Marketing offers are a great way to improve your inbound marketing efforts

What exactly is a marketing offer?

A marketing offer is something that you provide to a website visitor in return for them taking a specific action, such as giving you their email address or signing up as a member on your site. It is a valuable tool for any inbound marketing program.

Marketing offers are great for building your email list of engaged and interesting prospects and clients. Building a list of people who were interested enough to download what you have to offer, allows you to hone in on your target market and give them more of what they want. 

If their first interaction with you is a positive one, they're more likely to convert into customers further down the line.

Good marketing offers

Companies can offer many different things as part of their overall marketing strategy, but the following are some of the most effective for free offers:

  • Spreadsheet Templates: A good template is something that a customer will want to use multiple times because it simplifies something they were trying to do- you've built the hard part for them, now all they need to do is enter their own information and it becomes customized to them.  For example, a spreadsheet template might tell them how much a given service will cost per month, how to create a small-business budget, how many bricks they'll need to build a wall of a certain size, or what colors complement their design idea.
  • White Papers: For more serious matters, a white paper can serve as an in-depth example and explanation of something your company did for another customer. Remember that the people who actually read white papers tend to be managers and executives - so it needs to be long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep their attention. Be sure to include a summary of the paper's findings at the very front - that alone is often enough to convince them that you're worth their time.

  • Slide Presentations: Any kind of self-contained slideshow such as SlideShare, Google Slides, or PowerPoint works well for offers information that is more visual and image-based. These kinds of offers work best when you're addressing a subject at a fairly high level and want to convey the important details instead of the minutiae. 
  • Educational Documents or Templates: Educational material is always popular if your visitors are there to learn something. Note that this doesn't necessarily mean "scholarly" content - rather, educational material is content that teaches them how to do something. Step-by-Step instructions, "How To" guides, and similar material all fall under this.
  • Access to Educational Videos: These are exactly the same as the above, but in video form. Note that most people would rather not download the videos, so you'll need to host them online somehow. Regardless, educational videos are appealing to a certain percent of the population and can help you convey things that are hard to properly explain in writing.

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Who can benefit from marketing offers?

Any company - regardless of size - can benefit from these kinds of offers. 

In fact, marketing offers are a key component to any inbound marketing program. They can be included on your website, in email marketing, and on social media platforms to attract and convert potential customers.

To decide what would make a good offer for your business, consider your target audience or your ideal customer. What problem are they trying to solve? What can you offer that would make them consider you a trusted source? It's helpful to turn to your FAQs and create an offer around one or two of them!

Thanks for stopping by,

Laura

Editor's note: This blog was originally published in January 2017 and has been edited and updated in December 2018.

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