Back when I was bootstrapping my way into a new career as a programmer, I remember hearing about this hot new tool for building websites called Ruby on Rails.
The idea behind RoR was to streamline the process of creating a new website from scratch—and allow developers to build complicated features quickly and painlessly.
The catchphrase that got tossed around a lot was:
“Optimized for developer happiness.”
In other words, the goal of RoR wasn’t necessarily to create the most blazingly fast website—in fact, sites built with RoR were often slower than sites created with other technologies.
And it wasn’t to build a website that could “scale up” and handle massive traffic. Many startups moved off of Rails when they gained popularity.
The main focus of Rails was to make building and maintaining web applications a joy and a delight for software developers.
Reader (and superfan) Roos has found a way to apply this idea to her marketing.
Responding to my recent comments about using looooooong guarantees to increase sales, she says:
I must also say: It’s great to live without refunds: I don’t offer any on my study courses. 🙂
I know what you said: more sales…
Dan Kennedy says: “There’s so many variables at play—if someone can work with the material offered and gets success or not…”
Plus it might take the person 3 years to really absorb or implement.
When you purchase a couch, food, whatever, computer, it’s normal not to return it.
Not to be negative, I just wanted to share this.
I have no headaches, no feeling of ‘being taken advantage of’ with ‘non implementing peeps’ refunds—it is a good feeling!
Waaaat… No guarantee? Heresy!
Not at all…
Think of it like this:
In your marketing, you have a dial.
By turning the dial one way, you make your marketing more “aggressive.”
You’re offering crazy guarantees.
You’re focusing your copy on the dream of success (and avoiding mention of the work that’ll start the minute they hit the Buy Now button).
Doing this, you’re often able to maximize revenue.
It comes with a price, however.
Because the more sales you make, the more sketchy characters and seemingly brain-dead customers you’ll have to deal with.
The “hassle factor” can go WAY up.
Or you can turn the dial the other way…
And start setting up barriers to keep those marginal customers OUT of your business.
You make it *harder* to opt into your list. More fields on your optin forms, double optin enabled.
You avoid “risk reversal”—and make it clear that the customer assumes full responsibility for their decision to buy.
You tell the customer that it’s going to take a lot of hard work to implement what they learn from you.
So which approach is “right”?
Well in my book both are perfectly legitimate (provided you’re truthful and ethical of course).
Right now at Simple Programmer we’re in aggressive growth mode, and I want to make every sale I possibly can to fuel that growth.
Roos is in a different place; she’s choosing peace of mind over maximum sales.
The important thing is realizing this “dial” exists—and that you get the final say in what “happiness setting” you select.