The act of running an offer is very simple, but making it an effective sales funnel is more involved. There are three critical bits I want to squawk about. If you get these right, then you’re going to really like what is going to happen.
If my previous post made you want to try Facebook Offers, this will tell you how to do it.
In my other mini series on promoting Facebook posts, I explained that laying the right groundwork makes all the difference. The following builds on that:
1. Your offer should be genuinely good
Generally that means no 10% discounts (unless it’s a truly big-ticket item). 20-50% discounts are what people expect, and thanks to sites like Groupon and Living Social, even the 20% discounts are going out of style. But maybe you actually can’t afford more than a 10% discount. Then make the coupon save actual dollars. A 10% discount on $100 sounds meh, but a $10 discount sounds maybe worthwhile.
Whatever it is, ask a few trusted friends or even a loyal customer what would motivate them to follow through. It may not be realistic but it never hurts to do a little informal research first.
2. Make your offer catchy
Believe it or not, even a dramatic offer can fall flat if its hook is uninteresting (yes, I know this the hard way). That means a clear, simple title, and an interesting, high-contrast image that has a single focal point. For example:
[highlight type=”light”]Get amazing discounts on all our brands[/highlight]
That was lame. Try this:
[highlight type=”light”]Huge discounts on your favorite brands![/highlight]
See the difference? In the first example the subject is brands. Blah. In the second example the subject is you. Everyone likes themselves, and they certainly like their favorite things.
What if your offer is more modest? The same approach applies.
[highlight type=”light”]Save $10 on any purchase with this code.[/highlight]
Lame sauce. Lets add some awesome:
[highlight type=”light”]$10 off your purchase. Limited quantity.[/highlight]
That puts the money first. Again we made “you” the subject. Limiting the quantity makes them perceived as more valuable.
3. Target your audience well
If you only want to reach people who have already liked your page, then you can forego all targeting and promotion and simply publish your offer for free. If you are fortunate, it may even get shared around.
But most of the time you’re trying to reach beyond your little cadre of likes. In that case you want to promote it. There is no need to pay for people who are not interested. At this point you could just post the offer on your page, with no promotion at all, and it’s free.
Tragically, Facebook has steeply increased it’s price to promote. I’m not happy about that. I will say, however, that it is good at putting your offer out there, in front of people. So at $60 this is not the cheapest ad experiment you have ever run. As always you need to know how many responses will put you into profit. If you stand to make $20 per redemption then you need three just to break even. But maybe you get 12, which puts $180 in your pocket. It depends on your business.
There is an alternative way to promote your offer. That is to pin it on your page and run it as an ad. This enables to to work with the ad budget and increased targeting options. I’ll cover Facebook ads in the future.
So how do you do it?
First write your message. You get up to 90 characters (including spaces) which comes to roughly 16 words. Shorter is better.
Then make an image, in the odd dimension of 1200×627 pixels or basically a 1.9:1 ratio. As I said, make it something that grabs attention. A photo that is too busy, or has muddy coloring will not be noticed. Most people will see it less than 400px wide so think small. Of course keep it as relevant to your message as possible.
Then go to your page, and as you would write a post, click on the Offer, Event + button, select Offer, and upload your chosen image and write your headline, then click next.
Now you can set an expiration date, and you have the options for terms and conditions as well as advanced options. I strongly recommend doing both. Write your terms, trying to think of anything that could potentially go wrong.
Then expand the Advanced Options box, and there you have the option of entering a web site, which you may or may not need. You can also set a limit on claims, which may be a good idea, especially if you are using the limited supply as a selling point, but also if too many claims would put you in a bad position. There is also the very cool feature of being able to add a redemption code, or all manner of UPC or QR code. That is great if the offer integrates with your point of sale system! When that is all set, click next again.
Finally you select your target audience and budget. At this point it only selects by city, gender, and age. You can add multiple cities if you need to, particularly when suburbs are involved.
Every time you make a change here it changes the potential reach and the budget. Be careful to make sure your budget is set before you publish, because Facebook keeps changing it to the recommended budget every time you change the parameters.
If you are ready to spend $60 or more then you are ready to publish! Facebook handles it from here on out. Like Google, Facebook wants you to be a repeat customer so they will do the best they can on their end to make your ad a success.
You can see how many claims there were, and how many people were exposed right at the bottom of your post. You will also find the added benefit of more people liking your page, which is nice.
“But wait!” you say, “You mentioned a free option.” Yes I did; and there is, but you can’t make it from your page. You have to go into your ads manager to create the offer. You do that by clicking on the gear cog on the very top right of Facebook and choose “Advertise on Facebook” or “Create Ads” depending on the type of profile you are in.
It will then ask you what you want to do. You need to click “more options” to see offers. From there the process is very simple and intuitive, and you can post for free and promote later.
I strongly encourage you to give offers a try, even if you must go the free route. These things are designed to work, and if you do your part well, you could find the results very rewarding.