The Art of the Direct Marketing Offer

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. — Dwight D. Eisenhower

Who knew that our 34th President was such a marketing guru? Many business people assume that marketing is all about getting people to do something they don’t want to do (and usually that involves parting with their money). But good marketing is actually about getting people to do something they want to do.

In the world of direct response, your offer is the key to motivating people—getting them to do what they want to do anyway. People already want to be smarter, better looking, healthier, happier, richer, more successful—a better person. Chances are, you have a product or service that can help people toward that goal. You’ve got something they want and you offer it to them in return for something you want (most of the time—but not always—that’s money). What will make them respond?

First of all, you need to make it clear what they will receive and what you will receive (“For only $15 you will receive the book How to Save $1500 on Your Taxes”). If that’s a compelling enough reason to act (and you tell them how), you can stop there. But you may want to add motivation. Maybe it’s urgency (“Order today and you’ll receive this book before April 15, and save this year!”). Maybe it’s making life easy for them (“Order now and you’ll prepare your taxes in half the time!”). Maybe it’s financial (Order in the next 3 days and get 15% off the normal price!”). Maybe it’s additional value (“Order now and we’ll send you updates for next year for FREE!”).

Your job is to get people to do what they already want to do. The direct marketing offer helps them to see why now is a great time to do that.

What offers motivate you?