Three strategies that make for successful email offers

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While the right mix of features, value and differentiation contributes to successful offers, none is perhaps as important as understanding, then leveraging, the motivations that make prospects buy. These three strategies give prospects an immediate sense of “what's in it for me.” Try them and your response rates will increase.
  1. Ground your offer in the three conditions of need: 1) Fear of loss in the current situation; 2) perceived risk of a deteriorating situation; and 3) opportunity to improve the situation. Basing messages on the first two generates the most traction. Creating offers around the third is like selling into a rainbow—illusive and very difficult. While the third gets the attention of those interested in improving, they may have no real motivation to do so.
  2. Include ultimate benefits. The “so-what exercise” is used to layer benefits until at least one of these ultimate benefits is reached: Saving money, saving time or improving an offering. The key is to link as many benefits as possible before getting to the ultimate benefit, which might be phrased as, “A strategic approach—and multitouch, multimedia, multicycle processes—will allow XYZ Co. to cover more of its market more effectively and focus its reps on the best opportunities, resulting in higher close rates and, ultimately, more profit.” Increased profit, of course, is the ultimate benefit.
  3. Leverage the reasons people buy. People buy for a number of business and personal reasons. It can be a job duty, recognition, security, compensation or self-actualization. Successful offers leverage both business and personal buying motivations to align content with a benefits, rather than a features, approach.
Use these strategies to better understand buyer motivations and refine your offers. Your content will resonate more authentically and response rates will increase. Dan McDade is president-CEO of PointClear (, a prospect-development company.
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