Tim Ikels - Creator, Publisher, Marketer

How To Create Irresistible Offers By Robert Bly

Welcome to my book notes on How To Create Irresistible Offers by the author Robert “Bob” Bly.

Robert W. Bly (aka Bob Bly) is a very prolific author and freelance direct response copywriter with over 4 decades of experience.

You can find my notes on other works by the same author here:

Let’s dive in.

Facts

Robert Bob Bly - Profile

Table Of Contents Of The Book

Key Concepts & Ideas

In this book, we will explore ways to dramatically improve response rates to your promotions anywhere from 10 percent to as much as 900 percent - just by creating and testing different offers.

An “offer” is simply what your prospects get when they respond to your ad or mailing - combined with what they have to do to get it.

In its simplest form, an offer might be

“Call us toll-free for a free booklet on adjustable beds.”

The booklet is what prospects get. Making the phone call is what they have to do to get it.

An irresistible offer promises prospects something so compelling or desirable that they can’t help but call, write, or go online to get it.

To paraphrase Marlon Brando in The Godfather, it’s an offer your prospect can’t refuse.

The irresistible offer is an identity-building offer central to a product, service, or company where the believable return on investment (ROI) is communicated so clearly and efficiently that it’s immediately apparent you’d have to be a fool to pass it up.
- Michael Masterson

The Biggest Difference Between General Advertising And Direct Marketing

In my view, it’s that direct marketers recognize the critical importance of the offer, while general marketers, by and large, do not.

More than that, direct marketers focus their efforts on driving the largest volume of qualified prospects to accept their offers.

General advertisers spend their time agonizing over the messaging in their ads and finding creative ways to express it.

Direct marketers focus on presenting compelling reasons why consumers should buy their products right then and there, as well as overcoming any objections the consumers may have.

They are concerned with the action they want the consumer to take - and how to get him or her to take it.

Albert Einstein’s Irresistible Offer Of 1902

The wisdom of stressing the offer in advertisements has been known for well over a century.

In 1902, three years before he wrote his groundbreaking paper on the theory of relativity, a young Albert Einstein ran newspaper ads offering his services as a tutor in math and physics.

The ads prominently offered a “free trial lesson” - showing that free offers really are a smart marketing tactic!

The Two Major Offers: Lead Generation And Order Generation

Order generation, also called “mail order,” seeks to generate an order for a product directly from the promotion.

Mail order is “one-step marketing,” because you make the sale in a single step.

Lead generation seeks to produce an inquiry or sales lead - to get qualified prospects to metaphorically raise their hands and say:

“Hey, I might be interested in this product. Tell me more.”

Lead generation is “two-step marketing.”

The first step is sending the promotion and generating the inquiry.

The next step is following up on the inquiry and closing the sale.

Strong offers are critical to the success of both lead generation and mail order marketing.

The strategic planning, selection, and testing of offers can make or break a campaign, regardless of how well designed or well written the piece is.

Creating A Simple (Lead Generation) Offer That Works

A typical offer for a lead-generating promotion might be:

“Call us toll-free for a free catalog on adjustable beds plus a copy of our free booklet: How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep.”

The more valuable and risk-free the offer seems to the reader, the better your response.

The clearer and more understandable your offer, the better your response.

The lack of a clear, distinct offer can significantly depress response.

The free booklet offer is so effective and so important that, for most marketers seeking to generate leads, I think it’s a mistake not to have such an offer as part of their promotions.
- Robert W. Bly

The Bait Piece

The most effective method of increasing the response rate of a lead-generation campaign is to use a “bait piece”.

The term bait piece refers to free information the advertiser offers in a mailing piece or e-mail to generate a higher number of inquiries.

The word bait is used because the free content is given not just to educate the reader (as the reader is led to believe) but to “hook” the reader by generating a response or inquiry, which can then be followed up by telephone or field sales personnel.

Bait Piece - An Irresistible, High-Quality, Free Content Offer

To make this strategy work, the content of the bait piece should be

to the prospect’s interests and needs.

There are a number of ways to enhance the soft offer by giving away a bait piece.

The most popular, and probably still the most effective, is with a free booklet, special report, white paper, or other printed content.

The Role Of The Bait Piece In The Sales Cycle

Make the offer of the free content prominent in your copy and graphics.

7 Steps To Creating Winning Free Content Offers

  1. Pick an appropriate topic for your free booklet, report, or white paper.
  2. After selecting a topic, you need a catchy title.
  3. After selecting the topic and title, think about media and format.
  4. Write an enticing description for your bait piece.
  5. Even though you intend to give away your booklet or report for free, put a price on the front cover in the upper right-hand corner.
  6. Now decide how you will package and reproduce your premium.
  7. You have selected the topic, title, and format. Now it is time to determine the contents, make an outline, and write the copy for your booklet or report.

The ‘silver bullet’ I include in every white paper is a section on how to select or what to look for when buying the particular type of product my client is selling.
- Michael Stelzner

Closing Thoughts

This concludes my personal book notes on How To Create Irresistible Offers by the author Robert W. Bly.

My book notes only cover small parts of the book, so if you like what you read, please consider buying the book from the author.

Thank you and stay awesome,
Tim

P.S. Check out my free courses on online business, affiliate marketing, traffic and lead generation, and email marketing here if you like to.