Should You Offer a Bonus?

Should you offer a bonus to your product or program?

These days bonuses are so common they’re almost expected. That happy surprise that comes when people find out you’re giving them something extra for free isn’t what it used to be.

So, should you bother? If they’re not as effective as they used to be, is it worth it?

The short answer is: yes, pretty much every single time.

Bonuses are common because they work. Conversion rates climb when you offer a bonus because they are perfect for that customer who is on the fence and just needs an extra little push. When people like your offer, but aren’t sure if they should make the commitment, hearing the words “also, as a special bonus to the next few customers,” is music to their ears.

Good times to offer bonuses are when people are registering for your webinar, when you want to get people to take your survey, or at the end of a big sales pitch. Basically: the moment you’ve asked someone to take any action at all, it’s time to offer a bonus!

So, what makes a great bonus offer?

First, make sure it comes separately. If you put the bonus at the end of an ebook, for instance, people won’t make the connection that the bonus they were looking for is in there. You want to draw attention to the bonus so deliver it separately from your other content.

Next, make the bonus manageable. I’ve seen people offering everything they’ve ever done in the past as a bonus – which takes value away from all of that old material, encouraged people to wait until the current offering was a free bonus for something else, and really was just too overwhelming. What would anybody do with all that information?

Remember, the mark of a good bonus is that it is relevant, valuable, and timely.

Offering everything you’ve ever done is valuable but not necessarily relevant and probably not timely. Instead, pick out a few key pieces that are highly relevant and then make them available at strategic times. If you’re offering a course on creating webinars for instance, a highly valuable and highly relevant bonus would be a complimentary email marketing funnel complete with scripts. Then just make it available at that point in the course when they will be starting to build their own funnel.

Lastly, I want to tell you about the types of bonuses you can offer. There are many different types of bonuses but when and how you use them typically falls into two categories.

Category #1 – The bonus that helps people get over a common objection. This is something designed to address the biggest reason people have for not buying your product. Planners, checklists, and other organizers fit in really well here because they go to the question: will this work for me?

Category #2 – The bonus that only works after they buy your product. This includes things like specialized closed communities, one on one coaching sessions, and guest speakers. These are things that people would say: “Wow, it’s worth the price just for the bonus!”

Below you’ll find a list of the common types of bonuses. Don’t be afraid to mix and match them and get creative. A good bonus is relevant, valuable, and timely; a great bonus is also unique, fun, and irresistible.

• Early Bird – The Early Bird bonus is offered to anyone who purchases during a specific time period at the very beginning of your launch or just before the official launch date. The Early Bird bonus typically offers the best value and is normally designed with your brand ambassadors and early adopters in mind.

• Customer Gift or Every Man – The Customer Gift or Every Man bonus is offered to everyone who purchases. It doesn’t matter if they purchased before or after you announced this particular bonus, all buyers receive it. This is a great way to boost engagement mid-launch and get people more excited about the offer.

• Fast Action or Now – This bonus is normally something offered during a live event like a webinar or seminar or live chat and is normally only available for the duration of the event or for a brief time after the event.

• Timed – The Timed bonus is offered for a very short timeframe, normally 24 to 48 hours but unlike the Fast Action bonus, the customer does not have to attend a live event to get it. This bonus is usually offered mid-launch.

• Bonus or Thank-You – This is similar to the “Every Man” bonus as it is given to everyone who purchases. It is often reserved for the end of the launch and is normally designed as a thank you to everyone who opted in, but also has the added focus of helping fence sitters take the plunge.

What do you think?

What’s your favorite type of bonus and what makes it irresistible to you?

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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