We would all like to score a genuine deal when shopping for goods and services.
Sometimes as shoppers we not alert to marketing techniques being used to influence us to buy, buy, buy! To avoid experiencing buyer’s remorse, it helps to be aware of common ploys that might make a discount offer seem good but when examined closely it falls short.
Every day in our competitive marketplaces discount deals abound. For example, we might be given 2 product choices and the product that offers the best value is immediately obvious. Or we find a 2 for-the-price-of-1 offer, or we snag a satisfying discount for bulk buying.
Another is example of a discount incentive is when we commit to paying a subscription or membership annually instead of monthly.
A seller’s effective pricing strategy to influence buyer behavior can increase sales – though, if not done right, it can hurt sales.
The One-Time-Offer In Marketing Promotions
A popular online marketing strategy is a limited time or one-time-offer [OTO]. In this scenario, a potential customer is sent to a new web page that has a special offer. It usually states that it is a one-time opportunity: if the person leaves the page before making the purchase, the special offer will no longer be available.
Mostly an OTO means the initial offer is a loss-leader (a product or service sold at a loss) to attract new customers. Upon leaving the page, prospects are shown a second offer that has a different price or even a different product.
A ‘One Time Offer’ can attract new customers and boost sales. In some instances a series of one time offers pops up each time the potential buyer tries to exit the site. The technique must be done right to perform as intended, otherwise it can annoy potential buyers and actually hurt sales conversions.
A strategic time to make a one-time offer is immediately after a customer has made a purchase. They say it is easier to retain an existing customer than to find a new one. This technique offers an incentive to an existing buyer to spend more on another product. Usually such offers include a message that states: “This offer will only appear once” or “You’ll never see it again”.
Unfortunately some special offers are not relevant to the original product purchased, which does not leave the buyer with a positive feeling about the initial purchase.
This method is also used to pull in first-time visitors as soon they arrive at the website. The risk with this timing is that the offer is promoted before establishing trust with a potential buyer.
From a consumer perspective, it boils down to this question: Is the offer a genuine deal or a ploy to up-sell you into buying something you don’t need.
Lessons I Have Learned About OTOs
One time offers, when done right, can be effective for sales conversions. But nothing kills a sale faster than a potential buyer being confronted with a series of OTOs where the seller is desperately trying to make a sale rather than put a genuine deal on the table.
Some marketers simply get it wrong and hinder the effectiveness of the one-time-offer process. For example, a while back I almost bought a front-end product that was selling for $47. I clicked on the buy button, but before payment a new offer showed up, stating: ‘wait a minute, before you buy, take a look at this deal’.
I was taken to a higher priced version of the product, with the sales copy telling me that the front-end product I was about to buy will be more effective when used combined with this further higher priced product.
Wrong psychology! There I was, ready to part with $47, when a new offer was made for a supposedly improved version at a higher price of $97. The usual ploy is to claim that only a limited number of privileged customers will get access to the extras included in the higher price.
Immediately I was made to feel that if I don’t buy the higher priced version I will not be among the privileged. Who wants to feel unprivileged?
It Is Not All Bad – Genuine Deals Do Exist
By contrast, I have had good buyer experiences. I was in the process of buying a digital product for $79. No one time offer or special deal. I left the page because I needed to transfer funds and intended to return. As soon as I hit exit, an OTO popped up asking if I would prefer to pay $29 now and the balance in 15 days, with a 30-day refund option.
This was a pleasant surprise and smart. I had enough in my account for this part payment. Who knows what distractions might have prevented me from returning to complete that purchase.
The seller obviously wanted the sale on the first visit but my hitting the exit key to enable me to transfer funds triggered the OTO pop-up: “Wait, don’t leave, how about considering this revised offer’.
This method also conveyed that the vendor was confident enough about the value of the product to take the chance that the customer will indeed make the second payment.
Do you have any thoughts about one-time-offer deals? I invite you to share your experience with us. It could help others to set the right price or to recognize a weak deal.