Two weeks ago I took my car in to get the oil changed.

My wife convinced me to drop my car off at a brand new shop I’d never used before that was right around the corner from the Mexican restaurant we were going to be eating lunch at. They were offering some sort of “oil change deal” for new customers – a significant discount – which I happily took advantage of.

Following an hour of yummy burritos, guacamole, and black beans and rice, my wife brought me back to the shop to pick up my car. I paid. Got my keys. And jumped in my car to return home. Unfortunately, I didn’t find what I thought I would.

Ordinarily, when I get my oil changed, they also vacuum the interior, top-off all other fluids (i.e. windshield washer fluid, coolant), and lay down paper mats to protect the carpet. Not this time.

A Terrible First Experience

The only thing done was the oil change and nothing else. The carpets and windows were still dirty. The fluids were still low. And there were no little paper mats. Just an oil change.

I can only assume that since I took advantage of a discounted offer, they felt I should get discounted service. Maybe they figured since I was only paying $29 that I should only get $29 worth of service. I don’t know.

Regardless, I will not be going back there again. They messed-up a perfectly good opportunity to acquire a new long-term customer by their misguided approach to fulfilling on their “front-end offer”.

Understanding The Impact Of The Front-End

As I talked about in a recent blog post, the purpose of your front-end marketing is to acquire the greatest number of new customers at break-even (or better). The purpose of the backend (every additional transaction beyond the first) is where the profit is generated.

The key, though, to making this work is that the front-end product and transaction truly creates valuable customers excited to continue doing business with you by investing in more of your backend products/services.

In other words, your front-end products/offers need to deliver the goods!

Here are 6 components that should make-up every front-end product:

1. Top-Notch Quality

Whatever it is you sell, the first product/service a new customer gets from you should be top quality. It should be fantastic. It should be truly remarkable and referral-worthy.

Don’t put together your front-end products based on the price you’re going to charge. Instead, put together your front-end products based on the average lifetime value of a customer in your business.

Remember, customers will decide whether to invest more of their money with you based on how good the first product/service is.

2. Over-Deliver on Your Promises To Exceed Expectations

Whatever it is you promised to prospects when making your front-end offer, you need to fully deliver and then some.

The worst thing you can do with any front-end product/offer is hype up the benefits, over-promise, then under-deliver. Instead, you should always give more than what was promised and paid for.

3. Unexpected Value

Inline with #2, giving unadvertised bonuses and premiums – valuable items not even mentioned in the offer or known by your new customer – is a great way to over-deliver value and exceed expectations. Every New Customer Indoctrination Funnel should include at least one or more unadvertised goodies. Just make sure they’re also top quality. No shoddy stuff.

4. Superior Customer Experience

The entire experience new customers have with you, including: ordering their first product, receiving the product, going through the product, your communication with them about the product, etc., should be designed to WOW them and demonstrate how your company “goes the distance” for every customer.

You should spend time thinking about how you can do this at every point in your new-customer fulfillment process.

5. Low Barrier of Entry

Remember, the purpose of your front-end is to acquire maximum new customers at break-even. The goal is to grow a bigger and bigger list of individuals who have demonstrated their “quality” by investing in a product/service with your company (i.e. your house list of customers with a valid credit card on file).

Because people are inherently skeptical, the best front-end offers are often low-priced to provide a low barrier of entry for prospects. A low-price reduces risk, in the eyes of the prospect, and makes it easier for you to exceed expectations and over-deliver value with this transaction.

6. Strategic Content (that leads into deeper opportunities for consumption)

If you operate an information marketing business, your front-end products should be engineered strategically to lead new customers into backend courses, events, or memberships. This can be done a number of ways.

For example: You can allude to content detailed in other products. You can share valuable case studies from backend products. You can offer free lead magnets inside your front-end products to lead generate for backend marketing funnels. You can include special “Thank You Offers” toward the beginning of your front-end products. Etc. The key with this… is to make sure you’re not going into aggressive pitch-mode at any point within the front-end product.

When it comes to your front-end (customer acquiring) products and offers… always remember the goal at hand. You’re trying to acquire brand new customers at breakeven that will remain with you long-term, investing in multiple backend products and services.

So, you need to make sure the entire product and experience associated with that first product is strategically designed to accomplish that for you.

Question: What other components of a front-end product do you feel are necessary? You can leave a comment by clicking here.