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Even in the world of B2B, a good offer holds incredible sales and marketing power. While special offers are ubiquitous in all sales and marketing verticals, the types of offers that work well in B2B are slightly different from those that work in B2C. Here four types of offers to consider for more effective B2B marketing:

1. The Time-Based Offer

The time-based offer is a QVC mainstay. If something is only available for a limited time, people will be more likely to want it. This is especially true if you’re offering a special price, as people will want to lock that in before the time limit runs out and the price rises. Whether a day-long flash deal (think Amazon Prime Day) or a month-long special (like a Honda dealer’s annual sale), time-based offers are useful in both B2C and B2B contexts because they leverage our natural sense of urgency.

Some examples:

  1. “Act now to lock in this special pricing!”
  2. “The first 50 people to sign up receive a free month!”
  3. “Buy before the demo ends and get 10 percent off your first service!”

2. The Discounted Offer

Everyone loves to feel like they are getting a deal. Discounted offers are usually combined with time-based offers, and there are many kinds of discounts you can use when selling in the B2B arena. For products or services with a lower cost per acquisition and revenue to client ratio, you may want to cap the discount at a specific dollar amount or avoid offering discounts that may be combined with other offers. Unlike retailers, which can make up for low prices through high-volume sales, B2B marketers must be aware of what they are selling before determining the appropriate discount. For example, offering a fixed dollar amount off can backfire if your product is very expensive or your buyer is sophisticated.

Similarly, B2B marketers must make sure their discounts are targeted at the right people. Be careful not to offer a discount that is too low-value for your market. For example, $700 off may appeal to a front-line worker but seem paltry to the executive who actually has buying power.

Some examples:

  1. “New customers receive 25 percent off their subscriptions.”
  2. “Now available for $300 off with coupon code.”

3. The Value-Added Offer

Perhaps there is no wiggle room in your budget to offer discounts, and you don’t have the marketing automation or service staff in place to manage a time-based offer. In this case, you might want to consider a value-added offer.

A value-add is attractive to many marketers, especially in the B2B space, because it pleases both the potential client (by creating a perception of additional value) and the company offering the deal (because it guarantees a sale is made before the value-add is given).

Value-added offers can come in a number of varieties, including:

  1. Offering a prospect more product for the same price, such as an enterprise-level service at a small-to-medium-business price
  2. Extra quantities, such as two seats for the price of one
  3. Added service, such as free implementation or a dedicated account manager
  4. Feature enhancement, such as a software upgrade available for free for a certain amount of time

If your price point is high, don’t expect a free eBook or white paper to work as value-add. The customer must believe the value-add is sufficiently valuable before they are willing to purchase the product.

4. The Loyalty Offer

Loyal customers are the best customers, and the same goes for partners and affiliates. When you can reward loyalty, do so. Not only is it likely to bring in more business, but it’s also likely to assist with building your brand and locking clients in for longer periods of time.

Loyalty offers are almost universally useful in B2B and B2C capacities — think grocery store loyalty cards, store credit cards, etc. Examples include:

  1. “Refer a friend and get 10 percent off your next month’s bill if they sign up.”
  2. “Buy a year, get one month free.”
  3. “Sell X amount, and we’ll kickback 5 percent to the affiliate.”
  4. “Leave a review and get a credit of $5 added to your account.”
  5. “Get $1 off for every social share.”

A version of this article originally appeared on Business2Community.

Maren Hogan is founder and CEO of Red Branch Media. You can read more of her work on Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and her blog, Marenated.



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