One of the things that current marketing experts, including the team here at, preach is that your marketing efforts should always have a “call to action”, i.e. something requesting a next step from a prospective customer. This next action could be returning a form, heading to a web site, making a call, or signing up for a newsletter. But before the “call to action” should be a compelling offer. WHY should they do this thing?

Common compelling offers include free information products (the why=no cost educational material), a discount (the why=save money), or a deadline (the why=you might miss out). Compelling offers encourage your customers to respond to the call to action. These compelling offers/calls to action can be emailed (with permission), a pop-up on your website, a sign up form, a banner ad or even an infomercial (infomercial creators are experts at the deadline/discount compelling offer!).

Visually, if using print or website materials, a compelling offer should be unavoidably visible without being terribly annoying (don’t let the pop-up come up more than once per visit). Compelling offers should incite some emotion (you need this information or you will miss out!), be clear, and you should always back your offer up (a money back guarantee is a form of compelling offer-the why=you can’t lose!).

For most businesses, a simple visible text ad offering 10%off (compelling offer) if they call and mention they saw the ad on the website (call to action) can yield results with little effort. Keep things fresh though. Don’t let that 10% linger there for years! Retailers know that change attracts attention and the same is true for your site. Mix it up!

So, today, think about your website and/or print materials and ask yourself: Where is MY compelling offer? If you don’t have one, you know what to do!


by Steven Schlagel