The full title of this book by Bob Bly is
“How to Create Irresistible Offers: The Easiest Way on Earth to make Your Marketing Generate More Leads, Orders, and Sales“.
In my review on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it a rating of Four Stars. This means that it is Good and Well Worth Reading.
Here is my book review.
The world needs more focus on transactional offers and this is a good start
Legendary copywriter Gary Halbert said “Your offer is by far the most important element in the entire sales message”.
It doesn’t make much sense then that the offer gets little attention in many of the copywriting guides which focus more on creating great headlines and writing bullet points to make the reader intensely curious.
This book goes most of the way in addressing this deficiency and it comes from a very reputable source since the author is one of the best known copywriters and copywriting trainers.
The author borrows Mark Joyner’s definition of an irresistible offer as “an identity-building offer central to a product, service, or company where the believable return on investment is communicated so clearly and efficiently that it’s immediately apparent you’d have to be a fool to pass it up.”
The irony is that Joyner’s focus is on the “identity-building offer” while the author’s focus is much more on a transactional offer.
This book is about the specific offer made in a particular advertisement or promotion. To be clear, this book isn’t about creating a business-wide USP or positioning statement like a Mafia Offer.
That’s good news because the world needs more focus on transactional offers. I don’t believe that small businesses can afford to build a brand without using direct response style marketing which ends with an offer and call to action. Basically it’s the section that says “We will give you this if you do that.”
In the book, the author says that testing different offers can improve your marketing results by up to 900% which emphasises my first sentence.
In the first chapter, the book looks at the two different types of offers.
1 The mail order style offer – send me money and I will send you a product.
2 The lead generation offer – a two step approach that encourages interested prospects to raise their hands and say I could be in the market to buy what you sell. The lead generation offer is split into two types. The first (hard offer) targets people who are ready to buy, the second (soft offer) aims at people who are getting ready to buy.
Here is a quick summary of the other chapters:
- Chapter 2 looks at how to create a lead magnet for lead generation offers. The idea is that anything you buy may be better if you take the time to become an informed buyer who knows what to look for to find a good buy and to avoid a scam.
- Chapter 3 looks at how to use hard offers to get into a conversation with a potential customer. It’s not “call up now to talk to a sales person.”
- Chapter 4 looks at offers in mail order marketing.
- Chapter 5 delves into ethical bribes – these are premiums to encourage purchase and can be product based or information based.
- Chapter 6 looks at pricing and how you present your price. Since the offer is basically “value for money” – what you get for the sacrifice you have to make – you have the option to choose between increasing the perceived value or reducing the perceived price.
- Chapter 7 looks at guarantees and how you can reduce the risk of buying.
- Chapter 8 focuses on the issue of getting your prospective customers to act now.
- Chapter 9 explains how to design the reply boxes and forms you see in mail order advertisements. It also looks at the big issue of testing the important aspects of your offer.
It is a much needed book that focuses on the transactional offer and making the prospective customer take action.
However I don’t believe it’s the definitive work.
The author admits that certain parts are extracted from other books or information products and extended. It has some of that feel although it might be exaggerated because he put the idea into my mind.
I also found the book drifted between highly relevant and not very relevant which created a bit of an up and down reading experience. It is very much of a push marketing book because it doesn’t look at what the buyer might need to make the right decision with confidence.
These issues stopped it bring a five star book but they don’t stop it from being essential reading as one of the few books to look in detail at the offer.
Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free Business SOS consultation with me.
There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister. I’ve also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs.