Got Returns? How to Get Many Less of Them (and Many More Happy Customers)

Alexandria K. Brown

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I hate to admit this, but I've ordered more than one gadget or doohickey from TV infomercials. It's usually been when I'm back East visiting my parents around the holidays, snowed in and bored to tears, and watching TV I'd never dream of watching in my “real life".

For example, last year I bought the “Hair Mate" - this silly stand that holds your dryer while you blow-out your hair. Hey, trapped in the ‘burbs, sleepless at 2 a. m. from eating too much pie, this seemed like a completely necessary purchase. (Plus it came with not one, but TWO bonus professional styling brushes!)

Weeks later, back in Los Angeles, when I opened the box from UPS, I cringed. Had I really ordered this stupid thing? The magic and excitement had worn off. I packed it up and hurriedly shipped it back to get a refund on my Amex.

This is called “buyer's remorse" in the world of sales. But it doesn't just happen with goofy purchases like this one. It can happen if you're selling seminars, workshops, audio programs, ebooks, home study courses, anything that requires people to give you money.

Here are a few places you can use to help prevent it with your clients and customers. For the purposes of this article, we'll assume it's a physical product. But these ideas can be applied to ANY type of product, program, or service where a guarantee is included! Especially with higher-priced offerings.

1. Affirm They Made the Right Choice on the Thank-You Page

On your thank-you page, congratulate the reader and assure her she made a smart decision by investing in your program. For example, here's the copy that was on the thank-you page for my Online Success Blueprint Workshop : “Congratulations! I'm so glad you're going to join me, LIVE and in person at my first (and likely only) Online Success Blueprint Workshop. You are going to be SO glad you made this decision. It will honestly change your business - and your life - forever. I can't wait to meet you in person and teach you my complete system for making your current business a source of money, time, and freedom. . . "

2. Get Them Excited via Your Follow-Up Emails

Any good shopping cart program can send out automatic emails in a series after the purchase of your product using an email autoresponder. (I use and swear by . ) These emails can work MAGIC in keeping your customers excited and eager to receive your product, especially if they won't receive it for a week or two. For example, send them check-in emails on Day 1, Day 3, Day 5, and so on. In each email, highlight a benefit they'll get from using your program, and include a success story from one of your other customers who have used it.

3. Surprise Them With a Bonus Gift

Before they even receive their package, why not send them a surprise digital goodie, like a bonus report, resource list, coupon, consultation, or quick-start guide? Everyone likes an unexpected gift, and it warms them up to you even more. They start thinking, “This is great. I can't wait to get the full program in the mail next week!" It's the law of the universe - we all feel indebted to someone when they give us something.

4. Ask Them to Do Something Immediately

I remember purchasing a home study course that included a free consultation with the author that could be used anytime over the next six months. When I received the package, it clearly stated that in order to redeem this consultation, I had to complete and fax back the enclosed certificate within the next FIVE DAYS. So I did. I later realized that this action made me step up and “own" the program, sealing the deal in my mind.

5. “Resell" Them on Their Purchase, as Soon as They Receive It

A few years ago, my partner and I bought a home study/training program in real estate investing. It was brilliantly marketed and a topic we were interested in. After some discussion, we placed our order, and about a week later, got a big box in the mail. I excitedly tore it open, and on top of all the materials was a video with a bright orange label that shouted “Watch Me FIRST!" On the video were several interviews with other couples who had used the program with great success. This helped affirm our decision that we did the right thing, that this was real and doable, and that our investment was worth it. (Now, whether we actually DID anything with the information is another story!)

I hope you get the idea. It's just as important to keep your current customers happy as it is to get out there and find new ones. See how you're *always* selling?

© 2005 Alexandria K. Brown

Online entrepreneur Alexandria K. Brown, “The E-zine Queen, " publishes the award-winning ‘Straight Shooter Marketing’ weekly ezine with 20,000+ subscribers. If you're ready to jump-start your marketing, make more money, and have more fun in your small business, get your FREE tips now at


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