The Levison Letter


How to GUARANTEE direct response success!

December, 2016

Some years ago, I bought a pair of socks from Monsanto. On the sticky label that holds the socks together was a little guarantee written in mouse-type. It informed me that if, at the end of a year my socks had worn out, I could return them, along with the receipt, for a brand new pair.

I don't know how many extra pairs of socks Monsanto was able to sell using this guarantee, but this I do know . . .

1. You don't want to be the guy in the mail room who has to open all those pungent packages.

2. Guarantees are essential to direct mail success. They help overcome the skepticism and inertia that are our mortal enemies.

Here are six practical ideas that can help make
your next direct response project a winner. I guarantee it!

1. Don't simply call it a "Guarantee."

That's flat and boring. If you're the copywriter, give your guarantee a little personality or individuality. Call it an "Iron-clad, no-questions-asked guarantee." Or a "No-risk(really!) guarantee." Or a "30-day Unconditional Guarantee." Anything to brighten it up a little bit.

2. Make the guarantee as strong as possible.

If you can live with a 30-day guarantee, why not consider going out to 45 days or 60 days? It definitely is worth testing.

3. Be clear. Be honest.

Your guarantee should spell things out in simple terms and should never scare people away with legalistic clauses or "fine print." You know those TV commercials that local car dealers run? The ones with the eight sentences of unreadable type that flash on the screen for a nanosecond at the end? We want our guarantee to do just the opposite and make an unqualified promise of satisfaction.

4. Use a border around the guarantee.

Never, ever bury a guarantee in body copy! That's a great way to lose one of the most compelling elements of your mailing. The guarantee should float as a separate element surrounded by an attention-getting border, or at the least, a one-point ruled line. You want your guarantee to jump out and get read.

5. Try to offer more than one guarantee.

Sometimes you can split a guarantee into several guarantees and thereby add value. For example, I wrote an ad for an Advanced Micro Devices chip that included a triple guarantee! The first offered a 30-day moneyback refund. The second offered a lifetime product performance guarantee. The third was a moneyback software compatibility guarantee. Now that's an offer that overcomes sales resistance! In fact, I got a nice letter from Glen Burchers, the AMD Marketing Manager, who wrote to tell me that "in terms of reader response, this ad has been the most successful that AMD has ever run."

6. Include the guarantee on the reply device.

Don't forget to make sure that your terrific guarantee is repeated on your Business Reply Card, coupon, brochure, wherever. Again, many companies
fail to make the most of their guarantee, which is a pity.

Want me to copywrite some email, or a home page, a landing page, a sales letter, whatever? Call me at 415-461-0672 and . . . let's go to work!

How to get in touch . . .
Phone: (415) 461-0672
Fax: (415) 461-7738
Visit my Web site

Ivan Levison. Direct Mail, Email & Advertising Copywriting
14 Los Cerros Drive, Greenbrae, CA 94904
Phone (415) 461-0672      Fax: (415) 461-7738

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