Incentive Sales Ideas For Your Small Business Marketing Efforts

Offering ethical bribes to attract people to you is worth your consideration. We have all seen variations of this at one time or another. You can provide incentives for just about anything...

* Incentives for visiting your business

* Incentives for referrals

* Incentives for visiting your website

* Incentives as a bonus item for making a purchase

Mortgage brokers can use them as an incentive for a free mortgage analysis.

Want to fill a room for a meeting, offer an incentive (free gift) for showing up.

You can create incentives through classified ads, display ads, email advertising, postcard and greeting cards. Incentives are very powerful and very effective for many possible uses in your small business marketing efforts.

Let's talk about types of incentives... Well the first thing is that it has to have high perceived value. What does that mean? It means that when your prospect or customer looks at it, it makes them sit up and take notice. How much should you spend on an incentive?

It all depends on what kind of value you place on gaining a life time customer.

Let's say you spent $10 for an incentive that had a high perceived value of $100 to your prospect. Let's also assume that you had to give away 10 incentive item's to attract one customer. This would mean that it would spend $100 to reach each customer. Now, if your life time profit was over your total cost of $100, it would make good since.

AOL at one time spent an average of $50 to reach one customer. They understood that they even though they went in the hole to get that customer that they would make money in the end by keeping that customer satisfied.

What types of incentives create the greatest response?

Fact: The higher value the perception of your incentive the more response you will have. Think of it as if you were handing your prospect a crisp $10 bill versus a $100 bill as a way of getting there attention. If you are trying to attract your prospect using high perceived item's work very well.

Vacations and trips are a great way to get the attention of your prospects and customers. Giving away a free digital product that can be downloaded from your website. Digital downloads can be an E-book, an audio interview along with transcripts or even a piece of software. These are all effective ways of getting your prospect to take action.

What makes a good incentive give-away?

The type of ethical bribe you use is important, you need to have one that has the widest possible appeal and reach to the market niches you serve. Here are just a few important points to keep in mind.

1. The item should be related to your business in some way.

2. There should be some means of imprinting your company name or logo on the item.

3. Items should be easy to integrate into your overall marketing efforts.

I remember years ago I started a business directory in Little Rock, AR. I approached the local radio station and got them to agree to give me so many hours of free air time in trade for ad space in my directory. I then offered the free airtime to businesses as an incentive to purchasing ad space. My sales skyrocketed as a result, everyone wanted to be featured in my 60 second "Business of the day" radio ad.

I have used ethical bribes in other ways as well, I use them to build my mailing list, generate an ongoing flow of prospects to fill my sales marketing funnel, and as an incentive to get people to make a purchase.

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