Editor’s Note: This article appeared previously on AskPPCBlog
Ultimately, the success or failure of a PPC campaign comes down to the quality of the offer. Obviously, a lousy offer won’t generate a lot of sales leads, no matter how proficiently the campaign is executed. So what makes for a good offer? Here are a few of the most important characteristics.
A Good Offer Is Simple
Everybody understands “One free with an order of 10.” But once strings are attached – must be a new customer, items cannot be combined, only valid for PayPal customers, etc. – you’ve gone from reeling customers in, to throwing them back into the ocean. Simple attracts; complicated repels – especially online.
A Good Offer Has Broad Appeal
Here’s a little case study. When I was in the packaging industry, we ran campaigns offering large discounts on equipment purchases. The large discounts were awesome, but at any given time only a handful of people were actually in the market for a packaging machine. The smarter approach would have been to offer free packaging products – things lots of people are in the market for all the time.
A Good Offer Is Never “Too Good to Be True”
When people are being marketed to, their natural response is skepticism. When an offer is too good to be true, it may cause the reverse of its intended effect and drive potential customers away. For this reason, 20% off may be stronger than 50% off. A 20% discount sounds like a deal, but 50% makes a person think something may be wrong with the product or the company selling it.
A Good Offer Has a Ticking Clock
People often like to put off decisions, especially buying decisions. Adding a sense of urgency to the offer by giving it an expiration date often gives PPC conversions a tremendous boost. Along the same lines, a “while the supply lasts” offer strongly encourages people to act now.
A Good Offer Has Credibility
People are more comfortable making a buying decision when they know other people love the product, which is why PPC landing pages should include a testimonial or two. Solid guarantees are also important, especially for products and services that are expensive, complex or new to the market.
A Good Offer Is a Set of Offers
A PPC campaign’s primary offer is usually geared to someone who is ready to buy. If that is the case, the landing page should include secondary offers that appeal to people who are not yet ready to buy. Free downloads appeal to people who are just collecting information. Free consultations appeal to people who have completed their preliminary investigation and now want to narrow the options. By including a secondary offer(s) in the campaign, you establish contact with more prospects and ideally collect the visitor’s email address, thus enabling you to build your house list and market to these potential customers down the line.
A Good Offer Is Tested and Tweaked
Smart PPC specialists think about their offers all the time, and continually improve them by systematically testing variations. The problem, of course, is that people are unpredictable. What works well, in theory, doesn’t always work in practice. So don’t depend on luck. Apply best practices to your campaign and then test it/improve it, and then test it/improve it again.
About the Author:
Brad Shorr is the B2B Internet Marketing Director of Straight North, LLC, an Internet marketing firm headquartered near Chicago with clients throughout the U.S. Straight North’s services include PPC management, SEO and responsive web development. Connect with Straight North on Twitter and Facebook.