Understanding the 9 Different Types of Sales Offer

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Before building a Sales Page for your product, it is crucial to understand the type of sales offer that is most suitable for your prospects and customers.

You do not want to use the wrong type(s) of an Offer to serve your audience because it would hurt your sales conversion.

So without further ado, let me share with you the 9 different types of Offer and how to use them to your advantage.

Offer Type #1: Direct Offer

A direct offer is a simple and straight forward offer, which is often used by Airlines, Car Manufacturers, and many brick and mortar businesses.

You will see many advertisements like the ones below:

Sales Offer Type 1 - Direct Offer - SIA Promotion
Sales Offer Type 1 - Direct Offer - Nespresso Promotion

[NOTE: The above are strictly for illustration purpose only]

Straight forward as it is, the statement behind these type of offers is “here is my product”, “here is my best offer to you”, “now buy it”.

Usually, this kind of Offer only works if you have a product or service that is perceived by your prospects as price sensitive, but it is highly in demand.

By lowering the price or adding some benefits on the purchase, your Offer will look more compelling.

Works Best For: Companies that have built a good brand around their products or services.

Offer Type #2: Soft Offer

This type of Offer allows your prospects to try your products without having to pay any money up front (no risk).

Then, you charge them after the trial offer ends.

This is a good way for prospects to understand if your products or services are best suited for their needs.

Prospects will most likely become a customer when they feel comfortable using your products or services.

So, your job as a marketer or a business owner is to help your customers ease into using your products or services.

Maybe you can provide some guides, training, useful articles, or something of value, to motivate them to use your products over your competitors.

A good example will be the ad from Honda below:

Sales Offer Type 2 - Soft Offer - Honda

The Disadvantage of Using this Offer

Be careful when using Soft Offer because when misused, it might hurt your business operations.

Some people will take advantage of your soft Offer and return the products before the trial period ends. It is inevitable.

When that happens, you will be left with loads of half-used inventory that is not sell-able anymore.

Some clever companies, like Honda, will get their customers to sign a legally binding contract for accepting the Offer.

But of course, it is a car, and the customers are expected to pay for it.

You can’t expect your prospect to sign a legally binding contract if the product you are selling is, for example, a facial cream, right?

This Offer is subjective, and you have to exercise caution when you are crafting the Offer.

Often, you will see digital products having this kind of Offer because it is easy to take away the privilege from the customer if they did not become a paying customer in the end.

Works Best For: Companies that want to attract and retain high-quality customers and possibly steal customers from their competitors.

Offer Type #3: One-Time Offer

Like an “Early Bird Deal”, “Clearance Sale”, “Black Friday Sale”, this one-time Offer only works if you stay true to it. Example below:

Sales Offer Type 3 - One Time Offer - Hot Air Balloon Promotion
Sales Offer Type 3 - One Time Offer - Wealthy Affiliate Promotion

You can’t have an Early Bird deal that runs forever or a forever Clearance Sale, right?

If you have a long-standing “One-time Offer”, your customers will not be bothered about your new promotions or offers because they will most likely perceive them as “Fake” or “gimmicky”.

It is like the cry wolf story all over again.

When crafting this type of sales offer, make sure you stay true to your word.

If your Offer states that it will end on a specific date, make sure it stands.

You can also do an offer extension if your Offer was overwhelming, but make sure that the deal is off the table after that extension.

Works Best For: Companies that decide to participate in a seasonal sale.

Offer Type #4: Scarcity Offer (Limited Supply)

Heard of “While Stocks Last” type of Offer? It falls under this category.

Sales Offer Type 4 - Scarcity Offer - Walmart Sale

However, more than just a “While Stocks Last” offer, you can also limit the number of supply of products or services to your customers.

Why do you want to do that? Don’t you want to make more sales?

The reason is simple...

It creates a sense of urgency to your customers, and it motivates them to act now.

Your Offer simply means “buy now before I close the offer on you”.

This is a great technique, but it will only work if you, again, stay true to your word.

Works Best For: Companies that have limited stocks in their inventory.

Offer Type #5: Tick Tock Offer (Limited Time)

I am sure you are quite familiar with this Offer because it happened regularly during a seasonal sale.

In Singapore, it is the once in a year the “Great Singapore Sale” between June to August. Elsewhere, it is the summer sale, etc.

Typically people will rush to splurge when the offer due date is closing in.

So, the shorter your period, the more urgency it creates for your customers.

The problem is, some companies will include a “Limited Time Offer” without putting an end date to it, like this ad:

Sales Offer Type 5 - Tick Tock Offer - Pretzel Burger Sale

Most companies do not want to put a closing date to the Offer because they want to maximize the profit.

But, it is more effective if you put a closing date to the ad because it creates a sense of urgency.

The purpose of a Limited Time Offer is to motivate people to act now rather than later.

So, if you are using this type of sales offer, make sure you put an offer closing date, this will motivate your customers to ACT NOW.

Below is a good example of Limited Time Offer. It is ubiquitous to see such a Limited Time Offer (with count-down timer) on the internet.

Sales Offer Type 5 - Tick Tock Offer - Purple State Sale

Works Best For: Companies that want to encourage and motivate customers to take action leveraging on the “sense of urgency”.

Offer Type #6: Pick Your Customer Offer (Offer by Application)

This is like applying for a course in a prestigious school; you need to qualify to apply.

It doesn’t mean that you have a stack of cash; you are 100% guaranteed to get hold of the product or service.

The product owner chooses its customer instead of the other way around.

This type of Offer is often used by product owners to qualify their customers before allowing them to get hold of the products or services.

This way, the product owners can ensure that their products are sold to high-quality customers, leading to a low refund rate.

It is counter-intuitive, and it comes with a certain risk. The risk of customers not wanting the products or services.

So, product owners who intend to use this kind of Offer...

MUST make sure that their product is highly in demand, and is perceived as a “need” by the customers. Otherwise, it just won’t work.

Products or services associated with this kind of Offer are usually high-ticket.

Works Best For: Product owners who are confident that their products are highly in demand, and that their products only land on high-quality customers.

Sales Offer Type 6 - Offer By Application - CopyHackers

The advertisement above could very well be a combination of “One-Time Offer”, “Limited Time Offer”, “Limited Supply Offer” and an “Application Offer”.

Yes, you can combine the different types of offers into one Sales Page.

It really depends on the message that you want to communicate to your prospects or customers.

Offer Type #7: Payment Plan Offer

This Offer usually associates with high ticket products, like washing machine, TV set, Sofa, and even digital courses.

A monthly or quarterly payment plan allows your prospects or customers to enjoy the privilege to access your products or services at a lower initial payment.

Not everyone has a few thousand dollars to spend upfront.

And, this Offer captures the attention of people who really want your products or services, but who can only afford if they are paying by installments.

Smaller installments make your products or services look much attractive, reasonable, and acceptable to your customers. A good example will be as follow:

Sales Offer Type 7 - Payment Plan Offer - Courts

What's the Catch?

Typically, if you were to draft this payment plan offer...

You would want your customers to pay a premium on the monthly payment to enjoy the benefit.

It means that the accumulated amount paid for the product or service over the payment plan is more expensive than if the customer pays full price upfront.

Obviously, this leaves the customers with two options:

  1. To accept the payment plan offer; or
  2. Pay full price up front (enjoy a discount).

However, just a caution if you are providing such Offer to your customers, that you should have a backup plan in case your customers are not able to adhere to the payment plan.

Usually, this kind of plan will have a legally binding contract, or otherwise, you do not need a binding agreement if you can cease the benefit of your product or service on failed payments.

For example, you can cease the access of your digital product if your customer fails to pay you.

Works Best For: Companies or Product Owners who want to make their products or services more affordable for their customers, and in return, get more new customer acquisition.

Offer Type #8: Negative Option Offer

This Offer is highly controversial, and it can give your product or service a bad name if not appropriately managed.

How this Offer works is that your customers will purchase an item from you, and on top of that, you “force” your customers to pay for a “tag along” item or you force them to sign up to an auto-shipment.

Here’s an example:

Sales Offer Type 8 - Negative Option Offer - Cosmetics

When you are offering this to your customers...

You MUST ensure that your customers know what exactly they are paying for.

There is no point in having a hidden agenda because it will harm your business in the long run.

It destroys your brand and reputation.

If you are tagging another product or service to the purchased product, you need to ensure that the tagged product or service is highly useful to your customer.

Works Best For: Companies that want to increase their sales.

Offer Type #9: Bonus Offer

The bonus offer is vastly used in affiliate marketing funnels or online sales funnels.

As the society is driven by value nowadays...

Product Owners and Affiliate marketers are using Bonus Offer to make their core Offer more enticing.

Sales Offer Type 9 - Bonus Offer - Digital Product Promotion

It works by stacking bonuses on top of the main product offer.

It intrinsically increases the value of the core product, making customers believe that their purchase is worthwhile.

To put it simply, the customer only pays for the core product, and they will get all the stacked bonuses.

Work Best For: Products owners who are selling Digital Products.

So there you have it…

The 9 types of Offers for your products or services.

Obviously, there is no hard and fast rule on the selection of the offers.

And, you can definitely mix and match the different offers to better suit you or your company’s goals.

So which type(s) of Offer is/are the most suitable to your customers?

If you are still not sure which offer(s) to use for your products or services...

I highly recommend that you read this article (Avatar) to understand your prospects and customers better.

Once you have decided on the Offer (s) to use, you can then create a compelling sales page to woo your prospects.


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