Always in Marketing Style: The Guarantee

I recently received a four-color, oversized, multi-page direct mail piece from Yahoo!. (Print is not quite dead, especially if you’re a search engine giant with a few extra bucks to throw around.)

I was reminded of the good old-fashioned guarantee, which was included in the letter’s P.S., also a reliable direct-mail device:

P.S. Right now, we’re also offering a Satisfaction Guarantee on Sponsored Search! Just sign up by April 1, 2010 … and try it for at least 14 days. If you’re not completely satisfied with your results, we’ll refund you up to $500 in click charges.

Are you using a guarantee in your business? Can you include one with every offer to a new customer or client?

This is an indispensable strategy, especially in a sucky business climate.

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4 Ways to Build Your Marketing Cred

In my post, The 4 C’s of Killer Copywriting, I mentioned that copy needs to be credible, otherwise the first three C’s (clear, concise and compelling) might be all for naught.

A commenter asked, “How does one accomplish the fourth ‘C,’ being credible?” Following are four ways.

1. Tell the truth.
Yes, be completely honest. Sure, you’re going to focus on the positives, but don’t even stretch the truth. The BS alarm will go off. This leads to the next point.

2. Back up all marketing claims.
If you make a marketing claim, back it up. Period. Think you’re the best, biggest, smartest, most experienced, most reliable, or whatever? Prove it. Give concrete reasons.

3. Use testimonials.

What do others say about your products or services? Get it in writing and get their permission to use their words. Third-party endorsement builds confidence and increases credibility.

4. Offer a guarantee.
Whatever you’re selling, boldly stand behind it. A guarantee shows your commitment to satisfying customers and clients, perhaps the greatest credibility booster of them all.