5 Key Steps To Email Offers That Deliver Leads

Your “offer” is the secret sauce of email lead-gen success—without one, your prospect has no reason to click or reply. Use this step-by-step guide to create email offers that resonate with your prospects, and deliver you leads and sales.

Pop quiz: what’s missing from this email?

Dear [NAME],

Our awesome company is the industry leader in [INDUSTRY].

We provide businesses what they need to succeed. For over 20 years, we’ve been serving our customers with a firm commitment to top-quality service. To find out more, call us at 555-555-5555.


Joe Jones

It doesn’t offer anything. Your prospect has no reason to act.

Your prospects won’t just automatically click or respond to your emails. They need to get something in return—they need a reason to act.

That’s where your offer comes in. It’s what your prospect gets in return for acting on your email, and it’s the “secret sauce” of email marketing success.

Let’s try that email again—this time, with a clear offer:

Dear [NAME],

If you’re having trouble with [PROBLEM], I thought you’d be interested in checking out this free guide to [SOLUTION] that we share with our clients.

I’d welcome the chance to meet and share some more ideas about how we might be able to help you. For over 20 years, businesses like yours have used our services to achieve [X, Y, and Z], and you may be able to benefit from what we’ve learned.


That’s a lot better, isn’t it? To learn how you can create offers that deliver clicks, replies, and leads, follow these 5 key steps:

Step 1: Who?

Who ultimately determines whether or not your offer is compelling? Your audience. Start by identifying who you want to reach.

As a first step, identify the basic demographics of your target audience. Ask yourself these key questions:

  • A successful offer starts with your prospects: who are they?
  • Is your audience large and diverse? Or small and focused?
  • Do your prospects already know about you? Or are they unfamiliar with your business and its products and services?

Different “fish” will respond to different “bait.” Even if you have a large target audience, different segments (e.g., medical, industrial, professional) will respond to different offers.

Step 2: What?

Every successful offer answers a question, solves a problem, addresses a priority, or meets a need.

Imagine a question, problem, or priority your prospects are facing. Then use the same words as a road map to your unique answer:

  • How can I improve my cold calling results? Improve your cold calling results with these 6 Winning Cold Call Scripts!
  • I’m worried about losing my company data in a cyber attack. Protect your company data: learn the 5 major cyber threats facing small businesses!
  • I want to retain my employees. Retain your top employees with a modern, healthy break room—get your free design.

Remember these key points:

  • Frame your offer in terms of your prospect’s problems and priorities—not your company or your product.
  • You may think your company or product is fascinating, but your prospect has a different perspective. Be clear and explicit about what your prospect will get in return for acting.
  • A good email offer makes use of the psychological principle of “Reciprocity”: when you give your prospects something of value, they’re more likely to give something back in return.

Step 3: How?

How you deliver your “answer” matters, too. The right medium—white paper, webinar, in-person event, etc.—can reinforce your message, and engage the right prospects.

Offers come in all shapes and sizes—they educate, entertain, engage, and reward.

Remember these key points:

  • Some offers will deliver more leads, while others will deliver higher-quality leads.
  • Likewise, some offer formats have higher “barriers to entry”—more prospects may download a white paper than register for an event.
  • Often, you can use different formats to deliver the same information: white paper, ebook, slideshow, video, webinar, networking event, etc. Certain formats work better with some offers than others.

Step 4: When?

The timing of your offer matters. Some offers will attract prospects early in the buying cycle, while others will appeal to ready-to-buy prospects.

At the “Awareness” stage, prospects don’t know about you and aren’t actively looking for a solution to a problem. They want ideas for how to address basic challenges and priorities.

At the “Consideration” stage, prospects have heard about you and may be in the market to buy. They want more info on their options, and ideas for how to address specific challenges and priorities.

At the “Decision” stage, prospects are actively looking to buy and are ready to make a decision. They want details on how you can solve their problems, and what makes you different and effective.

Remember these key points:

  • Prospects at different stages of the buying cycle will respond to different kinds of information.
  • To connect at prospects at all stages, it’s critical to diversify your offers.
  • The right offer at the right time (or the right sequence of offers over time) can help nurture a prospect along the path to a sale.

Step 5: What’s Next?

Your offer is a step on the path toward a relationship with your prospect. Tell your prospect what to do and be ready to follow up.

Many email campaigns direct readers to a landing page. A landing page is a stand-alone web page designed to reinforce your offer & gather additional information about your highest-value prospects.

Remember these key points:

  • Your offer should include a “Call-to-Action” that tells your prospect what to do and prompts them to act (e.g., click, reply, call, register, subscribe, download, etc.).
  • Landing pages help reinforce your offer and identify the warmest leads.
  • Your action step helps you accurately measure the results of your campaign—what percentage of your prospects “acted” on your offer?

Now that you know the key elements of a successful offer, all you need is some prospects to connect with! Want to know the exact number of good, local prospects you could email using the BWise prospecting database?

Use our free Prospect Finder.