Bonuses. They’re the “but wait — we’ll DOUBLE your offer!” or “Order now and we’ll give you free shipping” of infomercials. They’re the free toaster that banks used to give away when you opened an account.

They sound cheesy, but when you market info products, services and courses online, bonuses can be real value-adds, and be the difference between a sale and click-away.

But how do you pick the right bonuses? How many do you need? How much time, energy and money do you put into them? And — most important, how do you know your people will want them? Because a bonus no one is worse than useless; it can even decrease interest in your product.

Make it Relevant

When a bonus has nothing to do with the original offer (toaster anyone?) it causes a disconnect and does not add much, if any, value. So make your bonuses something that complements the product. It helps them use it, helps them get ready to use it, or helps them after they’ve used it. Think what your customers need before, during and after they experience your main offer. Could there be some sort of prep work, a quick-start component, a community, or ongoing support that helps them extend the value into the future?

Alternatively, something relevant can be complementary rather than directly connected to your offer. For example you sell a fitness program to middle-aged women, a bonus having to do with self-care, meditation or beauty could be a nice compliment. To find complementary bonuses, think what the end-end benefit of your original offer is to you customer (in this case, looking and feeling better, and improved self-esteem)

Ninja hint: create bonuses to address objections. There’s nothing more relevant than that. Do your prospects worry about the time to implement your solution? Offer a bonus that saves them time.

To create relevant bonuses, there is no substitute for knowing your prospect. Hopefully you did that before you decided on your main offer!

Make it Useful

Think how your people might actually use the bonus. It doesn’t have to be fancy or hard to create. I’ve found simple things like checklists, spreadsheets and apps to help track progress or calculate things (money earned, pound lost) — anything that helps people create systems for success — are popular bonuses.

Make it Stand Alone

A good bonus is a product unto itself. The best are something a person would pay for on its own. The absolute best are the ones that make people want to buy your offer JUST for the bonus. The simplest way to do this is to make your bonus limited (only so many, only available for so long) and make it another product that already exists — or will exist in the future. It doesn’t have to be your own. I’ve seen business owners “swap” bonus offers with each other — buy one and get the other free. The owners make a deal to share the revenue.

The good news: The most valuable bonus ideas cost you absolutely nothing.

How can I say that? Well, it’s true, some bonus offers are physical products that have to be created and shipped — but I find those the least attractive and valuable, plus they create an added headache. Unless you are selling a high-ticket offer, such as a mastermind, and absolutely want to send a physical object, I’d stay away from these.

The best and easiest are:

  • digital products or tools that can be downloaded
  • a community component
  • a ticket to an event you’d be doing anyway
  • or services you or someone else provides (note that this costs you time, so make it worthwhile — use it as a chance to deepen the relationship and possibly make an additional offer)

HUGE TIP: Your bonus may already exist, buried in your main offer. Is there anything you include as a feature that could be “broken out” and presented as a bonus? I call this “putting it on a velvet pillow”.

Check out your library of existing products to see if there are any you could include as relevant bonuses, and check out your offer to see if there are any juicy bonuses hiding in plain sight.

P.S. Want to be the first to know when my 3-Step Copy-to-Cash Machine program re-opens? Go here to get on the VIP First Look list.