No surprise, sales prospects have grown increasingly distrustful of advertising. The big surprise is that their skepticism — in an age when one enterprising advertiser offered contest participants a free Toyota, then delivered a toy Yoda doll to the “lucky” winner — seems to astonish so many marketers.
Here are 10 pointers on making your advertising credible:
Never try to pull a fast one
More than your reputation is at stake. Your bottom line is bound to suffer. It costs 10 times more to acquire a new customer than to cultivate an existing one. And customers who have had their chains yanked rarely give an advertiser a second or third chance. Which is where your profit comes from.
Avoid footnotes, asterisks, and other such weasely devices in your copy, regardless of what your lawyer advises.
They signal the sales prospect to beware and can depress response severely.
Strongly guarantee satisfaction
Offer money back for any reason if your customer is not satisfied. Do not confuse the issue by promising a replacement, or a draft choice to be named later.
Name customers who are happy to do business with you
Clearly, secure their permission first. They may even provide you with useful quotations.
Use detailed case histories
Serious sales prospects want to know all about a potential purchase.
List your awards and recognitions
Has your industry granted you an award? Do you subscribe to the Better Business Bureau? Say so!
Offer a free white paper on your product
Ask a respected independent authority to sign off on it.
Provide key statistics about your customers
Detail their problems, and how doing business with you helped solve them.
Include reprints of favorable news articles about your company and products
Good publicity carries clout.
Use celebrity endorsements
Even if a celebrity seems to have nothing to do with your product, employing his or her name lends believability to your offer.
Burn in your brand
The more familiar you make it, the better off you will be.
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