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 Existone time offer deals

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.

You may also be interested in:
Source:  Wealthy Affiliate Website, by Kyle

12 thoughts on “Market Pricing Strategy – Genuine Offer Or A Ploy?”

  1. Neil

    Hi, Jude!

    Thanks for your take on upsells/OTOs/upgrades.

    I think the strategy can be a sore subject, particularly for newbies who hate having to fork out more for extra products.

    Personally, the only time I hate upsells is when I buy into ‘MMO’ products from Warrior+Plus because the majority of cheap programs tend to be low-grade and you must spend extra money to get more value.

    But I have come across some amazing free products (mainly from Russell Brunson), where his sales funnels offer upsells providing incredible value, even if some can be quite costly.

    OTOs are a great tactic for marketers because they do multiply profits, but if there are too many within a sales funnel, folks will pick up on the desperation and probably not even buy at all.


    1. Hello Neil, you used the right word when you said “value”. I too have bought products via Warrior+Plus and had the same experience as you with a front end worthless offer that wastes one’s time and money. Those are gimmicks to make one consider the more expensive up-sell product. I would rather be offered the more expensive version at the front end or give me a good deal to encourage me to buy it.

      As you say, OTOs can be a good marketing strategy, but there needs to be a win-win for both the buyer and seller, not just for the seller.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. ~Jude

  2. FB Likes

    I am really enjoying the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A couple of my blog readers have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?

    1. Browser compatibility issues can happen with some themes. It is best to use a theme that is compatible with a range of browsers. That can be easily tested before deciding on the theme. See: Google Webmaster guidelines for testing browser compatibility.

      Perhaps you can ask the creator of the theme for help with this. For example, do you have the most up to date version of the theme installed? Or is there something in the code that can be changed to make the theme work in all browsers. Failing that, you might consider changing themes.

      Thank you for visiting and your comment.

  3. Cordie Elmquist

    Useful and clearly explained about OTOs. I’ve been researching to do a one timer offer myself and what you say is useful. Thanks for the post :)

    1. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to leave feedback. Glad you found the info useful. I wish you all the best with creating a successful OTO. Much appreciated. ~Jude

  4. Morosow

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

    1. Glad you found my blog in search, Morosow and that you found some useful information. Thank you for taking the time to post a comment. Much appreciated! ~Jude

  5. Buice

    Very interesting post and useful content on your website. I was happy to learn about one time offers and what to look out for with them. I have bookmarked your site for future reference. Thanks for the useful information.

    1. I’m glad you found the content useful, Buice. Thanks for dropping in and I appreciate your feedback. ~Jude

  6. Mom's Biz

    heya really good little web-site ya got there :-) I use the same theme on my own blog and yet for whichever odd factor it appears to reload quicker on your site even though the one you have consists of a good deal more content. Are you getting any plug ins or widgets which will quicken it up? Do you think you could quite possibly write about the programs so I can use these in my own online site I’d personally be happy – regards ahead of time :)

    1. Several factors affect page speed loading. The first thing I would check are the images on the site – have you resized and compressed them?

      Or perhaps you have too many plugins, or plugins that have external connections – these can slow things down. Or it could be a hosting issue. Perhaps ask your host provider to look into it for you.

      I don’t use any speed related or caching plugins because it is automatically provided by my hosting service. If you would like information about my hosting service, send me a note via my contact page and I’ll be glad to help you out. Let me know the link to your site and I can take a look.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving your feedback. Much appreciated. ~Jude

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top