Nov 18, 2005

Should You?

Should You Offer a Guarantee?
Welcome to Flo's Business Blog

Wow I looked out the window and here it is ... a couple of inches of snow and still snowing! I like that for so many reasons, it's so bright and shiny it feels good! Now my home will have insulation and that will keep the warmth in so I'm a happy camper today :-) *If it's going to be cold might as well get the snow with it, that's the way I feel about it!

I have a very long driveway and at times when it's a bad snow storm - I get a lot of snow drifts and I mean tons of it. I need to dig myself out and it takes 3 - 5 hours or more depending on how much it snowed. An ice storm is the worst, the snow is so heavy I can barely move it so I get help for that one.

In today's article it's a very good question for webmasters that offers a service or product to sell. Ask yourself that question and if your unsure or want to know more, Alexandria has some factors and ideas for you to consider that will help you get started...

Should You Offer a Guarantee?
by Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-Zine Queen"

Many new business owners ask me, "Should I offer a money-back guarantee? I know it will help sales, but the risk really scares me." I offer guarantees on everything I sell, but that doesn't mean you should too. Here are some factors to consider and some ideas to get you started.

The Pros:

A guarantee puts your prospect at ease, giving her no reason NOT to buy or NOT to work with you. After all, if you don't stand behind your product or service 100%, what are you doing in business?

This is especially true if you're selling products via the Internet. People at your website don't have the chance to meet you in person and see that you're legitimate, so it's your job to give them complete confidence in buying from you.

The Cons:

With some service-based businesses such as consulting, it may be hard to guarantee your work or your results. (Especially if your clients' cooperation is required to ensure their success.)

Also, a few turkeys may capitalize on your generosity. For example, my "Boost Business With Your Own E-zine" system was originally an e-book when I launched it a few years ago. It would not be unusual to see a person purchase it, download it, and request a refund 2 minutes later. Obviously they hadn't even read it yet and they just wanted to get it for free.

But in my experience with Internet info-products, the amount of sales you GAIN from offering a guarantee dramatically outweighs the risk.

Types of Guarantees You Can Offer

Money-Back Guarantee: You promise to give your customer her money back if the product does not work, or if she's not happy with your products or services.

Satisfaction Guarantee: Pretty much the same thing as the money-back guarantee.

Price-Protection Guarantee: This can mean either locking in a price forever, such as with services that are billed on a recurring basis, or guaranteeing that you have the lowest price anywhere for that particular service or product.

On-time Guarantee: If your clients are always concerned about getting your service or product on time, this is a good one for you.

And these are just a few ideas!

Should You Make it Easy, or Hard?

Some business owners make their customers jump through hoops to get their money back. While I understand not wanting to make it TOO easy to get an instant refund, there are risks. If you make it really hard, your customers may just skip dealing with you and go direct to their credit card company.

I had to do this last year with a company whose seminar I signed up for. After registering for their event, I was scheduled to speak that same week across the country, so there was no way I could attend. My assistant called their office multiple times, but we kept getting the runaround. Finally, after three weeks, I just called my credit card company. They took care of the matter promptly once we filled out a simple form.

This process is called a "chargeback", which can reflect negatively on the vendor's merchant account standing as well as result in penalty fees for the vendor. So obviously, as a vendor, you want to avoid chargebacks by making the refund process easy for your customers.

Should There Be a Time Limit?

Setting a time limit is up to you. Common ones are 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, a year, or a lifetime. Some studies show the longer the guarantee, the less returns you'll get. Why? Customers are more likely to mark their calendar regarding a shorter guarantee. With a longer guarantee, they don't feel pressured, so many of them forget about it.

Here's Some Wording You Can Use

Here are some effective phrases that are often used with guarantees:
* unconditional
* no-risk
* risk-free trial
* no hassle
* hassle-free
* cancel at any time
* double your money back
* order now, decide later
* order today, make up your mind anytime
* no questions asked

In fact, feel free to copy the guarantee I have on my own sales page for my "Boost Business With Your Own E-zine" system at I won't mind at all!

© 2004-2005 Alexandria K. Brown

See Alexandria's Small Business Marketing Blog.

Online entrepreneur Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," publishes the award-winning 'Straight Shooter Marketing' weekly ezine with 17,000+ subscribers. If you're ready to jump-start your marketing, make more money, and have more fun in your small business, get your FREE tips now at

Tomorrow is my day off and I'm wishing everyone a great weekend.
Have a great day

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