Hard offer in direct marketing is a promotion that asks for payment with an order, in contrast to a soft offer, which includes an option to review the goods first and then pay or return the goods as desired by the customer. Regardless of the offer made, the right of the consumer to return unwanted goods for a refund or prior to payment is honored.
Soft offers almost always get a higher response but also increase the bad debt expense incurred. They are commonly used in magazine subscription promotions that allow the subscriber to receive and/or keep an issue before he pays or cancels.
Typical wording of a hard offer is “Yes, send me your product at the rate of $12.00.”
Typical wording of a soft offer is “Please send me, without cost, obligation, or commitment of any kind. . .”
A satisfaction guarantee may be added to either offer, such as “I understand if I am not delighted, I may return it for a full refund.”
Synonyms: soft offer