Making the Irresistible Offer in Email Marketing

E-mail marketing doesn’t mean just sending one e-mail after another touting your wares, telling the person who has subscribed to your e-mail how great your product is, and how it would benefit them.

If you really want to build brand loyalty and get a higher rate of return, you need the irresistible offer.

Marketing experts have crafted the irresistible offer for various companies for many years, and Mark Joyner has, I believe, captured the elements most succinctly in his book The Irresistible Offer.

The irresistible offer is the one that:

  • Gives the customer exactly what they want… the best value available…not available elsewhere
  • Tells the customer in a short, sharp, simple message what’s in it for them; why they should trust you and why they’d be crazy to not to buy it
  • Is totally believable.

To build the irresistible offer for your e-mail campaign, you might consider the following sample of a fictitious Joe’s Deli advertising delivery to a downtown business executive who subscribed (or whose administrative assistant subscribed for him)  to Joe’s  e-mail list:

Subject line: [Brad] Your Lunch, Your Way, Your Door

Message Content:  You’re busy.  We know.  That’s why we say your lunch, your way, your door.  We also know there are days when important meetings with important clients need just the right luncheon touch.  Always…quick, easy, and delicious.  The lobster lunch menu at the crawfish price.  Whatever you choose; soup, salad or sandwich, you’ll find the quality is exactly what you want; what you deserve.   And…delivery is free for 3 or more.

Plus, when you sign up for the 10-lunch special, your first two lunch items are on us.  Print your coupon now. (Coupon shows 10 luncheon settings, with the first two stamped “Paid”). 

We cater large and small, and have received the Deli of the Year award from Best Eateries  for the past 5 years.  We frequently cater for Senator Robb’s office, the Hilton Hotel headquarters office, and many other businesses in your neighborhood.  Our deli is located 3 blocks from your headquarters.  If you haven’t been here yet, stop in, say hi, and try free samples of our delicious soups or salad.  Once you do, you won’t hesitate to call us when you want ‘your lunch, your way, your door.'”   

It’s easier to persuade people when they feel like they’re getting a good deal, especially if they think they’re getting away with something.  This is why the “Buy one get on free” approach is so effective.  It’s important to frame your offer in a manner that suggests it’s not in your own best interest, but in the best interest of the person you are trying to persuade.

In the case of the irresistible offer, the key elements are having a product that is truly worth the customer’s investment…something better and different from the competitors…plus answers the question of “Here’s what we’re selling, Here’s what it costs, Here’s what’s in it for You, and Here’s why you should trust us.”  The last and final component of course, is the credibility  of your offer.  In this case, the fictitious Joe’s Deli has a prestigious food award, caters to major clients in the area, and invites the prospect to try FREE samples to make his own decision.   

The irresistible offer can be used in any marketing setting, but is especially suited to e-mail marketing, as it is of value to the receiver on an ongoing basis.  In the case of this example, a few minor changes to follow-up e-mails…new menu items…upcoming events…large party special services…will keep the irresistible offer…well…irresistible.

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