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Published on September 8th, 2009 | by Janine Popick

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Have a Great Risk-Free Offer & Get Great Word of Mouth

Risk Free OfferHaving an offer for your products or services that is truly risk-free might be just the ticket you need to really make a difference in your email marketing campaigns. To get a risk-free offer off the ground, you’ll need to assess everything from your refund and return policy, your shipping policies, your customer service and how your policies are implemented. An awesome risk-free offer can really spark some great word-of-mouth.

If you sell a product that needs to be shipped to your customer, a really great risk-free offer encompasses free shipping, a generous time window your customers can return the product, a short turnaround in processing their refund and you picking up the tab for shipping the return back to you.

Here are a few companies that do it right and get positive word of mouth as a result.

Zappos – They have a 365 day return policy and they’ll pay for the shipping back to them. They even have a handy way for you to print your UPS label from the Zappos site!

Nordstrom – You need to have your receipt, or your item tag but you can even return worn items without a problem. They make it easy to return items purchased on the web as well as in-store. But, they also monitor offenders.

Walgreen’s – Walgreen’s lets you return makeup you purchased within a month if it didn’t suit you. I’m sure they got a lot more in sales then they ever would in returns.

However, do it wrong and you could really spark negative word of mouth like the Video Professor. On his TV ads he boasts a free trial of one of his eBay software program (pay $6.95 s&h) AND he’ll give you $50 if you can show that you’ve successfully
bought or sold something on eBay. Sounds too good to be true huh? Turns out there is a pretty big list of restrictions, a 30-day window which sounds impossible to make (they mail you a form to fill out which takes about 15 days to get). People sounded off.

And avoid adding tons of restrictions like restocking fees and different time limitations by the type of product customers buy like I saw at Best Buy. It could also spark some negativity and make people not want to purchase from you if they think they have to jump through hoops to return something.

If you have a great risk-free offer and you follow through on it, it really can generate good will and positive word of mouth. Do it wrong and it’ll bite ya!

© 2009 – 2013, Janine Popick. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

is a contributing author for VerticalResponse.



One Response to Have a Great Risk-Free Offer & Get Great Word of Mouth

  1. Yvonne Finn says:

    Thanks for your very insightful and informative article viewpoint.
    I do find it to be very true that customers hate it when you make the return or refund process too onerous.
    Of course, just as there are “tricky” consumers, some vendors do try to wiggle out of their offer by making the process so complex that many people either don’t make the effort or abort it prematurely.

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