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Give a Little

Make your prospects an offer they can't refuse--a little something for nothing.

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This story appears in the June 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Often, it's not what you sell that determines success in advertising, but rather what you offer. There's a big difference. The offer encompasses not only your product or service, but also what you bundle with it at "no additional cost" just to get prospects to say yes. Think of the ubiquitous line in direct-response TV commercials-"But wait, that's not all you get . . ."-and you have it in a nutshell.

Such offer advertising has no more deft practitioner than David Oreck, purveyor of and chief spokesman for that 8-pound dirt-sucker known as the Oreck Vacuum Cleaner. And the ad shown here is the embodiment of Oreck's offer packaging. The headline reads "You can buy this iron for $130. Or you can have it free." This is followed by an explanatory subhead beseeching you to "Try my amazing 8-lb. vacuum free of charge for 30 days, and my $130 Cordless Iron is your gift."

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