Testing The Right Offer

  • September 26, 2023

The Marketing Success Equation - The Right Offer

In the last blog of this series, we talked about how the Marketing Success Equation is getting the right offer/message to the right people at the right time in the right channel. The first place to start is figuring out the right people part of that equation. If you missed it, you can read about it here. Go ahead. All of the cool kids are doing it. 

Now that you’ve nailed down who your audience is, it’s time to figure out what message resonates with them. This, my friends, is going to take some testing. 

You’re going to be stuck in this messaging test phase for quite some time. Don’t rush it. You may have a product that solves a well known problem and people are searching for a solution. Or you may have a product that solves an issue that no one knows they have (Squatty Potty, anyone?). Or, perhaps, the most challenging of all - you are selling professional services. 

A Brief Word On Awareness

Each of these scenarios involve different stages of customer awareness. Awareness isn’t talked about nearly enough. Everyone wants to go right to an offer. You’re not going to sell anything if people don’t know they have a problem and that you solve it. If you’re unfamiliar with the stages, here they are in all of their glory: 

Unaware -> Problem Aware -> Solution Aware -> Product Aware -> Most Aware

The more to the right your prospects are, the more likely you are to be able to make a concrete offer and have them bite. For the rest of this article, we’re going to assume your prospects know they have a problem, understand that there are solutions out there, and know who in the heck you are. We’ll get back to talking about awareness another day when we tackle GTM motions. 

So, You Want To Make An Offer

First, let’s talk about what an offer is. It doesn’t always have to mean your prospect is exchanging money for your product or service. It can mean they are downloading an asset like an e-book (one that you haven’t been lazy and “written” with ChatGPT, right?!) or subscribing to your blog or watching a demo. In your mind, I want you to equate the following words: 

Offer = Desired Action

For the purposes of this exercise, pick one. What we’re trying to find out here is what your audience cares about and the words in which they want to be told about that thing. I’m going to arbitrarily pick a SaaS product that is focused on cloud cost optimization for my examples. We’ll call it CloudThrft (because all good tech company names are squished together and strip out vowels). 

All Demos Are Not Created Equal 

Our fake cloud optimization company, CloudThrft, wants to get people to see a demo of their product. Their products know they need to do something about cloud spend (#BecauseCloud) and they know they want to tackle this through software rather than FinOps. This audience is aware of most of the players in the market. The fine folks at CloudThrft believe that if this audience sees their demo, which is differentiated from the competition, they will buy.

Of course, there are many ways to do this. It could be watching a video without registering (to see if the demo is compelling enough and to remove friction from the buying process). Maybe you want to test self-scheduling a demo, an instant demo, a demo request, etc. Sigh. Nothing is ever simple with this marketing jazz, is it? But I digress. 

We’re going to keep this easy and assume CloudThrft wants people to fill out a form to receive an on-demand demo. 

Testing Messages

I would start by barfing out all of the messages you want to test. Here are a few I’d want to try for CloudThrft: 

    1. Using a percentage of savings: “We can save you X% on your AWS spend!” 
    2. Some flavor of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt): “Are you sure you’re not paying too much for your AWS infrastructure?” 
    3. Competitive Messaging: This one isn’t for everyone, but if there’s a big player out there, I might want to directly target it. “Is <Insert Market Leader> saving you money on AWS, but it’s taking too many internal resources to run?” 
    4. Incentive: “Sign up for our demo and get this amazing swag pack!” 
    5. FOMO: “80% of the Fortune 500 uses CloudThrft. Come check it out!” 

This isn’t an exhaustive list. It’s just there to get you thinking of different ways in which you can make your demo offer. 

Run Valid Tests, For All That Is Holy

You can test as many messages as you want, but there are two things you need to keep in mind…you need to keep everything else as consistent as possible and you need a statistically viable sample size. You cannot put one message on LinkedIn and another on Google Ads and compare them (well, you can with multivariate testing, but that’s advanced stuff). Generally speaking, pick a channel and compare messages within that channel. Any time you make a change, you risk there being something about that change that skews your results. You also need enough of an audience to ensure your test results are valid. 

If you keep everything else consistent (no deviation on audience, channel, time of day, ad type, etc.), you can 100% test all of these messages at once so long as your sample size is big enough. 

If that’s overwhelming, the A/B Test (aka Split Test) is famous for a reason. It’s very simple and straightforward. Just pick 2 of your messages and run them straight up Rowdy Roddy Piper vs Hulk Hogan style (reference made because Gen X doesn’t get enough love, dammit). 

But You Left Out <Insert Thing>

I could have gone down a million different rabbit holes here. This is, hands down, the most complicated thing you need to figure out. As I said earlier, you’re going to live here for a hot minute. In fact, you’re probably ALWAYS going to be testing this for the rest of time if you’re doing it right. 

Go forth and test some offers and messaging! We hope we’ve demystified this stage a little. If not, hit us up and we’ll be happy to help you figure it out.