Kevin Hogan

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Writing Your Guarantee Statement

Part 4 of 5

Almost no one knows that when people purchase a product that does NOT come with a guarantee, they tend to be more satisfied with their purchase, and, repurchase again from you.

That presents a bit of a challenge that you’ll need to test with your clients and customers.

Do you include a guarantee, or not?

My suggestion is that as a rule, you DO until you personally establish enough credibility with your readers that you can eliminate the guarantee.

Once you have established credibility, you are cementing long-term relationships and then you don’t have to guarantee anything.

You ultimately want to get to the point where your word as your bond is better than your guarantee.

Today, that point hasn’t been reached, so you go with the guarantee.

The Value of a Guarantee in Copywriting

Copywriters know the value of a guarantee. Guarantees are a major part of copywriting and selling. A guarantee helps to shift the risk from the buyer to the seller, which in the end makes a buyer feel more confident about their purchase.

When people buy stuff online, they are taking a risk.

They are risking that they may not receive the product due to an unscrupulous seller. They risk that the product will turn out not to be what they expected.

They also risk that they will simply not be happy with the product because it does not live up to the promises of the seller. All of this risk makes online shoppers hesitant, especially when thinking about buying an unfamiliar or new product.

And all of these beliefs are reasonable on the part of the buyer.

A guarantee is basically a promise that if the buyer is not satisfied with their purchase, then they have the option of returning the product for a refund.

The guarantee is usually limited by a time period in which the buyer can evaluate the product before returning it. This is usually around 90 days.

Many people are familiar with the idea of returning a product.

However, making a return is usually full of hassle. Everyone has had a time when they tried to return something and were unable to do so because of some restriction or rule. This is upsetting and reflects badly on the seller. That said, online, if someone returns a product I wonder if they are likely to do business with you again. The fact is I don’t know. In the case of large merchants like amazon, there is no problem, but in the case of smaller merchants…I don’t know.

Ten years ago, when I started creating programs and writing books, we averaged about 1-3% returns. We were factually able to attribute a chunk of that to pirating and bootlegging of my work.

I learned quickly to appreciate musical artists who had their work stolen on the web. I still feel the same empathy.

I will personally put a guarantee on a program that is unusual or difficult to explain it’s value in text.

Rarely do we get a return on any program now. A look at last year’s receipts showed about a 0.6% level of return. Most of those were returns on programs that were not returnable. Most of those were from customers we then extracted from being able to purchase again as they simply copied the material.

You’ll need to determine your own controls and how much time you spend in monitoring your products. In the future, I’ll show you how you can reduce people bootlegging your work, but for now, we’ll get back to assuming you MUST use a guarantee to reduce client’s perceived “risk.”

What’s the first rule?

Outline the Details

When making a guarantee, it is important to outline the details so the buyer is clear on any restrictions. The process of returning an item should be easy and it should be hassle free. This should be written in the guarantee in the copy.

There was a time when I charged a restocking fee because if we got something returned it would almost always be in unsaleable condition. Thus you lose a significant amount of money on a return as it takes as much or more time to receive a return as it does to package and ship a product in the first place.

However we got more returns when there was a restocking fee! So, we switched to a 110% guarantee which was taken advantage of MUCH LESS often.

Now, in 2007, I don’t really think about whether the return will be 0.2% or 1.2%, I just write what I believe will make new readers comfortable doing business for the first time.

Our experience is that once we’ve got a customer, we keep them for life. So because I bust butt to make sure that what goes into a program is unique and valuable, I know that if the person actually uses it, we are fine and will do well by that customer.

This isn’t true for bigger companies that sell numerous people’s work. They have to operate on a different set of parameters.

They have to sell their programs for lower prices and have to offer full guarantees. Then they will have up to 20% returns. And they’ve planned for that.

If I see a package returned I usually make sure it’s defective or it’s hard to imagine why I would want to go to the trouble of letting the person do business with us again.

You’ll get there too.

It is very important when writing the guarantee that you make sure you tell buyers that making a return is not going to be hard. You tell them exactly what they will need to do.

Of course, you do not want to have to accept returns. Sometimes, though, no matter what you do some people will be unsatisfied. Sometimes they simply want your program and want their money as well.

MOST people are honest…thankfully.

Your guarantee is really for those people and for the people who might otherwise choose not to buy the product because they do not want to take the risk.

Some people are very worried that if they buy something online and are unhappy they are stuck with it. A guarantee helps to ease their concerns and make their decision to purchase easier.

In these cases you will find the majority of time the people end up happy with the product and never even need the guarantee. However, just having that option available is enough to cause them to have the confidence to buy in the first place.

Next rule?

Allow Them Plenty of Time to Evaluate

Your guarantee should be made clear in your copy. You should also give the buyer a good amount of time to try out the product. You do not want to make your return period short.

Legend Point: If you only give the buyer a short period of time to evaluate the product, then you are going to find you get more returns.

People feel pressured to decide if the product is worth it or not and with a short return period they are more likely to return the item simply because they did not have enough time to completely evaluate it.

If something has a 15 day guarantee and they are wishy washy, the 15 day time limit will be ever present in their mind.

Short periods of time are not smart from any point of view.

Guarantees should be strong. You have to confidently present your guarantee. The more confidence you show, the more confident the buyer will be. If you are very confident in your product then buyers will feel better. You have to write your guarantee like you mean it and stand behind it.

A strong guarantee comes across as you being so sure they will never need to use it that your buyer will feel really good about buying the product.

Your strong guarantee is actually telling your customers that you are so confident in your product that if they are not happy you would be surprised and you would be more than happy to give them a refund.

From a logic point of view, you might as well make your guarantee as strong as possible because if you don’t it comes across in your text and that creates doubt in the mind of someone who hasn’t done business with you.

Either do NOT have a guarantee OR make it a POWERFUL guarantee.

Your guarantee should be placed somewhere where your readers will see it and where it will work as a way to get them to buy.

It should be written in a strong way that really communicates to your readers. Your guarantee could be the one thing that gets to a reader and makes them make that decision to buy.

Causing “Buy It Now.”

Writing The Closing

The end of your copy is going to tie together everything you have been saying in your copy. It is going to sum up the main points and it is where you are going to ask for the sale.

The closing of your copy is very important and it is your chance to finally ask the customer to hit the buy now button and try out your product.

Up until the end, your copy has been building up your product. It has been highlighting the great features and benefits your product has to offer. Your copy has worked to get the reader to see it’s obvious that they need the product and that they shouldn’t live without it.

If that is NOT TRUE, then why would you sell the product?!

The closing is where you basically say to your reader that now they know everything about your product and why they need it. You tell them they can now make a good, informed decision and that it is time to buy.

Your closing should include a buy now button that the reader can click to take them to the order page. It should be predominantly displayed and easy to see.

If your copy has been strong and well written, then you should have no problems writing your closing. It should come pretty easily, actually. Your closing should seem like something that just fits, like it is the right time to finally ask for the sale.

One of the biggest trends in copywriting right now is to make the closing an amazing pitch that can not be ignored. Ask the reader how much your product is worth to them. Ask them if they would pay an outrageous amount of money to get the benefits of the product.

The closing should also bring that sense of urgency to a head. You have to tell them again that your offer can not wait. You have to tell them that they need to act now or they will miss out.

But have a LOGICAL reasons. Don’t lie. Be flat out honest.

Sometimes I simply say, that the offer expires Saturday and I write Coffee on Sunday and I’m not going to dink around with Pokey Joe’s on Sunday.

Don’t people there are only 12 “seats” left to an event or that there are 23 “copies” of an ebook remaining. People don’t like to have their intelligence insulted.

Shoot straight with people.

You’re better off saying, “these are digital seats. There is no “scarcity but I’m simply not taking orders after X.”

When you run seminars you have no choice but to get reservations several months in advance. Therefore I offer rock bottom prices for people that move early.

Whatever the reason, it DOES NEED TO BE A REAL REASON.

Highlight Your Special Offers

Be sure to also highlight any special offers or bonuses you are offering. You want to make sure they fully understand what they will miss out on if they do not buy now.

Your closing should really bring the reader in. It has to grab them and make them feel like they know enough to make an informed purchase. You should mention your guarantee as well. You want to make the reader feel comfortable and confident.

If you have bonuses you need to tell about them in the closing. Bonuses are great tools that can make a person decide to buy. Use your closing to introduce them and use them as a way to get that sale.

BUT don’t use them in every promotion you have.

That tells me that the product doesn’t stand on it’s own.


About 10% of the time I use bonuses in a promotion. If it makes sense.

Lens cap for the camera. Tie with the coat. Socks with the shoes.

Bonuses are a concept you should test.


Getting people to move off their butt is critical to them and to you.

People have seen MILLIONS of dollars worth of bonuses on a 15.00 product.


Your closing needs to be well written. Do not rush it. Even though it may seem natural to write it and even much easier to write than the rest of the copy, you still need to make sure it is well written.

You have to take the time to make sure that it goes along with the rest of the copy and that it works for your whole concept. You have to be careful not to just slap it together. Your closing deserves some attention to make sure it is perfect.

After all, your closing is going to be one of the last things you say to your reader. It is one of the last chances you have to get them to buy. You have to use it wisely.

Your closing is your wrap up. It should contain the following things, written in a clear manner that goes along with the style of the rest of the copy:

  • Ask for the sale. Directly ask the customer to buy the product and tell them what they need to do to make the purchase. Don’t be shy. WHY WOULD YOU?Tell them about the bonuses.
  • Explain the bonuses and how they are beneficial and how long they will be available.
  • Set a time limit for special offers and make it clear.
  • Thank the reader for their business. Always assume they are going to buy if they are reading your closing, so do not forget to thank them.

If you include these parts in your closing then you should be able to write a strong closing.

You will find a strong closing can really help to seal the deal with many readers.

Reinforcing your Copy with a P.S.

Lots of good copy has a “P.S.” Every good copywriter understands the importance of a P.S. Being able to write a good P.S. is very important. Additionally, understanding the importance of the P.S. is also important.

The P.S., short for post script, is the little tidbit at the end of the copy. The P.S. is more than just an after thought, though. The P.S. is usually a short paragraph. It summarizes the copy and makes sure the most important parts are reiterated.

The P.S. is also the last chance to ask for the order. You have to give it one more chance to seal the deal.

Writing your P.S. is something that you should not forget to do and something that should be given some effort.

One of the reasons that a P.S. is so important is that everyone will read it. People read the P.S. because it is at the end and it is short and sweet.

The P.S. should get straight to the point. You need to say something about how the reader needs to order right away. Tell them again about any special features or offers. Make the P.S. seem like something important.

When developing your P.S. you need to consider what exactly the point of your P.S. is. You know that it is the last chance to get the reader to buy, but what exactly are you going to use from your copy to make them believe they must buy? That is the hard part.

Basically, if a person has not bought by the time they get to the P.S., your P.S. has to be amazing in order to get them to go back and hit the buy now button. Your P.S. has to speak to them in a way that the rest of your copy did not.

One of the greatest things about the P.S. is that it doesn’t seem desperate, yet it is your last chance to ask the girl for the date so make it good.

If your reader feels that your P.S. is coming across as desperate then you have written it poorly.


To make the P.S. help the copy, You want to use the word ‘you’ often. You also need to make clear that logical sense of urgency that if they do not buy now they will lose out.

The P.S. needs to be short. That can be tricky when you are trying to cram in all the important things you really want your reader to think about. You have to find a way to summarize without being too vague.

Here are some examples of good P.S.’s:

  • -P.S. Don’t forget that if you buy now you will get a special bonus with your order.
  • -P.S. This offer is good for only a limited time. You only have 6 days until this special price is gone forever. Don’t hesitate buy today!
  • -P.S. Remember you get the 90 day money back guarantee with your purchase. If you are unsatisfied for any reason you can get your money back with no questions asked. You have nothing to lose, so order today!

These examples encourage that sense of urgency and they help remind the customer why they need to buy today and not set the offer aside. Of course, with your product you can be more specific and make the P.S. more detailed. These examples just gave a basic idea.

A P.S. is often considered just an insignificant part of a copy. Some copywriters think it is not necessary or a waste of space. Really, though, it is nothing but a small paragraph that will take a small amount of time to write up.

The impact of the P.S., though, is important. You may have no way of knowing for sure, but be assured that some of the people that end up buying only did so after they read the P.S. That is why it is important and should not be overlooked.

What about the PPPPS or PSSSSSS?

I don’t like them. You might as well test them but they “feel” really weird when I read them and I don’t buy products that offer several PS’es…

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