When writing sales copy – written content promoting your product or services – you have the all-important task of winning over a potential customer. Over the last few weeks, here at Engage Web we’ve provided a number of useful tips to enhance your sales copy, including using the AIDA principle, future pacing and pre-empting objections. These are all extremely useful and fairly easy to implement into your copy, but one aspect that often gets overlooked is the guarantee.
Businesses may find themselves reluctant to provide a guarantee for their product, fearing that if they do, they’ll be hit with a flurry of refunds and lose all their profit. However, this assumption couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, including a guarantee in your sales copy is a way to help ensure that your reader seriously considers investing in what you have to offer.
Why do guarantees work?
Well, in short, a guarantee acts as a booster to your credibility, and helps foster trust within the reader. When purchasing a new product, there is always a degree of unease and uncertainty. Will it work? Will it fall apart? Will it live up to its reviews? By providing a guarantee, you are telling the reader that you are confident in your product, which in turn instils confidence in them. For example, by reassuring them that if they’re not happy with an item, they can return it and get their money back, you help the reader move from the Consideration stage of the Buyer’s Journey to the Decision stage.
If you’re truly proud of your product, and you know it will provide the solution to your customers’ problems, then you have little to lose in offering a guarantee. On the other hand, if you refuse to provide a guarantee, it suggests to the reader that even the products’ creators have little faith, which can discourage a purchase.
There are many types of guarantee, but the most common, and arguably most effective, is the money-back guarantee. This basically means that if the customer isn’t happy with the product, they can return it for (usually) a full refund. By promising their money back, the risk of the purchase is removed, which makes a reader feel more encouraged to try the product.
It doesn’t have to be a money-based guarantee, though – it could be a parts replacement, an entire product replacement, an exchange for something else or a discount off their next purchase. However, remember that the bigger the incentive in the guarantee, the more likely the customer is to purchase the product.
How to write a guarantee
Everyone will have come across some sort of guarantee when shopping for a product. Often, they’re written in phrases like:
“If you’re not happy after 30 days, get your money back!”
“Take advantage of our 60-day money-back guarantee.”
When writing your guarantee, make sure that the solution is clear to the reader, which in the two examples above is getting their money back. Using personal pronouns are also recommended – referring to the reader as “you” and the business as “we”, “our” or “us” – to further establish a connection and trust with the reader.
Undeniably, the most important point to remember when writing a guarantee is that you can deliver on it. Do not offer customers a full refund if you’re not prepared to provide one, as in the long run, this will result in negative reviews and likely a loss in sales. Also, ensure you make the terms of the guarantee clear. While writing paragraphs upon paragraphs of terms and conditions won’t make for the most compelling sales copy, if you need to clarify certain aspects, you could direct readers to a separate page listing the conditions, or refer them to the small print.
Like offering a guarantee itself, businesses may be put off offering a longer guarantee in the fear of losing out on money. However, there are many advantages to offering a longer guarantee.
Firstly, by offering a long guarantee such as a year, you come across as extremely confident in your product. This, in turn, helps provide the reader with the confidence to purchase the product.
Longer guarantees also help businesses stand out from the competition. Sometimes, a guarantee can be the deciding factor between purchasing your product or a competitor’s, so to ensure your product is the one chosen, a longer guarantee could be the solution.
Guarantees also remove the buyer’s urgency. Let’s say, for example, you’ve purchased a new vacuum cleaner, and have a 30-day money-back guarantee. Knowing you only have 30 days to decide whether you’re happy with the product, you want to be absolutely sure it does everything it says on the box, so you start testing it. You might throw bits and bobs purposefully onto the floor, just to see if it picks them up, and hoover all through the house three times a day. If it doesn’t live up to your expectations, you send it back straight away, else you miss out on your money.
On the other hand, let’s say you purchase the same hoover with a one-year guarantee. Knowing you have a whole year to decide, you use it as normal and give the guarantee little thought when you use the product day-to-day. As the year draws to a close, the money you spent on it was so long ago you don’t miss it; you’ve bought many different products for your house since then and you might even have lost the receipt. The sense of urgency and need to be overly critical was removed with the cushion of the longer guarantee, so you used the product normally, and with an open mind. As a result, even though the longer guarantee might have seemed like a riskier option, the company ends up with fewer returns. Plus, most people who don’t like the product would return it in the first 30 days of purchase anyway.
Of course, there will always be a group of people that will cash in on the guarantee and return their product six or eight months into the purchase. However, providing that your product actually does what it says on the tin, this number will likely be small, and compared to the increase in sales that your guarantee will help bring in, the refunds are a small price to pay.
If you need help guaranteeing that your sales copy will be a success, get in touch with our team at Engage Web today.