One of Direct Marketing’s Best Offers: Satisfaction Guaranteed

As a lifelong direct marketer, I know that one of the best ways to optimize response rates is to include a guarantee in an offer.

A strong guarantee will go a long way toward mitigating any concerns your constituents may have about buying your products and services.

Ask big brands like Lands’ End or LifeLock, Scotts LawnService or Sky Mall – just to cite four – albeit random – examples.  They’ll tell you how much a guarantee can do for business.

But I have to admit I was surprised – and indeed, very impressed – to catch wind (thanks to Chris Ballard’s “Point After” column in the September 29 issue of Sports Illustrated) of the Stanford Gridiron Guarantee.

According to The Official Website of the Stanford Cardinal…

Purchase your NEW FULL SEASON TICKET (Offer applies to New Full Season Tickets and New Family Plan Season tickets) for the 2008 Stanford Football season.  If at the end of the season you do not feel that you received your entertainment value for the ticket, Stanford Athletics will refund the price paid for the season ticket.

Sure, the football team’s guarantee is not without a few “rules” – for instance, any requests for refunds must be made prior to when one of the highest ranked teams, USC, visits campus on November 15.  But the overall impression the guarantee gives fans is that the players appreciate their support and will do everything they can to earn it.

So ask yourself…what is your organization doing to reassure prospects that it will meet, if not exceed, their expectations?  A guarantee of satisfaction may help you score points in the marketplace and win more business.

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