he's soft offer
BIG MOVE Les and Claire have headed north
With this method, you make what is known as a "soft offer
" with the goal of engaging your receivers, building their trust, and moving them closer to an eventual sale.
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 basic marketing tool is the soft offer
. Sign up and receive one, two or four issues free--"Just write cancel on the bill." Yes, these offers do attract a lot of tire-kickers and the conversion to paid isn't much higher than response rates to direct mail, but it does bring in orders at almost no incremental cost.
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
With a soft offer
such as a free issue or free trial, you may need less than 5,000, maybe only 3,000, Decker notes.