Guarantee Blindness

Nowadays you need a guarantee to sell almost anything. But just any guarantee won't be enough.

Nowadays you need a guarantee to sell almost anything. But just any guarantee won’t be enough.

Do you offer a “30-day money-back” or “100% satisfaction” guarantee?

As great as those sound, they’re just not as effective as they used to be.

People don’t notice standard guarantees anymore. They’ve got guarantee blindness.

One of the most important things a good copywriter does is make your prospects believe—beyond a doubt—that they’re going to get incredible results.

But whether you hire a copywriter or you write your own sales pages, you should understand how guarantee blindness affects your sales; otherwise, you can only hope the copywriter knows how to form a great guarantee.

Strong guarantees are almost sure to create more sales than refunds, so offering them makes sense (as long as your product is as good as it’s supposed to be).

But to get really great results, you need to make the guarantee shine so brightly that even the blind will see it.

So, What Still Works?

Here are a couple of guarantees I’ve used in my clients’ sales pages:

  • 10 times your investment back within 6 months
  • 365-day “You’ll Be Thrilled” guarantee
  • Add $1,000 to your monthly income within 6 months
  • Start earning at least $3-6K/month within 12 months or your money back + $1,000 extra

Those are pretty darn strong guarantees. They’re so strong, in fact, that they slide right past guarantee blindness, and people actually notice them.

But even a strong guarantee is worthless if it doesn’t grab your readers’ attention.

Where Should You Mention The Guarantee?

The standard is to mention it at the end of the sales page. If you get 10% of readers to read that far, the guarantee can affect 10% of readers.

If it’s mentioned in the page’s headline, it can affect 100% of readers.

But if you offer a standard guarantee, the first headline isn’t the right place for it.

You shouldn’t mention the guarantee in the headline unless it focuses on the most important value you’re offering.

If the best part about your product is that the buyers get their money back if they don’t like it, you should come up with a new product.

So, unless the guarantee is directly tied to the core promise, for example, “Lose 10 pounds in 10 days or its free,” it shouldn’t get a prime spot on the sales page.

That leads to the question: how do you come up with the right guarantee?

How to Make Even The Blind See

You can expect the readers to forget the guarantee almost immediately after reading about it.

It’s not that they couldn’t understand it, it’s that they’re blind to the actual promise—they’re guarantee blind.

Still, there’s a huge potential benefit to offering the right guarantee.

First, everything you say is easier to believe after you’ve guaranteed readers will get exactly what you promise.

Instead of scrutinizing your every claim, they have the idea in the back of their minds that it’s all “guaranteed to be true.”

Second, when you offer an unusually strong guarantee before the reader even considers what you’re selling, you’ve minimized the perceived risk of the purchase.

Handling objections such as “What if the product isn’t as good as it’s supposed to be?” before the reader thinks about them is easier than addressing them after the reader has thought of them.

To get those benefits, you need to weave the idea of the guarantee tightly into the copy:

  • It needs to surface several times throughout the copy (if the page is long)
  • It needs to be a selling point just like the main benefits of the product
  • It needs to be so clear that the reader doesn’t have to stop to think about it
  • It needs to directly demonstrate the value of the product and the benefits the reader can get

If you don’t keep the guarantee front and center, it won’t make a big difference to your sales.

Guarantee What The Readers Want You to Guarantee

What would your customers want you to guarantee?

Do they want just the usual money-back guarantee? Do they want you to guarantee a specific end result or timespan?

Find a way to make your guarantee-blind readers notice you’re guaranteeing exactly what they’re hoping for.

The right guarantee can create a huge increase to your sales, so make sure you get it right.

Increase your conversion rate quickly

Whenever I build or evaluate websites and landing pages, I use a three-step system.

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Peter Sandeen

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  1. Very interesting post. I never called it that but wonder if people have guarantee blindness about our offer. Is being special the only thing that is required? Or are there other principles for increasing effectiveness of a guarantee?

    • Peter Sandeen said:

      Hey Ray,

      Basically the “better” and more “special” the guarantee, the better.

      A “better” guarantee is longer, more comprehensive, unconditional…

      A “special” guarantee is surprising in some way; it may have a weird name or just an unusual promise (for example: “make your investment back tenfold..”).

      But just as important is that you make the potential customer notice the guarantee; it’s easy to make a great, unique guarantee seem so normal that nobody notices it 😉

      What do you think?

  2. Hi Peter!
    This is a really interesting post. Thank you for it!

    I wanted to share another shocking guarantee that I saw few days ago: “300% money back lifetime guarantee”.
    The full guarantee was this:
    You install the software of that company on your PC. If someone steal it, they have 6 days to return it back to you.
    If they don’t do that, you get a 300% refund.
    Great idea!

    • Peter Sandeen said:

      Hey Mauro,

      Thanks for sharing that; it’s a really clever guarantee 🙂

      Cheers,
      Peter

  3. These days there are plenty of guarantee products and about everyone is offering 100% money back no questions asked etc because of that people don’t blindly trust every product or services.

    • Peter Sandeen said:

      Hi Ravi,

      That’s true. Money-back is a given; you expect it, so it’s not special…

      -Peter

  4. Hi Peter. This is a great post. I especially like your own 10X your money back guarantee. That’s very compelling.

    Your advice actually had a big influence on me when I was setting up my guarantee. Everyone thought that I was crazy to guarantee that our videos will improve website conversions. People told me that my customers would try to take advantage of the guarantee but that hasn’t been the case. Yes, a couple have tried but overall, it has been very successful.

    This post just gave me another idea. I’m actually going to use the guarantee in my headline. Thanks for the great advice, Peter. Keep up the great work.

    – Eric

    • Peter Sandeen said:

      Hey Eric,

      Thanks. Yeah, that’s a good one. Though it was that you make the investment back tenfold within six months or you get your money back.

      I offer 2x your money back if you don’t see an increase in your conversion rate here 😉

      That sounds like a reasonable guarantee. And it’s definitely strong enough to warrant a place in the headline.

      Cheers,
      Peter

  5. […] about any form of online advertising there is. According to Peter Sandeen, even things like the guarantees you offer on your products and services are susceptible these […]

  6. […] something that you can really keep and also that the guarantee itself is remarkable or else no one will pay any attention to […]

  7. […] are… getting… jaded by […]

  8. […] Experts have revealed that the key to successfully boosting sales with guarantees is by offering a no-brainer guarantee; most websites today have a sort of guarantee and, as a result, people have become so used to the standard guarantees that they have developed something Peter Sandeen calls “guarantee blindness“. […]

Trackbacks

  1. […] about any form of online advertising there is. According to Peter Sandeen, even things like the guarantees you offer on your products and services are susceptible these […]

  2. […] something that you can really keep and also that the guarantee itself is remarkable or else no one will pay any attention to […]

  3. […] Experts have revealed that the key to successfully boosting sales with guarantees is by offering a no-brainer guarantee; most websites today have a sort of guarantee and, as a result, people have become so used to the standard guarantees that they have developed something Peter Sandeen calls “guarantee blindness“. […]

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