local media insider

"Free offers" that create high-conversion digital ads

Use this list of proven offers to help merchants increase opt-ins for SMS and email collection


Never run out of ideas again. Here is a list of proven ideas that create high-conversion headlines, and samples of actual headlines with  response rates.   Use these samples to create  high-conversion banner ads that build data collection programs via opt-ins for email, SMS or Facebook likes. These were supplied by David Fowler, consultant and CEO of Ads-Up.

Note:  High conversion headlines  drive opt-ins to build merchants customer database, via Facebook, email or SMS, rather than just make a sale. So merchants get back additional value something tangible from creating an offer and investing in marketing. 

Banner ads are small and have to commnicate quickly. They are impulse clicks, much like a cat batting after a string. So offers need to be short, and powerful.

Listed below are Fowler's:

a.  six main Unique Value Propositions

b. seven key human motivations ads appeal to

c. A list of offers to use

d. Restaurant headlines that work

A. Unigue Value Propositions
There are six key UVP strategies your sales teams should know to educate merchants.

1. Assurance guarantee
"Drive our car for 30 days. Love it or we'll buy it back"

2. Free gifts and extras

"Free teeth whitening" for new patients, or a "free lunch for joining the VIP list, free bottle of wine with dinner are common ideas. The point here is to simply offer a 'giveaway' that buys the customers data, or gets them in the door to upsell additional services. Typically, the giveaway is less than the average sale. For example, with x-rays there is usually additional dental work required. With a free tanning session, there is usually a package purchase to achieve a better look.

3. A bundle of additional products and services

In the "Wait there's more!" category, landing pages become irresistable with additional value added to the deal. The "endless mimosa" at the breakfast diner, a limousine ride to the cruise package.

4. Free premium

Gas for a year with the purchase of a new car is typical of this kind of a sale. Night clubs often use passes that "Go to the front of the line."

5. Free offer such as "Buy one, get one free"

These are typically better for the merchant than 50% off, or making the sale free outright, since they at least make one full sale.

6. Free trial

This works great for classes, in the hopes that the user will get hooked - and also, of course, will be in the customer database.

B. Core human motivational factors

Psychologists give seven key factors that motivate human response to ads:

1. Saving time or money
2. Making money
3. Recovering what's lost (including "youth")
4. Getting more sex
5. Getting more knowledge
6. Getting more comfort/safety
7. Caring for loved ones

C. The list of proven "FREE" advertising offers

• Free sample of the product
• Free sampling of the service
• Free check-up, teeth cleaning, whitening
• Free membership for 60 days
• Free audit
• Free catalog
• Free analysis
• Free report
• Free first lesson or class
• Free consultation (only if consults are otherwise paid)
• Free information
• Free video or CD or DVD
• Free e-book
• Free booklet
• Free dinner
• Free lunch
• Free newsletter for 3 months
• Free room cleaning
• Free cookie
• Free eggs, butter, or milk
• First month free
• Free installation

•Free car wash

Here are a few more offers that use other ways to say  “FREE”:

• Complimentary dinner
• Complimentary e-book
• Complimentary 1-hour consultation
• Complimentary survey results
• Complimentary gas card
• Complimentary seminar
• Complimentary DVD Report sent overnight to you
• Dinner is on us
• I’ll pay for dinner
• Let me pay for dinner
• Let us pay for dinner
• Be our guest for…
• You’re invited to be our guest and receive…
• No cost to you
• You pay nothing
• Your cost? Absolutely nothing…
• Pay nothing as our guest
• I invite you to sample ___ at no cost to you

4. Restaurant headlines that work

  The following are sample headlines known to have proven results for restaurants.

SAMPLE:   FREE Grand Slam Breakfast any day before 10am!


        FREE _______________ any day before ________!


SAMPLE:   Kids Eat FREE...any Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday!


        Kids Eat FREE...any ______ _______ or __________!


SAMPLE:   Free 18” Pizza (any 2 toppings) when you buy 2 draft beers!


        Free ____________________ when you buy ______________!


SAMPLE:   Free dessert for 2 with the purchase of any kids menu meal!


        Free ______________________ with any ___________________!


SAMPLE:   Buy 1 Chicken Sandwich and get 1 free!


        Buy ________________ and get ____ free!


SAMPLE:   One Chicken Sandwich Free When You Bring a Friend!


        One ________________ Free when You ____________!


SAMPLE:   Have dinner on us tonight!


        Have _________ on us ______________!


SAMPLE:   Free 18” pizza when you sign up for email offers.


        Free ________________ when you sign up for email offers.


SAMPLE:   FREE $100 Hooters Gift Card!


        FREE ______________ Gift Card


Many thanks to David Fowler for sharing  these headline ideas with us. His book, Ultimate Money-making Newspaper Ads can be acquired  by contacting gofinddavid.com.


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