Anyone that has searched online for information type products, and even physical products in some cases, has been offered one or more “bonuses” along with the purchase of the main product.
The question you may be asking is this, “Does a bonus offer really increase the sale of a particular product?”
You may think that bonuses should naturally increase sales; but that is not always the case.
In this day of increasingly complex e-commerce systems, it seems that there are many strategies that product sellers have at their disposal to increase product sales.
The strategy of offering a bonus product is so common now that it may seem like a necessity to follow suit if you want to make sales.
If everybody else is offering bonuses, and you’re not, it may seem to your customers that you are behind the times or too cheap to freely give some added value.
For a bonus offer to be effective, it should have these characteristics:
1. The bonus should be relevant.
The best bonuses are those that add additional value to the main product being purchased.
If you simply offer some unrelated freebie, your customers will usually assume the bonus is worthless because anyone could easily get the same thing without purchasing your product; hence, the value of the bonus is suspect.
2. The bonus should be limited. As in number one above, if the same bonus product can be found widely across the Internet (and especially if it’s free) it will be assumed to be of little or no value. In the digital world, scarcity is a plus. Try to offer relevant bonuses that no one else has.
3. The bonus should be only available for a limited time.
Besides being scarce, a good bonus will only be in place for a limited time length or for the “first 25 buyers” of the original product or something similar.
The reason for including some type of time limit should be fairly obvious: time limits trigger the prospect’s fear of losing out on a benefit (for example, a good deal) so it helps to push for the sale right now.
As a seller, you want to do everything you can to “force” the prospect to take action today rather than tomorrow (since there is a good chance “tomorrow” will never come.)
4. The bonus should have a high perceived value.
Again, if the prospect believes the bonus can be found anywhere and can be purchased very cheaply or even be had for free, he will minimize (in his mind) the value of the bonus and it will not become a factor for positively influencing the purchase.
If, on the other hand, the prospect believes the bonus is worth so many dollars, he will rationalize that the value of the combined original product plus the bonus means he is actually paying that much less for the product itself. It is like finding his purchase on sale for a limited time.
5. The bonus should be the type of product that doesn’t increase the delivery cost of the main product.
You want to make sure that the bonus doesn’t draw from the profit of the original product sale. Since the bonus is an add-on that you aren’t getting paid for, you don’t want it to cost you money to deliver. I love digital products and digital bonuses since they cost nothing to send.
6. Often, a good bonus is one that completes the value of the original product. For instance, the bonus might be a “how to use this product” set of instructions that add to the value and utility of the originally purchased product. Anything that logically or practically increases the value and user experience of the main product will work well.
7. Add an unannounced bonus to every purchase.
Regardless of whether you offer one or more bonuses as part of the original purchase, you should consider giving each of your customers an unannounced bonus that comes after the purchase – something they weren’t expecting.
Unannounced bonuses don’t help you make your initial sale, but they will create lots of good will and benefit at the time the purchased product is delivered by you and received by the customer.
Your customers will think: “the seller didn’t have to send me this gift, but he values my business and he wants me back as a repeat customer so he is extending this kindness.”
Even something as “innocent” as a “15% off coupon on your next purchase” will go a long way toward endearing your business to your paying customers.
To you online business success,