Comparing Types of Offers

There are a lot of different ways you can present value to people but in order to get the most return from your offer, you first need to determine what you want to accomplish.  Is your goal a flood of new business during a traditionally slow time?  Do you want new customers, period?  Are you trying to get rid of extra inventory or promote a new appetizer?  Your offer should be designed accordingly.

Types of Offers

Percentages Off

10 Percent Off AdVery common type of discount (10% off in particular) but low percentages off are only effective when people know the regular price, which means they’re mostly redeemed by existing customers.  If you’re trying to attract new customers, a discount of 30% or more works far better.

Also keep in mind that percentage discounts require prospective buyers to THINK (not easy for some of them!)  Also, if a percentage discount requires them to take a percentage off but they don’t know the list price to begin with, how do they know how much they are saving?

Dollars off

After completely free offers, this one tends to get the best response, especially if you want to pull people away from your competitors.

A tip here: when you offer a dollars off discount, make the dollar amount something that equates to physical monetary bills, such as $1, $5, $10, $20, etc.  It’s easy for someone to make the association of how much they’re saving – no thinking  is required.

Dollars off also work well because you can put them into effect only when a certain purchase is made, for example “Save $5 on any purchase of $25 or more.”  (However, offers with “strings attached” don’t perform as well as free offers.)

Dollars off often outperform the same deal using percentages.

Buy One Get One

These types of offers generate great responses and can be applied for a lot of different services.

There’s nothing stopping you from putting two or three coupons/offers on your ad, so include a “buy one get one (BOGO)” if you can, such as a “buy a large pizza get a small pizza free” type of deal.


Free OfferWe know that the thought of giving something away completely free isn’t appealing, but it can really work well for you.  (Be sure to read the “Creating an Irresistible Offer Example.)

You’ve just got to plan ahead for “upsells” and piggybacked offers.  (We know a gift shop who did real well with a coupon for a free greeting card.  Cashiers had been briefed on what to do whenever anyone redeemed that coupon.  They were to treat the person like royalty, look at who the card is for and then offer an “upsell” – a related gift with about a $25 value – that had been carefully chosen in advance.)

Free vehicle checkups, free consultations, free drink, free kids meal, free gift card – all can work. If you’re really good at landing a client if you can just get them in to see you, consider giving something away FREE to get them in the door.

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