because everything speaks directly to them.
Think of a coach who promises everybody better health. Then think of one who specializes in nutrition for busy moms. Who would you trust more for results?
A targeted offer to a targeted audience establishes you as an expert. You become the go-to solution for their specific needs, not just another general option.
The more specific, the better. Get clear on industry, demographics, psychographics, niche. Refine until you have an ideal avatar.
Once you intimately understand your audience, your offer will click into place. Messaging and marketing become natural extensions of who you serve.
So get focused. Niche down. Understand your clients better than they know themselves. Only then can you craft an offer impossible for them to ignore.
2. Solve an urgent, specific problem for that specific person
Every irresistible offer starts by deeply understanding the audience’s urgent struggles. What keeps them up at night? Where are they stuck? What problems cost them time, money and sanity?
We must dig into our audience’s specific problems. Not just general worries, but burning challenges that threaten their business and peace of mind.
Can you see how much easier this is if you’ve identified a specific target audience?
For example, there are a lot of relationship coaches offering programs helping people who aren’t fulfilled in their relationships. Do you see how that’s very general and vague? Not only isn’t it clear (“fulfilled” could mean almost anything), but it also feels like a huge, overwhelming thing to tackle.
What if those coaches instead helped people whose partners get defensive or shut down during difficult conversations? See how that is much easier to visualize and identify with?
The problem you address needs to be urgent because your prospects have to be motivated to solve it. Can you see how the problem of not being able to communicate with a partner feels more urgent than not being fulfilled?
The response I almost always get when I bring this up is “But I solve all kinds of problems!” If I limit myself to just one, I’ll miss out on all those clients I could help.
I’m not suggesting you stop solving all those other problems for people. I’m suggesting that you focus your offer on one clear, urgent problem to more easily get new clients in the door. Once you’ve successfully helped them with that problem, then you can move on to helping them with all those other problems.
Or, you can create additional offers focused on solving other specific problems.
So start by identifying your audience’s biggest and most pressing problems. Profile their pain points. Diagnose what’s broken in their world. Then fashion your offer specifically around resolving those issues.
3. Be clear about a specific, achievable end result
Vague promises don’t convince. “Work with me and things will improve” lacks substance. Your audience needs to see a clear end destination.
Going back to our relationship coach example, “You’ll be more fulfilled.” is not clear and doesn’t feel achievable. “You’ll have tools and techniques to engage your partner in productive conversations.” is very clear and doable.
People need to visualize the tangible results your offer provides. This gives them certainty and fuels action.
Being specific about the time frame also makes the result more specific and seemingly achievable. Say “in 6 months” instead of “soon.”
Use before and after scenarios to paint a vivid picture. Help them feel the stark contrast between where they are today and where your offer takes them. The “after” shows the light at the end of the tunnel. This clear vision pulls them forward. They now move toward something rather than just running from pain.
So anchor your offer on specific, tangible outcomes your target audience wants. The destination sells the journey.
4. Prove you can deliver the end result
Promising big is easy. Backing it up is everything. Your audience needs proof you can guide them to the result you promise.
That proof can be case studies showing how you’ve achieved the result for others similar to them. Testimonials validate that you keep your word. Specific examples build trust.
Proof can also come through clearly outlining your methodology. Explain exactly how your coaching process delivers their desired outcome. Break the path down step-by-step. Being transparent about your proven system reduces uncertainty. This builds confidence you can execute.
Proof also comes from your credentials and experience. Helping 10 clients achieve a goal is more believable than vague claims with no track record.
In the end, people want to feel certain you'll guide them to where they want to go. The burden is on you to provide that proof to support your offer.
5. Show prospects they’re getting more value than the cost
At the end of the day, prospects need to feel like they're getting a stellar deal. The perceived value of your offer must substantially outweigh the asking price.
This is easiest to do in cases where your offer is intended to make or save money for the client. Simply showing the expected return on their investment is all you need to do.
In other cases, you can show the value of the time they will save by working with you or the potential costs of bad things that might happen if they don’t fix the problem.
You can also put a value on individual elements of the offer that add up to more than the price of the offer. Don’t just make up ridiculous numbers, though. People will see right through it, killing your credibility. And the FTC could come down on you, hard.
Finally, you can add additional bonuses - extra training, resources, or premium tools as a package deal to increase the perceived value of the offer.
The more ways you can stack value above basic expectations, the easier it is to get prospects to say yes. People will jump on an offer that massively over delivers.
6. Remove risk from the decision to buy
Fear of regret is a major factor in prospects saying no to your offer. If prospects perceive any risk in your offer, they will hesitate. The more you inoculate against risk, the faster prospects will convert.
You can reduce perceived risk through:
- Money-back guarantees - Refund their investment if they aren't fully satisfied. This builds tremendous trust.
- Free trials - Let them experience your services risk-free before committing. Demo the value.
- Testimonials - Social proof of past results being achieved reduces uncertainty.
- FAQs - Anticipate and answer potential concerns upfront to calm nerves.
- Availability - Offer ongoing support and access to you, so they know they won't be left stranded.
- Graduated options - Start small with a mini-course to build confidence before a bigger investment.
7. Give prospects a reason to act now
Every offer needs a nudge to action or prospects will delay and often miss out entirely. Urgency lights a fire under them to commit now versus later.
You can incorporate urgency by:
- Limited spots - Exclusivity pressures them to claim their place.
- Price increase deadlines - A deadline to lock in the best rate before it expires.
- Bonuses for early birds - Extra perks if they sign up asap versus waiting.
- Reminders of the cost of inaction - Note how putting it off will negatively impact the prospect.
Creating urgency helps get sales, but there's a right way and a wrong way to do it.
The wrong way is to create "fake" urgency, like "This price is only valid if you buy right now." Or creating artificial deadlines or capacity restrictions. Or, worst of all, saying there is a deadline or capacity restriction when there isn't.
If there genuinely is a deadline - like an event happens on a specific day - or there is a real capacity limit, by all means use that. Most of the time, the real urgency is the cost of inaction. And it's a powerful motivator.
The cost of inaction is the pain your prospect will continue to experience or the desired result they will continue to miss out on. You can introduce it with phrases like "How much longer are you willing to (suffer pain / miss out on benefit)?" Also, you can say things like "Imagine..." followed by describing a future without the pain or with the result.
Putting it all together
Spend a few hours really looking at the offers you are making.
Are they focused on solving a specific problem for a specific person?
Is the end result you are promising specific and achievable?
Are you proving to your prospects that you can actually deliver the result?
Does your prospect see value in the offer?
Are they insulated from risk?
Do they have a reason to act now?
If you can’t answer yes to all of these questions, fix your offer before you invest time and money marketing it.