Posted Monday, November 8, 2004
..How to bundle for valuable results without devaluing your product
I almost clicked. Really, I did.
The ad copy was compelling, the content focused. This was exactly what I was looking for. Yes, I was convinced I had found just the eBook I needed to add to my e-library.
Credit card in hand, my mouse cursor hovered over the "order now" button ready to click. The excitement mounted. I had to have it.
Then it happened...a doubt...a discordant second thought that caused me to view the irresistible offer in an entirely different light — so much so that I put away my credit card and clicked the "back" button on my browser instead.
What the devil could possibly have persuaded me to turn my cheek the other way so abruptly?
Was the cost too high to justify the purchase?
Not at all. In fact, I would have paid twice that for the information initially presented.
Perhaps there weren't enough bonuses?
Okay. Now we're getting warmer. However, it's not what you might think.
The fact is, this guy had me completely sold until he presented his gazillionth bonus...blah, blah, blah. Yea, this guy really blew it by offering overkill on his bonuses. By the time I got to the umpteenth bonus, I was actually doubting the value of his main product.
By bundling so many bonuses (many of which had been around the Net and back hundreds of times) with his eBook, the author actually succeeded in lowering the perceived value. I began to feel that perhaps the information was not truly worth the money. I mean, why did he have to attach so many bonuses, many of which did not even directly apply to his topic?
Is it possible that bundling bonuses with your offer can actually do more harm than good?
Does that mean that bundling is not good.
No, absolutely not. In fact, I'm a firm believer in bundling. You simply need to learn how.
So, what's the key?
How do you know what kinds of bonuses will actually help tip the Doubting Thomas over the line and compel him to click the "order now" button? And how many bonuses will it take?
There's a very simple 2-question "Bundling Test" you can use to know whether you're adding value to your products or whether you're devaluing them.
1) Do your bonuses complement, as if to complete your product? (you want to do this)
2) Do the kinds and quantity of bonuses overshadow, as if to cloud or drown out your product? (you don't want to do this)
Once your bonuses pass the Bundling Test, you simply work over your ad copy until it is a fine piece of workmanship.
Now, that makes sense, doesn't it? Then, why do so many people insist on raping the quality of their product by removing the purity of the offer?
You've got to have firmly in your mind what it is you want to sell. Is it your product or is it your bonuses? It should be your product. Your bonuses should then support the sell of your product. It's as simple as that. Non of this haphazard throwing in bonuses.
May I offer two real-life examples I recently encountered? One made me click away, the other caused me to click the "order now" button. And, yes, I did purchase the product.
I've changed the name of the authors in the examples to protect the innocent (or not-so-innocent). For the purpose of comparison, in both examples the authors are selling info products on the topic of e-publishing; nevertheless, what is gleaned from each example applies to any product for any industry.
Example #1: The Slipshod Approach
For purposes of anonymity, let's call the owner of the first info product "Joe."
Nothing wrong with the first part of Joe's ad copy. It was convincing and compelling. Where did his offer fall apart? In his bonuses.
First of all Joe's bonuses were never mentioned until the very end...well after the first, second or even third "order now" button. It was as if they were thrown in as an after-thought, and a not very-well-thought-out bonus package at that. This positioning brings to mind the shady used car salesman who tries a last-stitch effort with, "Tell ya what I'm gonna do." Tacky. No thanks.
Secondly, most of Joe's bonuses were nothing more than eBooks that you can find on any free eBook directory. Oh, and the hundreds of reports with free reprint rights? Worthless! Can you see how quickly Joe's offer is losing credibility?
Thirdly, Joe offered a total of seven bonuses containing 21 eBooks, 650 reports with reseller rights, a software toolkit, an eBook compilation service, a free email account, and free subscription to an ezine...all this for Joe's one measly little eBook and, as Joe stated, "to sweeten the deal." This sweet deal was rapidly leaving a sour taste in my mouth. What was so wrong with his eBook that he had to offer so much junk?
Furthermore, none of the bonuses directly complemented the topic of his own eBook. Why simply throw them in? Customers are looking for a nicely-put-together package, not the slipshod approach.
But, here's the straw that broke the camel's back. Joe's book was priced at $27. How much would you think his bonuses should be worth? An additional $10? $30? A doubled $54? Would you believe over $1,000? Get real! The value of the bonuses was grossly lopsided to the value of his own info product.
Now, what value do you perceive that $27 eBook to have? Most likely, not much value at all by now.
Unbelievable! Yes, quite frankly it was.
You've heard the old adage, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." My sentiments exactly. With so many slipshod bonuses thrown in, it was simply too good to be true.
In short, it turned my interest to suspicion.
Let's put example #1's offer to the "Bundling Test." Did Joe's bonuses complete his product? No. In fact, they took away from it. Did the bonuses drown out his product? Yes, grossly.
Looks like the first example failed miserably. Let's go on to the next example.
Example #2: The Seamless Approach
The owner of the info product in this second case study presents an excellent example of how bundling and presenting your bonuses should work. In this actual example, let's call the owner "Paul."
Paul's new info product was worth $97. With this he bundled three quality eBooks. Already, he established value in his offer.
Although I already had two of those eBooks, the way Paul seamlessly wove the three bonuses into his product was intriguing. He made me feel as though those three eBooks should not be read as stand-alones, rather that they were integral to his own product.
How did he do this so seamlessly?
First of all, Paul took the time to explain in detail what each bonus eBook contained. He expounded on how each eBook complemented his product, calling the bonuses "the primers" to his course. Not only this, he spoke personally about each author of the bonus eBooks and what they could offer the reader.
There was nothing presented as an after-thought. The bonuses were an important, well-thought-out, integral piece of the puzzle.
Let's put Paul's bonuses to the "Bundling Test." Did his bonuses complement his product? Yes, in fact, they completed it. Did the bonuses drown out his product? No. There were three perfectly thought out bonuses, no more. And, their value to his product was reasonable, giving value to his own product.
Now, I did not put out money for the cheaper $27 product. I did, however for the more expensive one. Why? Paul's example created value, and much of that value was in how the bonuses were presented. In contrasting the two above you can clearly see why.
And how did Paul end his ad copy? With these words, of course, "No $1658.97 worth of useless bonuses to waste your time. Just the stuff you need to get results."
That is what you and I ultimately want, after all, isn't it? Results?
We online entrepreneurs are generally very busy people. Our time is limited. We don't have time to read every book or eBook that comes our way. Give us quality products only that will give us results.
Folks, there's a fine line between adding value to your products and devaluing them. Make sure you know which side of the line your bonuses are on.
Use the "Bundling Test" to help you add value to your products. If your bonuses pass the test, your readers will click.
Bundle away...but be sure you bundle for desired results.
Copyright 2004 Heidi Perry
About the Author
Seasoned entrepreneurs, Dave & Heidi Perry are founders of HomeBusinessOnline.com and PrettyGreat.com. Known for their straight-shooter style, Heidi & Dave are editors of HomeBizBytes. Receive a free issue at (http://HomeBusinessOnline.com/nsl.htm?sya)