The thing is, when someone’s considering a purchase, they’re in a vulnerable position by the sheer definition of the word vulnerable alone.
For reference, according to New Oxford American, vulnerable = adj; susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm — in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect — liable to higher penalties, either by convention or through having won one game toward a rubber.
No idea what the F the last part of the third definition means (anyone?), but you get the point.
Buying, especially on the internet, puts the buyer in a vulnerable position.
You could take their money and run, in which case they would be harmed emotionally, and their bank account would be harmed physically.
Their credit card numbers could get stolen, in which case their very identity will be abused and neglected.
Or the thing you’re selling could just totally suck, in which case, they’d feel duped and cheated, and probably lose a little (or a lot of) faith in humanity.
These people—your potential customers—have worked hard for their money, and now they’re thinking about parting with it.
And as entrepreneurs, we’re so often so busy focusing on how awesome the value we provide is that we forget this side of the equation.
The side where we so often find ourselves too… weighing the pros and cons of “losing” some of our money and what the potential of that money represents.
Money that won’t go towards our home-buying fund.
Money that won’t go towards our next thrilling vacation.
And money that won’t go towards a nice Father’s Day gift for our dads.
I harp a lot on emotions, but now you see why buying… and sometimes, not buying… is a highly emotional decision.
It’s almost never about numbers in, numbers out. Money in, money out.
It’s about us, and the people we love, and the lives we work so hard to construct for ourselves.
And how money is, most often, the thing that holds it all in a balance.
There are other factors at play, for sure. But I think the fact that most marriages (as in, the kind of relationship promise where people commit themselves to each other forever) actually end over money to be a very telling sign of exactly how important it is.
So maybe instead of preaching value, value, value at the prospects who land on our sales pages, we also need to sit next to them, look them in the eye, put our hand on their knee (in a non-creepy way, you pervs), and tell them that yes, we get it.
And, as you might have guessed, you can, in fact, do this through copywriting.
Though there’s also a pretty bold business decision that goes behind it.
And the best way to make your visitors feel like they can truly trust you and like you truly have their best interests at heart, is to offer a guarantee.
“Do you believe in your product or service?” asks Drew Eric Whitman in Cashvertising. “How strongly? I offer a full one-year money-back guarantee on many of my products. Why? It installs confidence in buyers and puts them at ease.”
And these work wonders for products… particularly higher-priced info products.
You don’t have to do the full year, you can do 60 days, 30 days, or even two weeks.
But promising someone’s money (read: security, hope, love) back if they’re not happy with your product is one of the best ways to help them feel confident that they’re making a great buying decision with their money.
But honestly, as a service provider, I’m not a huge fan of money-back guarantees.
It’s a time-for-money trade, after all, and even if I return a client’s money, she can, under no circumstances, return my time.
So a 100% money-back guarantee if someone’s not totally over-the-moon satisfied with my service doesn’t make sense. (Not like that would EVER happen, but it did happen once.)
Because yes, there are those people out there.
And if I were to give you advice that would make you susceptible to their shitty ways, I’d be a horrible friend and a bad blogger.
And I have no interest in being either of those things.
So instead of a guarantee, ease their worries with numbers. Numbers of real people, just like them, who entrusted you with their hard-earned money-that-symbolizes-way-more-than-just-money and were thrilled.
You know, all that good “social proof” you’re supposed to have smeared across your website.
The more of it you have, the better.