When you have a business purpose for your website or blog you need to have goals. Usually the goal is to drive sales; or at least drive actions that are going to lead to sales somewhere down the line (such as building an email list).
But most people are missing one single page that gets results at extremely high rates. And I’m going to share it with you here today.
The normal checklist of pages that you need to publish usually looks something like this…
If you have taken it one step further you will likely have pages that lead directly to your desired results. These are usually sales and landing pages.
Most people link to these directly in their navigation or sidebar. I do this here at CSH.
I have a link to my consulting and services page in the top navigation. I also link to two of my products in the sidebar: The Strategic Content Launch Pad guide to content marketing and blogging and my Content Optimization Guide.
I even have a link to a landing page where people can sign up and get free access to the Marketing Toolbox I assembled.
But these are all out in the open for anyone to see. You can see that I do this with some quick observation.
But there’s something you can’t see unless you have recently signed up to my email list…
Not too long ago I implemented something that in the internet marketing community is called an OTO (a “One Time Offer”).
This is an offer you make to new buyers or new subscribers only once. It is a deal that they won’t ever see again; one that people have to act on right away if they want to take advantage of it.
In most normal scenarios when someone purchases a product or subscribes, they would be taken directly to a confirmation page.
But in this instance, the OTO page is inserted right before this confirmation page.
Normal scenario: Subscribe >> Confirmation Page
New Scenario: Subscribe >> OTO Page >> Confirmation Page.
Let’s take a look at why this works so well…
There are a few reasons that a “one time offer” like this works so well.
The first reason is the audience.
At the point where your OTO is displayed, you have a captive audience. They just subscribed to your list or purchased your product. You may never have as much of their attention as you do at that point.
The second reasons is scarcity.
When you offer a great deal, but it is truly limited (i.e. only for first-time subscribers), the likelihood of someone taking action and taking you up on your offer increases exponentially.
Note: The makers of Market Samurai just released Scarcity Samurai. A great plugin that really helps you communicate the scarcity. In early testing results, people have doubled their normal incomes from sales pages using this tool. Very cool!
And the third is the reason for the offer.
Have you ever noticed how big sales usually happen around the holidays? The holiday gives companies a “reason” to make the special offer.
Well being a first time subscriber provides just as good a reason as any.
The array of offers you can make is unlimited.
Anything you normally sell can be offered at a special discount of some sort for your “one time offer.”
In my case I prefer to offer the digital products that I normally sell. This is obviously my preferred offer because it doesn’t cost me any more time or money to deliver on the offer.
However, there’s no reason that you can’t offer a service instead.
A while back I ran a special offer for my website audit service. If I had no products to offer, I could run this as a continuing special for first-time subscribers.
For people that generally provide a service, you can always offer a free first consultation of some sort.
Like anything in marketing, everything requires testing.
If you have multiple offers you can provide, then by all means test them all out to see which converts best.
However, the slightest changes can have enormous effects.
For example, try running a split test on the price of your offer. You would be surprised, but it’s not always the lowest price that converts best.
So…what are you going to offer?
Absolutely; the OTO page is a goldmine and more people should be using it. It’s very effective for recouping any advertising costs quickly and the OTO doesn’t have to be too pricey. Anywhere between $7 to $17 is fine.
Thanks for sharing your insights and experience on this topic with our bizsugar community.
Thanks for stopping by Ti.
More industries should really pick up this tactic (at least to see if it works – because it should).
The OTO doesn’t even have to be a paid offer, it could be a time-limited offer. For example, a service provider can offer some sort of free bonus service if the individual signs up for the default service within a certain time period.
In terms of price point, I think it really depends on what you are offering and who your audience is.
I’ve been running some tests on my offers and a price higher than that seems to work just fine.
Oh I so hate the one-time-offer page. I almost always fall for it.
Now that you’ve called it “the money page” though, I may have to reconsider my stance from “intense loathing” to just “loathing” and try it out.
Honestly I hate them too…because ALL of my experience with them is in the IM industry. The problem is that most of the OTOs there are really crappy…and they follow even crappier products.
But if you offer something great it should leave people happy.
Plus, this hasn’t really translated into non-IM niches yet. I think it would translate really well though.
I generally hate OTO’s but I’m definitely seeing the point with the post, Eugene. I believe I had one like that in the past for one list I was building which suggested an affiliate product after a person had signed up; it was doing well but the product fell through as time went on though there’s a new one in the market that could take its place. I’ll have to take a look through that list again and see how I can begin integrating it back into other projects, as well. Nice!
I have a feeling that you hate them because of your experience with the IM industry. I’m there with you.
Maybe I should have given it a different name? .
I think what makes the OTO is the quality of the product being offered. Something like a great plugin always does good. Ebooks are actually out of my way
eBooks have definitely been devalued online because of their abundance. But as long as you are delivering quality, any kind of offer should do (assuming it’s a subject your audience is interested in).
Definitely a little leery of the terminology as it reminds me of all those scammy/spammy turnkey, lots of CAPITAL RED TEXT sites, but I believe it can be used in a good way; like the author says, you can offer a pretty good discount as thanks for people signing up for your newsletter, etc.
Another page that I think is underused is the custom 404 page. Most sites have the standard 404 for when the page is not found, but you can make a custom one that gives extra information and contact info – I think it helps show you care about individual customers.
After publishing the post I had second thoughts about calling it a “one time offer” because of the connotation it has in the IM community. But that’s what it is, so that’s what I stuck with .
The OTO page is a tool…it’s all a matter of how you use it. If you are delivering value, then people should be happy in the end. Unfortunately it has gotten a pretty bad reputation because so many people use it in a sleazy way.
Can’t agree with you on this. It smacks against everything I go to the web for. If you can’t sell your product with straightforward great content (this is a content strategy group — right?) then you need to re-think what you are doing.
Hey Rob, appreciate your thoughts. Would you have this same point of view if I called it something else? I know the term “one time offer” has gotten a really bad reputation as of late.
The page is a tool, just like any other tool. It’s all a matter of how you use it.
What if, instead of a marketer, I was an accountant and offered a free consultation for new subscribers as my one time offer? Would you still have the same point of view?
In my opinion offering someone a discount on a valuable product as a bonus for signing up is not a bad thing. In fact, the refund rate for my digital products is…well…nonexistent. I am proud to sell them, and people sure seem happy with them.
What’s not straightforward about offering a discount and asking for a sale when you are running a business?
In terms of content strategy…my content is what drives people to the site and gets people to sign up. Every once in a while I’ll do a promotion within the content or in an email to my list. But why not provide a great value when you know you have someone’s attention? That’s what strategic thinking is all about.
Even though I’ve been promoting eBooks and products I’ve never used the OTO page for my buyers. Well, you’ve got to be thinking that if people are using this, it must work though.
Interestingly, I think that the main reason why I’ve never been motivated to have one is because I’ve never bought from one, but that just me, right?
Thanks for the tip.
I don’t think I’ve ever purchased from one either to be honest with you .
I think the best answer to pretty much everything in marketing is “test it.” See if it works for you.