THE #1 Thing that Zaps – or DRIVES – Sales

Dan Kennedy and Mike Connolly

I wrote you a couple of weeks ago about my flight to Cleveland.
Why, you may have wondered, would anybody leave the natural beauty and generally awesome weather of Boulder, Colorado to fly to chilly Cleveland in April?

In my case, it was an opportunity to study with a really important mentor to me, Dan Kennedy.

Of course if you are familiar with Dan, you know it was not cheap – and it was Cleveland – however, I think it’s already proving worthwhile.

Dan teaches that for any given marketing element – sales letter, email, video, article, web page, yellow page ad, etc. – to be effective, it absolutely MUST HAVE a compelling offer.

The offer is often more important than the copy, even more critical than getting it in front of the right audience,,.

Your prospect doesn’t jump out of bed in the morning, rub his hands together in eager anticipation and tell his wife, “Boy I just know I’m gonna’ get an email today from Joe about his framistam doohickey, and I just can’t wait to open it!”

I don’t think so.

Besides having zero interest in you per se (Sorry), depending on which study you read, he will have as many as 20,000 (Yankelovich) to a more likely 245 marketing messages to digest today.

If you want to reach him, like a savvy fisherman, you’ve got to dangle just the right lure.

In fact, to use legendary copywriter John Carlton’s illustration, when constructing an offer, you’ve got to imagine a 500 pound slug sprawled out on the couch, dozing in front of the TV, controller in hand. Your offer MUST be enough to incite him to lumber up off the couch, fill in your form and walk all the way out to the mail box with it before the mail carrier arrives.

And this really is life and death stuff; all the time and money you invest in a campaign or single message is sheer waste if your prospect doesn’t act on it.

Okay, so how do you construct an irresistible offer?

This could easily take up a whole shelf of books in itself, but cutting to the chase, here are five key ingredients of a successful offer. Do these well and you can’t go wrong. Your offer will be much stronger if it includes these qualities:
  • Free
  • Easy
  • New
  • Urgent
  • Fascinating

To illustrate…

Last Saturday I was at the grocery store, on heading over to the checkout aisle. Strategically placed along the way were two tables with each with samples, brochures and displays of some new Dr. Bronner products and guys handing out free samples and talking to patrons about the stuff they were giving away.

Something about it caught my attention and before long I was speaking to this guy with an Irish accent (Dublin to be exact) about some cool ways to cook with coconut oil. I was fascinated with one of his ideas which was to use it to fry an omelet with instead of using butter or olive oil.

He was going on about how it’s all non-GMO and fair trade and the familiar and distinctive Dr. Bronner’s brand all while I’m trying his free sample mixed with hemp seeds and a chocolate chip, and turning over the idea in my head, “Hmm, eggs with coconut oil?”.

He had a special going on that day only, and although I’m usually pretty good about not buying on impulse, I picked up a jar.

Can you see how his success hinged on the five ingredients (and then some)?

A good offer can DRIVE sales. It’s worth doing right.

Best of success with your offers!


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