In demand generation, the two things that make the most impact are list and offer. The right list gets you to the right person. But your offer is what brings in response. Here are some hints for success:
1. Unbreakable rule – every demand generation execution needs an offer – that’s how you generate the demand! So never, ever, do anything without asking the recipient to take an action. (Don’t get me started on “awareness demand generation”.)
2. The offer needs to be something that a qualified prospect wants and for which they are willing to provide needed information. “Sign up for our newsletter” or “join our mailing list” won’t work. Think educational and valuable content that helps your prospect save time or money, do their job better or learn something they want to know.
3. Tie your offers into your company’s value proposition. A free coffee mug might get a lot of responses. But a whitepaper on industry trends or a checklist on how to calculate the return on investment for products like yours means that you attract a smaller number of more qualified prospects and you’re in a better position for follow up. It’s helpful to develop a story arc on what your prospect needs on their buying journey. Generally, it’s a good practice to start with the “what” – what your prospect needs to know about your product, then the “why” – why your product is better than other options and then the “how” – how to buy or convince others in the company to do so.
4. Once you get a good offer, mix up the format to wring every bit out of your effort. If you’ve developed a great white paper, use it to frame a webinar and then break it down into a couple of one page “cheat sheets”. Case studies lend themselves naturally to a printed case study and a video. Not every offer has to be brand new content.
5. When you’re developing offers, make sure you have things that can be both ungated and gated. Generally lighter offers like short videos, infographics and case studies shouldn’t be behind a landing page. More meaty offers like webinars, eBooks, whitepapers and demos should be. And ask for all the data you need on those landing pages – see my blog here on that.
6. Don’t be afraid of bribes for late stage prospects. One of the most effective offers I’ve found for qualified prospects is a $5 coffee gift card if they set up a demo or call. An offer of $5 isn’t enough to make an uninterested person respond, but it can be just enough to get someone to prioritize 15 minutes with your company over the other things on their list.
7. Don’t guess what’s working. Before you finalize your offers, develop the reporting you need to track which ones are getting the highest response and also which get the highest conversion to opportunity and sale.
8. Review offers frequently. Do you have any assets that don’t perform that you should retire? Which offers are your winners? And periodically scan your offer content to make sure there aren’t references that make it out of date like current events or dates.
9. I find it helpful to keep a list of offers and where they are used so I don’t have to rummage through every email in marketing automation and the entire website. That way when you have an update to a piece of content or want to replace it, it’s a quick process This is particularly true for nurturing content that can be “set and forget”.
10. The number of offers you need depends on your product and the sales cycle. Obviously, testing gives you the best answer, but my experience is to start with about 15 offers for anything that has a long sales cycle like enterprise software or high cost consumer goods. For something that has a shorter sales cycle or can be purchased directly, I’d say 5-10 will do it.
Need me to look at your offers? Suggest some new ones? Contact me!