13 Powerful Ways to Energize Your Guarantee
by Dean Rieck
When you create a direct mail package, do you drop in a standard guarantee at the last minute out of habit or because it's company policy? This is a mistake.
A guarantee can be one of your most powerful selling tools. It's proof that you're reputable. It helps lower perceived risk. And it almost always boosts your response if used properly. So here are some tips to power-up your guarantee and make it work for you:
- Keep it simple. There are many ways to enhance your guarantee, but your basic guarantee copy should be clear and strong, leaving no questions unanswered. Here's the classic guarantee: "If you are not completely satisfied for any reason, just return your widget to XYZ Company within 30 days for a full refund of your purchase price."
- Make it visible. Add it to your sales letter call to action. Highlight it by enclosing it in a box in your brochure. Feature it on the order form. Print it as a stand-alone insert. You want people to see it no matter what part of your direct mail package they look at.
- Use guarantee copy to sell. For example, you might add a line such as "Fill out the order form and mail it today. Try your Gizmo for 60 days. If you're not completely satisfied ...", and so on.
- Prefer unconditional guarantees. They're stronger than conditional guarantees and easier to administer. And unless you're selling an inferior product, very few people will try to take advantage of your goodwill. In most cases, the number of sales you add will far outweigh any additional returns.
- Use strong language. "Unconditionally Guaranteed." "No-Risk Guarantee." "100 Percent Satisfaction Guaranteed." "No-Questions-Asked Guarantee." As long as it's believable, the stronger your guarantee sounds the better.
- Go beyond money back. How about "Double Your Money Back" or "115% Credit" for another purchase? How about "We won't cash your check for 30 days" or "We'll return your own check to you." This assures customers that they will never have money at risk.
- Match your offer. Provide a money-back guarantee for purchases, a buyback for collectibles, cancellation privileges and a refund for subscriptions. Think of the characteristics of your offer and the perceived risk involved then formulate your guarantee to counter that risk in the most appropriate manner.
- Add a signature. Nothing shows your commitment to a product like signing your name to the guarantee. The person of highest authority, or the person who wrote the letter, should sign it.
- Extend the guarantee period. Instead of 30 or 60 days, how about a one-year guarantee? Or a lifetime guarantee? After a while, most people forget about the guarantee or feel too guilty to return used items.
- Make it look official. Certificate borders, certificate paper, watermarks, icons like eagles and flags, dollar values in the corners, and other touches can help your guarantee look official. You can even create a seal or stamp with your basic guarantee copy inside.
- Add third-party approval. A Good Housekeeping Seal or an endorsement from an organization can add power to your guarantee.
- Offer a valuable bonus. For example, "If you don't like TaxSaver Software, send it back at our expense, get a full refund, and keep the Day Planner and mouse pad as our gift to you."
- Try extreme specificity. State your guarantee and give a phone number to call if the customer has a complaint. You could even give the name of someone to talk to. This costs you nothing and raises the believability of your guarantee to its highest possible level.
Copyright © 2003 Dean Rieck. All Rights Reserved.
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