By Maren Hogan:
Offers. Even in the world of B2B, they hold incredible power in the world of marketing and sales. While offers are nearly ubiquitous in all worlds, the types of offers that work well in B2B are going to be slightly different than those in B2C. Here are some different offers to consider when planning your marketing activities this year! If one doesn’t work, consider trying an alternative offer or offering the same thing to a different audience.
The Time-Based Offer
The time-based offer is basically QVC’s mainstay. If something is only available for a limited time or a certain price is only available for a limited time, the likelihood of people wanting to purchase it or “lock in” a certain price is higher. It acts on the very natural sense of urgency we all have. Whether the time is an hour or day-long flash deal (think Amazon Prime Days) or a month-long special (like Honda’s annual sales), time-based offers are very useful in both B2B and B2C. Some examples:
- Time-based: Act now to lock in 2018 pricing
- Urgency: The first 50 people receive a free month
- Limited time offer: 10% off your first service when you buy before your demo ends
The Discounted Offer
Everyone loves to feel like they are getting a deal. While the Discounted Offer is usually combined with the time-based offer, there are many kinds of discounted offers available to those selling software, products or services in the B2B arena. For products or services with a lower CPA (cost per acquisition) and revenue to client ratio, you may want to set a specific dollar amount off or cap to avoid combining offers.
Unlike retail offers where clearance can be made up in volume, B2B marketers must be aware of what they are selling (and in some cases) who before determining the appropriate discount. Be careful not to offer a discount that is too low-value for your market. For example, $700 off may appeal to a frontline worker, but seem paltry to the executive who actually has buying power. Examples of the discounted offer:
- Percentage: perceived value of % off
- $ amount: Can backfire if your product is very expensive or your buyer is sophisticated
- Fixed lower amount or flat fee offer
The Value-Add Offer
Perhaps there is no wiggle room in your budget to offer discounts and you don’t have the marketing automation or service staff in place to offer a time-based offer. In this case, you might want to consider the value-added offering. A value-add is attractive to many marketers, especially in the B2B space, because it both pleases the potential client (by creating a perception of additional value) and the company offering the deal (because while they must offer more service, they are guaranteed the sale in the first place in order for that to take place).
Whether you offer the prospect more product (enterprise value at an SMB price), a quantity of “extra” (multiple seats for the price of one) or added or higher level service (free implementation or a dedicated account manager), the prospect must believe the value add has enough value to get them to sign up. Don’t use value-add with things like e-books or white papers if your price point is high.
- Value-add: get enterprise level for SMB pricing
- Feature enhancement: get Video Interviewing included for the first 3 months.
- Get an extra 1000 interviews to use your first year
- Service add: white glove implementation/integration/support/dedicated account manager
The Loyalty Offer
Loyal customers are the best customers. And the same goes for partners and affiliates. When you can reward loyalty, do so. Not only is it likely to bring in more business, it’s likely to assist with building your brand, establishing your company as a connection point (thus raising your business above the noise) and locking clients in for a longer period of time.
Whether you offer a discount for a referral, a small freebie for a review or recommendation, an extra bonus for a social share, or create a larger network of affiliate partners (like a marketplace), loyalty offers of almost universally useful in both B2B and B2C capacities (think grocery loyalty cards, store credit cards with discounts, box clubs and more). Examples of loyalty discounts include:
- Referral: friends of so and so receiving such and such (discount code)
- Referral: If you refer a friend and they sign up for a demo, we will give you X% / $X off your next month
- Affiliate: If we sell xx amount, we kick back a % to the affiliate
- Partner company deal
- Loyalty (BOGO): Buy a year, get a month free etc or a discount off the entirety
Have you tried any of these offers in your business? Is there an offer category we missed? Tell us in the comments!
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