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Business Copywriting, “The Offer” Part 3 of 5: Setting Payment Terms

I think we’ve all done it at least once, we say to ourselves:  “…I would love to have that new (insert name of what you want here)!  …but it’s $XXX, I don’t have that kind of money right now…” and we begin to think it’s hopeless, we despair that we will not obtain our hearts desire… but then we see or hear “Buy now, pay later”, “only $49.00 a month!” or “We accept all major credit cards”, and we begin to thing it’s possible!

Setting convenient payment terms can be an important part of your offer

The payment terms can mean the difference between a prospect buying your product versus your competitors, even to the point that they will buy the competitor’s product that they like LESS, for MORE money over yours, just because your competitor has better payment terms than you do. Payment terms can either depress or stimulate response, you need to know what your customers prefer and/or expect and what your competition is doing!

Be sure to put your payment terms, or at least the methods of payment you accept, on your marketing. Remember your goal is to get them to act now and the easier it is for your customer, the more likely they will act if you’ve gotten their attention. You also need to know how they prefer to pay for your type of product. If you are selling online, it’s almost a given that you need to support PayPal…it’s what many consumers are most comfortable with.

Payment terms can help to deflect the risk objection. If our customer is unsure of our product for ANY reason, they will hesitate. You can alleviate their fears with payment term strategies like the following (and you have seen these before):

1. Installment Payments:  Offer to let them pay in 3, 4 or even more payments. It’s a lot easier to swallow the $49.00 a month for 4 months than $200.00 up front.

2. Bill me now with 30 days to return with no questions asked.  When the consumer knows they have a period of time to “play” with the product and be able to return with no questions asked, they feel safer in buying the product. Experience shows that once they have it, the returns are generally very low.

3. FREE Trial up front, billed at end of trial. To calm your prospect even further, give them the free trial with the understanding that they won’t be billed or their credit card charged until the end of the trial. Up to that point they can return it without being charged. In our “get it now” society, once it’s in their hands, and they’ve agreed to pay for it once it’s hit the end of the trial date, your sale is pretty set.

It may seem like one of the last things to think about when writing copy, but think about all those infomercials you see, watch their billing practices and you’ll see that the terms a large part of their promotion!

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