How to sell more with a hard-to-ignore guarantee

Offering a guarantee is important if you want your prospects to take action and buy your product.

This way they have the peace of mind that if they aren’t satisfied they can always return it.

By law, in Europe, products purchased online have a 14-day money-back guarantee.

This guarantee refers to products without defects, what’s called buyer’s remorse.

This type of guarantee doesn’t apply to:

  1. Airline and train tickets, concert tickets, hotel reservations, car rental reservations and catering services for specific dates
  2. Food and beverages regularly delivered at home
  3. Custom-made or personalised items
  4. Sealed audio, video or computer software data carriers which have been opened
  5. Digital online content, if you have already started downloading or streaming and if you have accepted that you lose your right of withdrawal.
  6. Products purchased from private individuals and not from companies or professional sellers.
  7. Contracts for urgent repairs and maintenance work

Let’s focus on point number 5: Digital content. This is courses, e-books, webinars, etc.

If you sell this type of product you aren’t obliged to offer a money-back guarantee, but many content creators do.


Because they know that by offering a guarantee they’ll sell more.

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The importance of how you frame your offer

If you are selling an e-book for 9 euros, you aren’t obliged to offer a money-back guarantee.

The investment is not as large and therefore the customer’s reluctance to cough up that amount of money will be less.

Still, there are 2 important reasons why offering a money-back guarantee in these cases it’s a good idea:

  1. Your prospects will have the feeling that e-book must be grand, otherwise you wouldn’t offer the opportunity to return it.
  2. They’ll think less about pros and cons and buy more quickly.

What if they read the book in those 14 days and then want to return it?

There will always be sneaky people, but luckily they aren’t numerous.

Most people simply want to buy something that adds value and if your e-book is helpful or they have a good time reading it, they’ll be delighted.

What’s more, they won’t ask for their money back, but will leave you instead a super review on Amazon or Goodreads.

As always, mastering copywriting techniques will help you to present your offer in a clear and convincing way, then the guarantee will clinch the sale.

What happens when what you sell is an online course for 600 EUR?

Here you should definitely offer a money-back guarantee of at least 14 days.

Because the outlay is more important, and even if you aren’t obliged by law, as we’ve seen, it’ll help you to close the sale.

Why do I say it’s good to offer at least 14 days?

Because the longer the guarantee period, the more people relax, and by the time they want to realise it, the deadline has passed.

But if you give only a one-week guarantee, your customer will be more vigilant and will try to check everything with a magnifying glass.

And when the end of that week comes, they’ll be unsure whether the course is helpful or not and will tend to ask for their money back.

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Don’t be afraid to offer 2 weeks or even longer, this will reassure your prospects and they’ll buy your course without thinking too much about it.

This is if they are interested enough in it and if you know how to sell it, of course.

Recommended reading How to create a top 10 sales page for your digital product

What if you offer services and not products?

Then, offering a guarantee is much more difficult.

Once you have done your work, it cannot be returned to you intact and therefore you cannot sell the same service and time spent to someone else.

It’s not like a digital product, which once written-recorded-launched you don’t have to invest any more time (apart from the time spent promoting it) and therefore a small percentage of returns won’t do much harm to the overall result.

It’s also sometimes difficult to measure results in order to establish standards against which to decide whether the service is satisfactory or not.

Because, more often than not, the service you offer is complementary to other activities or resources that need to be put in to obtain the desired results.

For example, imagine you are a mindfulness coach and you give sessions to clients online.

The desired goal is for your client to incorporate the principles of mindfulness into their daily life in order to reduce stress, live a healthier life, concentrate better, etc.

But if your client doesn’t do the exercises you propose every week, doesn’t read the material you send him and doesn’t follow your advice, of course he won’t reach the desired goal.

But, are you to blame?

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Or for example a copywriter like me.

No matter how good the copy I wrote for an email sequence is, if my client doesn’t create the sequence in the email marketing platform correctly or doesn’t segment their audience well, the desired objectives won’t be achieved, but am I to blame?

Many professionals and businesses do their job wonderfully but cannot control absolutely all the factors that need to be taken into account to achieve results.

And therefore cannot be held responsible for the failure to achieve objectives.

Of course, there are ways of knowing whether a piece of copy is good or not.

Looking at indicators such as email open rates or conversion rates on a website, for instance.

But for this to happen, all the previous steps have to be taken so that the email reaches the right person and the website receives qualified leads.

And most of the time we copywriters don’t have control over all these factors.

Then, how can you offer any kind of guarantee if you are a service provider?

In several ways. Here is a list of them:

  • With success stories. Looking at the details of how you’ve helped another business solve a similar problem to the one your prospect has will give them some assurance of the value you offer.
  • Testimonials. Always ask your clients to write a testimonial listing what they liked most about working with you. Compelling and numerous testimonials will give your prospects the peace of mind that you know what you’re doing.
  • Portfolio. If you are a designer, copywriter, illustrator, etc. you should show on your website your best works.
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To sum up

Offering guarantees will help you sell more because prospects will have nothing to lose and will decide to buy faster.

Sometimes this guarantee is fixed by law, but even if it isn’t, as in the case of digital products or info-products, it’s better to offer it.

However, when it comes to services, offering a money-back guarantee is more complicated as you cannot sell to someone else the service and time you’ve dedicated to a particular customer.

But I’ll tell you something, I did refund their money to 2 clients.

Because I saw, after working on the project for a week, that the client was never going to be happy, no matter how hard I worked.

My mental health is worth much more than the money the client had paid me in advance, sure thing.

Fortunately, this happens very rarely and most of my clients are great and I have really enjoyed working for them.

See you around!

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Sobre Elena de Francisco

Siento un placer inmensurable aplastando textos zombis que no dan resultados y transformándolos en textos llenos de vida que provocan muchas ventas.

About Elena de Francisco

I find real pleasure in crushing zombie copy that doesn’t provoke any emotion and turning it into vivid words that convert prospects into smiley paying customers.


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