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How to Create an Irresistible Offer

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Creating the Offer (Part 2 of 2)

By Hector Cisneros

In his book, "The Irresistible Offer - How to Sell your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Less", Mark Joyner lays out a map which shows how to create an offer so compelling that it guarantees success. However, there are many factors and nuances to creating an irresistible offer. Creating a great marketing message is part art and part science. Most businesses can create a compelling offer by using the science of testing and measuring.  

To create a great marketing message takes a little more. It needs a knack - artistic skill - that when combined with the science, leads to what Mark Joyner calls "The Irresistible Offer".  The reality is this: If creating a great irresistible offer was so easy - everyone would have one and we would all be making money hand over fist. Having said that, a really good, compelling offer can make you lots of money, so let’s look at the elements that make up Mark Joyner's Irresistible Offer.

All Business Relies on This!

According to Mark Joyner - no business can take place until and offer is made. He states that this offer must provide a quid pro quo. In other words - I give you something and you give me something of greater or equal value in return. But an Irresistible Offer is not just any quid pro quo. No one wants to trade something for less than equal value. This is tad amount to being ripped off. Trading for something of equal value is not so exciting either. This type of offer will not get people spreading your message like it’s the latest and greatest thing since the invention of the internet!  An irresistible offer is an offer that provides a very high return on the consumers' investment. In plain English, it’s a great deal for them.

The Irresistible Offer Defined

Here’s how Mark Joyner’s defines it: “The Irresistible Offer is an identity-building offer central to a product, service, or company where the believable return on investment is communicated so clearly and efficiently that it’s immediately apparent you’d have to be a fool to pass it up. “  And “The Irresistible Offer cuts through all the noise and clutter. It creates an itch that the buyer has to scratch. Such an offer makes doing business with you so easy and obviously beneficial that you stand out clearly from the crowd. People remember you. People can’t move quickly enough to give you their money.

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His primary example (of which he gives many in his book) is that of Domino’s Pizza. Here's Domino’s killer irresistible offer that took them to the top; "Pizza hot to your door in 30 minutes… or less… or it's free". It was one amazing offer. No Pizza dealer had ever made such a promise like that until Domino’s did. This offer was so irresistible and successful that it propelled Domino’s to Pizza industry dominance and billions of dollars in annual 
profits. A few other great examples I liked from Joyner’s book include: Columbia House Records touchstone: "10 CDs for 1 Cent" and Federal Express's "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight".

According to Joyner, “The Irresistible Offer” is made up of four important parts
  1. "Here's what you're selling".
  2. "Here's how much it will cost".
  3. "Here's what's in it for you".
  4. "Here's why you should buy from us".

The four parts of your message essentially make up what he calls the “Touchstone” – this is your marketing message. He also states that this message should be delivered in 3 seconds or less. Let’s look at each of these parts more closely to see how they make up Joyner’s “The Irresistible Offer”.

Remember Domino’s Touchstone message; “hot pizza to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free”. Here’s the message broken down by its four parts. For the first part of the Touchstone they are selling convenient - hot Pizza. For #2, the price is omitted but implies that they are in the ball park of other pizza makers. For #3, the consumer gets fresh hot Pizza to their door in less than 30 minutes. And #4, the consumer can believe the offer because – “if it’s late, it’s free”.

He further states the Irresistible Offer also has three crucial elements which include:
  1. A High ROI Offer (a great deal for the consumer).
  2. A Touchstone (a great irresistible offer).
  3. Believability (the offer and company are credible).

I spoke about #1 the High ROI offer earlier. Your offer needs to make it abundantly clear that your offer is so good the prospect would be a fool not to buy it. Your Touchstone is your actual verbal/written message, just like the Domino’s Pizza message. Here’s another example of a clear touchstone. We’re Working The Web to Wins – Creating Internet Marketing for the 21st Century, That Delivers, Guaranteed.  The last crucial element. #3 is Believability. Saying that this one element is crucial is an understatement. You can have the highest return on investment and the best marketing touchstone ever made, but if your credibility is gone – so are all of your potential sales. No one buys anything from people they don’t trust! On top of that, Joyner adds - there are stylistic elements to pay attention to. Specifically: clarity, simplicity, brevity and immediacy. Leaving these elements out diminishes the potency of your offer as well.

What is not an irresistible offer?

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According to Mark Joyner - many marketing professionals mistaken other marketing tactics for irresistible offers. These include marketing elements like using hyperbole, flashing sales hype, special offer or other sales gimmickry. It’s not bragging rights or even a statement of fact. It is also not your product or services benefits or your product, service or companies USP's (unique selling propositions). These elements can come close and can help, but by themselves are not "The Irresistible Offer". 

The way I see it is this. Both your benefits and USP's often lack one or all of the additional elements that make up a really great irresistible offer (i.e. they leave out 1 or more the 4 parts, the 3 crucial elements and or the style points). There are too drawn out and take much more than a few seconds to deliver. That doesn't mean you can’t make and irresistible offer in 60 seconds, it just means it doesn't meet Mark Joyner's criteria of 3 seconds or less. The best marketing messages are short, sweet, easy to understand and easy to evaluate. Most consumer’s attention span and tolerance for advertising is short. That’s why your marketing message has to be short, elegant and to the point as well. As my partner Carl always says, "You have less than two minutes to dangle the bait and hook the fish". People are overwhelmed by too many ads and they don't like being sold to all the time.

Mark Joyner’s Great Formula

In chapter seven of his book, Mark Joyner discuss his “great formula” for growing your sales using “The Irresistible Offer”. The formula goes like this. #1 “Create an Irresistible Offer.” #2 “Present the offer to a Thirsty Crowd.” and then #3 “Sell them a Second Glass.” 

We have already gone over creating an Irresistible Offer. The second part of his formula refers to picking the right target audience. This is why I said in the first part of the series that you have to fully understand your target market. Trying to sell Eskimo’s frozen Popsicles in winter is going to be a very hard sell – no matter how great your offer is. They don’t fit Mark’s analogy of a “Thirsty Crowd”. On the other hand, letting people try a mini Popsicle for free in south Florida, Texas or California in August is the right target market. They literally could be a thirsty crowd. Once they try your product by accepting your Irresistible offer, you offer to sell them more popsicles!

Every business needs to know that acquiring new customer is the most expensive way to grow your business. However, once you obtain a new customer, getting repeat business is much less expensive.  Selling them that second glass as Joyner calls it. This is something that ever business should be doing. I’m talking about add on sales, second sales and upgrade sales. This repeat business is often where you make all your profit. Knowing the long term value of a customer is invaluable knowledge, especially if you sell consumables or big ticket items that come in different grades of capabilities and features.

Even if you’re repeat sales cycle is 3 or 4 years, knowing how much you make off a loyal customer is very important. You need to know how much you make from them the first year, during the first five years and the account lifetime. This knowledge can help you create your Irresistible offer because it helps you to understand how you can structure your killer deal that ultimately hooks them with the initial buy. Now don’t get me wrong, you still have to earn their loyalty with good products and service or they will not come back for that second glass.

The Importance of Building Trust
In part one of this series, I devoted a section of that article on trust factors. To overcome a distrusting consumer market, you have to build trust. You do this by first and foremost, being trust worthy, by walking the talk and delivering on your promises. It also stands that you must be congruent in all your efforts as well. Your web properties must exude trust (that’s why we talked about the “on page trust factors” in the first article). 

On top of that, it’s important to have other trust building factors in your arsenal.  Having lots of testimonial videos (on YouTube), and in writing on mailed post cards and from clients with their letterhead are a good start. Encouraging clients to post testimonials to social nets and high ratings on rating site is another. Winning awards in your industry, and sharing your expertise via published articles and blogs is another. Always act in a professional manner when dealing with prospects and customers. You are always being scrutinized so watch your P’s and Q’s. Trustworthy behavior builds trust. Trust is the grease that lubricates the sales process. Trust trumps skepticism. It can even trump a superior product or service of a competitor. In a future article I will discuss how “The Irresistible Offer” is amplified by word of mouth marketing and how you can create a plan to maximize your results by combining the two.

In this article I have discussed how to create “The Irresistible Offer” using the methods talked about by Mark Joyner in his book of the same name. I also go into details about how to use Joyner’s "Great Formula" for success to maximize the number of sales you receive. Lastly I discuss the importance of believability and the trust factors needed to make “The Irresistible Offer” effective for producing second sales.

That's my opinion; I look forward to hearing yours.

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If you found this article useful please share it with your friends, family and co-workers. If you have a comment or a different opinion, join the conversation by adding it to the comment section below. If you would like to learn more, visit the notes page on this blog for the BlogTalkRadio show dated 9/08/2015. If you haven’t read part 1 of this series, go back and read that now. I recommend checking out "Understanding the Difference Between Branding, Marketing and Advertising" or "How to Create Your Unique Selling Proposition (AKA USP)" and " The Ultimate Guide to Creating an Ideal Customer Profile".  You can also search for other related articles by typing in “marketing or advertising” in the search box in the upper left hand corner of this blog.

If you feel your business could use some help with its marketing, contact us at 904-410-2091,We will provide a free marketing analysis to help you get better results.  Don't forget to Plus us on Google+ as well. If you'd like a free copy of our eBook, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," please fill in the form below. You will gain immediate access to it and as always, your information is always kept private and is never sold.

Hector Cisneros is a partner, COO and Social Media Director for the award-winning, Internet-based marketing firm, Working the Web to Win, in Jacksonville, FL. You can connect with him on TwitterFacebookGoogle+,  LinkedIn,  and YouTube.  He’s also the co-host of BlogTalkRadio’s “Working the Web to Win,” where he and Working the Web to Win’s co-founder, Carl Weiss, make working the web to win simple for every business. Additionally, Hector is a syndicated writer on Ezine Online and is an active blogger (including ghost writing). He's a published author of two books, "60 Seconds to Success"(available at Amazon and B&N), and "Internet Marketing for the 21st Century," which you can get by filling out the form above. He’s also the co-author of the new book, “Working The Web to Win,” which is now available on

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  1. The focus of any marketing should be Target - Offer - Copy and in that order. Most businesses have it backwards. They spend more time and energy on wordsmithing the right copy. If you hit the right target with the right offer the copy doesn't make that much of a difference.

  2. I really like that as an "identity-building offer" the "Irresistible Offer" seems to utilize and reinforce the core brand.

  3. "The Irresistible Offer cuts through all the noise and clutter. It creates an itch that the buyer has to scratch." This is good information. I'm ready to become a marketing mosquito.

  4. All very insightful and useful tips. Definitely things to look at implementing in any advertising campaign.