The ABCs of Testing
I'd like to make a deal with you.
I want to send you two free gifts under the sole condition that you agree to spend enough time with them to make a judgment of their value…
One gift is a premium with order, and the other "gift" is really an issue of the newsletter.
To further downplay the commitment of ordering the publication as opposed to getting a "free" issue, the Wellness Letter uses a sticker with the word "maybe" printed on it. The sticker is to be peeled off the left side of the order card and placed a couple inches to the right, just above the guarantee. No coincidence here, as the guarantee is another element designed to keep prospects' anxiety levels to a minimum.
Payment is discouraged, as these options would be loud reminders that an order is being placed. The Wellness Letter also discounts the price in the tiny copy at the top of the order form. The final paragraphs of the four-page letter go into slightly more detail, but the postscript assures prospects that the publisher is not assuming it has a new customer until the bill is paid.
One of the most widely-used offers, according to Axel Andersson, is the easy first payment. Knowledge Products markets its Audio Classics Series via a negative option continuity and an unusual pricing structure.
The first order of two tapes sells for only $1, with the cost of shipping and handling disclosed. Future shipments will jump to $14.95, but the guarantee is that prospects can return any tapes they don't want for a refund.
Knowledge Products asks for payment upfront—in fact, it wants prospects' credit card numbers so shipments can be charged automatically. Continuities normally don't want prospects to even think about payment so soon; it puts too much emphasis on the commitment. In this case, the rock-bottom price induces prospects to take a chance.