Perceived value, according to Investopedia.com, is the worth that a product or service has in the mind of the consumer, and it is very important because it affects the price that a consumer is willing to pay. In most cases, the consumer has no idea how much the actual production costs. They are simply willing to pay based on how much they think a product is worth. Many times, this is based merely on a “feeling” about the product or the brand, so it’s up to marketers to encourage the consumer to purchase by creating a higher perceived value and helping the customer see the product as worthy of their hard earned cash. Recently, several clients have asked me how they can enhance their perceived value and where to start. Here are a couple of easy ways to help increase your perceived value with your customers:

Highlight the benefits of shopping with your company

What makes you better than your competitors? Why should I shop with you instead of another company that sells the same or similar items? It’s important to present your benefits to the consumer front and center. This Zappos welcome message does a great job by clearly calling out their benefits:

Zappos

With benefits like that, why wouldn’t you want to shop with this company? Zappos isn’t the only brand that offers these benefits, but they do a great job of highlighting them consistently, not only in their welcome message but within the header of their messages as well. This is something every retailer should consider emulating based on your own benefits and services. For example, some retailers offer satisfaction or lifetime guarantees. They should tout this within all of their messages. Paul Fredrick takes a more subtle yet still effective approach, highlighting their guaranteed perfect fit, simple returns and free exchanges in the footer of this message:

Paul Fredrick

Not every company can offer free returns all the time, but periodically peppering in a promotion around that can help improve your perceived value. I’ve seen Victoria’s Secret do this in the past with pants and now with swimsuits as seen in the example below.

Victoria's Secret

When you buy products like clothing online, there is no guarantee that it will fit. Someone who may never have purchased pants or swimsuits online without first trying them on will be more inclined to give them a try if they can know they can easily return any that don’t fit for free. What a great way to stand behind your product and put your customer’s needs first.

Include customer testimonials in marketing campaigns

More and more people are looking at product reviews before making their purchase decisions. Incorporating customer testimonials in your marketing messages is a great way to let customers know what other people actually think about your brand, products or services and that they were satisfied with the value of your product or service. It’s important to choose customer testimonials that reflect your target audience in order for them to have the biggest impact. For example, if your target audience is a stay-at-home mom, it may not be as effective to feature a testimonial from a business man. This Saks Fifth Avenue example below uses customer testimonials to feature four of their top-rated items. Notice how one of the testimonials takes note of the quality and details of the bag. This is a great comment to include because it goes beyond the vague “this is great” and actually provides validation that your product is worthy of the purchase. Saks Fifth Avenue And this example from L.L.Bean takes a simple approach, using one customer testimonial that’s related to the main product featured in this email:

L.L.Bean

These are just two ideas of many that can help you improve your brand’s perceived value. Look for more ideas in Part 2 of this series. If you aren’t already incorporating these strategies into your email marketing campaigns, I encourage you to try them and test them out. We’d love to hear how it goes for you.