My hand was already reaching down to toss it in the trash… but, suddenly, I stopped.

I lifted the catalog back up… and examined the front cover again.

“Free Shipping – No Minimum Order.”

Hmm, I thought. Maybe I’ll just take another look inside and see what I can find.

I love free shipping. It can persuade me to buy something… even if I wasn’t going to buy anything in the first place.

What sort of magic is at play here?

I never really thought about it until this year’s Info Marketing Bootcamp. Then, during his Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance presentation, Bob Bly said something that clicked: “Sometimes your bonus is just as important as the product you’re selling.”

Take a look at any sales letter… or any infomercial… even some banner ads… and you’re bound to find a bonus.

A bonus is the free special report you get when you sign up for a newsletter… the MP3 download you get when you buy a book… the 6-in-1 kitchen tool and set of precision steak knives you get when you order a Ginsu knife… or the free shipping you get when you order a Land’s End fleece jacket.

Sometimes, as Bob pointed out, the bonus is that little extra push your customer needs in order to buy. A really good bonus shows her just how much value she is getting for her money.

In one example that Bob gave, a newsletter publisher compiled a “best of” collection of his most popular column. When he started offering the compilation as a bonus, subscription rates skyrocketed. Another newsletter publisher found that when he offered a reprint of his annual industry salary survey as a bonus for new subscribers, orders for new subscriptions increased 25 percent.

So the next time you come up with a sales offer, make sure you include a valuable bonus that can give your customer one more reason to buy.

[Ed. Note: Bob Bly – in addition to being the author of over 70 books and an expert Internet marketer – is a contributor to ETR’s exclusive business-building program, the Internet Money Club. Not only will this program teach you techniques that marketing masters use to create monster sales, it will show you how to pick a product, set up a website, and pull in targeted, qualified traffic. And that’s just for starters. Learn how to create your own Internet business this year, regardless of the current level of your technical or marketing know-how.

Sign up for Bob’s free monthly e-zine, The Direct Response Letter, and get more than $100 in free bonuses.]

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