Creative Techniques That Work
The reassurance your guarantee offers is primarily for your prospect; use it generously when talking with them. Make your guarantee short and to the point, then use it in every piece of prospecting communication you send. And don't let your attorney write it! The more hedge words and "hoops to jump through" you include, the weaker the guarantee and your credibility. Take a tip from a company that states: "Your satisfaction guaranteed. Period." Then stand by it. (P.S. While your guarantee is critical to prospective customers, it's also a good reminder for your current customers, but you may not have to mention it as frequently in a single advertising effort.)
No matter how well known you are, you can't assume the notoriety translates into automatic credibility when asking individuals to send money. Earn a customer's trust by making solid promises and keeping them. For example:
1. Don't make promises in copy about friendly, responsive customer service unless you know for a fact it's true.
2. Don't make superlative claims (e.g., bigger, better or ours exclusively) unless you know they're true. Otherwise, the immediate impression is that of typical advertising puffery.
3. Direct response copy is benefit-based and offer-driven. When asking people to make an immediate buying decision followed by sending money, your company name alone isn't enough. Give readers primary benefits that apply to them.
Understand Customer Expectations
Another major difference in creating direct response advertising for customers: They have expectations of you—expectations based on past experience, hopefully, positive past experience. If you've always mailed customers 81⁄2˝ x 11˝ catalogs with 48 pages and a special offer promoted on the front cover, then suddenly switch to a different-sized catalog with no special offer, you may not generate the same response. You've lost the immediate visual recognition you've developed among your customers.