Advertising for Local Businesses: How to Book 5X More Jobs With Compelling Offers
By GLENN VAN DER VLOET
Effective advertising for local businesses is all about coming up with a compelling offer and getting it in front of as many prospects as possible.
In fact, I’ve noticed – after helping business owners with their marketing for many years – that the ones who use compelling offers as part of their marketing efforts have closing rates up to 5X higher than those that don’t.
That’s a significant difference, and if you want to be part of that success, then keep reading…
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By the time you’re through, you’ll know the 6 components of a winning offer and how to create your own to help book more jobs for your business.
But before we dive in…
What’s a compelling offer, anyway?
Put simply, a compelling offer is the product or service you sell, but positioned in a way that makes it exciting.
In other words, the product or service is what people pay for, but it’s the compelling offer that gets them to buy.
There’s no better place to learn about compelling offers than infomercials.
But wait…theeeeeeere’s more!
You’ve seen them before…
Someone appears on the TV screen, grabs your attention, then continues to educate you about some cool product for a few minutes.
Most times it’s not even something you need, just something that would be cool to have.
But then, when you least expect it, the infomercial dude throws his compelling offer at you:
- Instead of one product, you’ll get THREE – for the price of one!
- If you order today, batteries are included!
- If you order within the next 60 minutes, shipping is free!
- Can’t pay all in one shot? That’s okay – pay in 3 easy monthly payments!
- Still not sure? 100% guarantee or your money back…and you can keep the product!
All of a sudden, that thing you weren’t even considering becomes a whole lot more appealing.
That’s the power of a compelling offer. It causes people to take action. It makes people buy.
Now, maybe you can’t make infomercial-style offers as a local business owner.
But you can still create a compelling offer that’s interesting enough to help you win new business.
Advertising for local businesses: How to Create Your Compelling Offer
If you want more of your prospects to become customers, your offer has to include as many of the 6 following components as possible (bonus points if you create an offer that checks all the boxes):
1. High perceived value
Topping the list is the importance of creating an offer with a high perceived value.
Many business owners go the easy route by offering a small discount on their services.
Offering a discount is a great start, but you have to consider how your discount will be perceived by your customers.
For example, consider this special offer:
Do you really think this offer would cause someone to stop dead in their tracks, throw out all the other quotes they shopped around for, and choose you over the competition?
It might. But most likely not.
A 5% discount isn’t enough of an incentive to get someone excited (and to top it all off, it’s limited to seniors only).
If you’re not able to give a big enough discount to make it interesting, then stay away from discounts altogether and come up with something creative instead.
Is there something you can throw in on top of whatever product or service you’re providing?
Can you offer free gutter cleaning with the installation of a new roof?
How about a free door when they upgrade their windows?
A Two-4-One menu deal in your restaurant?
The key is to find something that costs you just a bit of time or money, but that your customers perceive as extremely valuable.
With a bit of thought, there’s no reason you can’t come up with something clever for your own home service business.
Something that’s way more appealing than a small discount.
2. Low friction
A compelling offer also has to be low friction. That means it has to be easy to claim or take advantage of.
The harder you make it for customers to take you up on your offer, the less they’ll be inclined to move forward.
For example, only offering a discount if the job is paid cash might sound like a good idea, but all it does is create another hoop for your customers to jump through.
The same goes for “seniors only” offers like the one I shared above.
When it comes to your offers, keep the terms & conditions as simple as possible.
Sure, you need to protect your business, but if you put together a compelling offer that has a ton of exceptions and a bajillion asterisks attached to it, it’ll be more complicated than it is interesting.
Your offer shouldn’t be available forever.
It has to come and go so that people are forced to take action now.
The power of urgency is very real, and it can be found in most (if not all) winning offers.
Adding urgency to your offer is simple. Just add a hard deadline and remind your customers they have to sign on the dotted line before a certain date if they want to take advantage of it.
Use this hard deadline in all of your marketing collateral—from your Google AdWords and Facebook ads to your website, landing pages, flyers, and more.
Don’t want to add a hard deadline? Then at least use seasonal offers like the one below, and update them every season:
This implies the offer can only be claimed during the Summer and entices people to take action sooner rather than later.
Yes, it means more work for your marketing team (they constantly have to make changes to your landing pages), but the payout is definitely worth it.
Using urgency also gives you a good reason to follow up with any outstanding quotes before the offer deadline, and is a great way to win jobs that otherwise wouldn’t have closed.
If deadlines don’t work for you, then you can use scarcity to build a sense of urgency.
For example, a swimming pool contractor could mention he’s only able to install 20 pools this month, and that booking today guarantees the work gets done within the next two weeks or your money back.
Speaking of guarantees, that’s up next on our list of must-haves for creating an irresistible offer.
Adding a guarantee/warranty to your offer is all about risk-reversal.
You need to take the risk out of your customers’ hands, and carry it for them.
Yes, that might mean forking out a few euros when things go wrong – but you’ll more than make up for it with all of the new business you sign on because of your solid no-risk guarantee/warranty.
Luckily, most businesses already have this built into their advertising. The issue, however, is that it’s not made apparent enough.
Just like urgency, your guarantee/warranty policy needs to be front and center for your customers to see—in your ads, on your website, on your quotes, communicated verbally in the sales process, etc.
This shows you have nothing to hide, and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to satisfy your customer.
5. Payment options
If you’re able to add special payment options to your offer, you definitely should.
Options like no interest for 6 months, only pay next year, and others like them can make a huge impact on the effectiveness of your offer.
Offering payment options makes your products & services affordable to families that otherwise wouldn’t have the means, and can shorten your sales cycle by enticing people to purchase earlier than they intended to.
If you have the means to offer payment options, it’ll definitely help make your offer more compelling.
6. Call to action
Last but not least, your compelling offer needs to have a call to action (CTA for short).
No matter how or where your customers hear about your offer, you need to guide them towards the next step in working with your business.
Don’t overcomplicate it. Your call to action can be as simple as:
- Call now to book an in-house visit
- Get a free estimate/quote
- Claim this offer
- Speak to an expert
And when it comes to pay per click for small businesses, CTAs become infinitely more important.
Your Facebook ads need a call to action:
Your Google Ads need a call to action:
And your website and/or landing pages need a call to action:
You’d think people would know what to do next once they learn about your offer, but sadly, that’s not always the case.
Tell them what to do next in order to get started, and you’ll have more people inquiring about your services.
It’s that simple!
When it comes to effective advertising for local businesses, compelling offers are crucial.
Make sure you come up with something that:
- has a high perceived value
- is easy to redeem
- has a risk-reversing guarantee
- is scarce or time-limited
- has favorable payment options
And finally, make sure you communicate what needs to be done next in order to get started with a clear call-to-action.
You may not find your winning offer right out of the gate. In fact, you’ll probably have to test a few before you find one that people are genuinely interested in.
But once you do, then it’s time to get it out in front of as many people that would require your services as possible.
With a compelling over, you’re bound to grow your business -you might even book up to 5X more jobs!