Soft Offer

Soft Offer

In marketing, an offer to receive a product and to make payment later. For example, a soft offer may send a customer a magazine subscription and send an invoice for it later. A soft offer contrasts with a hard offer, in which payment is demanded in advance. Companies making soft offers have higher response rates than those making hard offers, but they generally carry more bad debt.
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The skills and techniques involved in getting a prospect to say "Yes" to a free-trial or soft offer are not precisely the same as those needed to get that prospect to reach into his or her pocket and pay for the product, nor is it reasonable to assume that even the hottest cold mail writers automatically know how to do this best.
For years we offered introductory subs on a soft offer with long, long conversion series.
The soft offer generates greater response, but you have to invest the money to convert those prospects to buyers.
The old Today's Woodworker double postcard has a soft offer and a book premium, and, says Stoiaken, it's "a little shorter on the front end and stronger on the back end," than the Primedia piece.
Duncan suggests that this is an excellent point to introduce a soft offer, relieving the prospect of the worry that what he or she is reading might cost money.
Hispanic Magazine, for example, used this medium to test a soft offer - 12 issues for $18, with the first issue free - in about 1,000 stores in areas with heavy Hispanic populations.
When they began they made strictly hard offers--cash up front--which had been the usual practice in Poland, but when they tested the soft offer of "14-day free trial" (pay later), which was new in the market, response more than doubled.
If your goal is to pull as many leads as possible for your gales force or your product's cost requires prospects' lengthy consideration, using a soft offer.