Self checkout lanes in email marketing: Asking for trouble - Trial and Eureka

Self checkout lanes in email marketing: Asking for trouble

By Alp | List-building

​Saw this on a site called notalwaysright today:


(At the self checkout, a customer is waving a lime over the scanner.)

Customer: “Why isn’t my lime scanning?”

Employee: “Produce items don’t have barcodes on them, ma’am.”

Customer: “So?”

Employee: *facepalm*


Ha! But I can do one better.

This actually happened last month.

It was one of those instances where you go, “The universe does have a sense of humour.”

Here is how the story goes:

Two people buy FAST50 on the same day from the same email.

Let’s call them SubsCRIER and Supersubscriber.

SubsCRIER writes in on August 13th to say:


“Thank you for giving me the opportunity but I would like to cancel and get a refund please.

I have not really seen the value in this, I understand concept but confused when I do not seeing any of your testimonials using your optin concept or template or the examples you sent as evidence also do not do this and then you show your example which is then completely different again and it isn't really plug n play but thank you.”


Supersubscriber writes in on August 15th with a testimonial:


“The interview was awesome! Honestly, I was dreading doing market research. I didn't feel like going through that process yet again and I felt like I already knew what Dreamy wanted. Boy was I wrong. I got so many golden nuggets and am so excited to plug and play with Dreamy's words.”


Embarrassing tidbit:

Back then I was so naive…

I actually wrote back to SubsCRIER to say:


“Hi [name redacted for anonymity]

I have now processed your refund.

Out of 109 students, you were the only one who said the course did not meet his expectations and asked for a refund.

It's killing me that you did not benefit from the course.

Therefore, in addition to issuing you a refund, I would like to offer you a 60-minute one-on-one strategy session with me, where I'll personally help you apply the templates to your business.

Here is the bottom line for me:

I don't care about keeping your money. But I do care about your success.

I want you to get results from this material. I know it can help you, because it has helped 100+ other students just like you. I'd hate you to be the exception who misses out and remains stuck.

Also, I want to understand what you were expecting when you joined, and why you think the course didn't meet those expectations.

Specifically, I'm bewildered by this comment:

‘I understand concept but confused when I do not seeing any of your testimonials using your optin concept or template or the examples you sent as evidence also do not do this and then you show your example which is then completely different again’

Which templates and examples are you referring to? All of the student hall of fame examples in my emails follow the course templates. So I'd love to understand where you're coming from. I get the sense we're not looking at the same content?

My assistant Jonna (cc'ed) will reach out later today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

If you have any questions, you can always reach out to me at




Of course, this person never took me up on the offer.

He says the system doesn’t work.

I’m perplexed.

I issue a refund, and then offer to personally apply the course material to his business for free...

.. something clients regularly pay $1,000+ for…

And… crickets.

The funny thing is..

Supersubscriber’s testimonial came in 30 minutes after I sent out that reply above.

Karmic justice. Ha!

Let’s replay:

Two subscribers buy from the same email.

One asks for a refund saying FAST50 wasn’t a “plug-and-play” system as I claimed. The other writes in to say “I can’t believe how plug-and-play this whole system is. You’ve done all the heavy thinking for me!” and attaches a case study of her results.

I rest my case.


Anyway, this week I noticed something diabolically smart that both Ben Settle and my friend Bushra Azhar’s team does:

If the refund request is in good faith, and actually meets the terms of the guarantee, then obviously honour it.

If the request is in bad faith, and doesn’t meet the contractual requirements, then you don’t issue the refund.

So far, pretty standard.

Here is the genius part though:

Either way, if the refund request suggests that that person would be a terrible buyer for your products (i.e. they are not your ideal client), blacklist them from your shopping cart.

Otherwise, they’ll buy and refund. Buy and refund. Buy something else and refund.

And all that time, you have to pay your team in time and money to handle the administrative expenses of issuing those refunds.

Very soon, I will implement this hardline approach in my own business as well.

Here is the bottom line for me:

If you buy something, you do the work, and it doesn’t work, I will always honour your refund request.

Anything less would not be in integrity.

My product guarantees are mind-bogglingly generous, because I can afford to be so bold.

I have enough case studies to know that the system works *if* you do the work.

But if you’re “waiving limes over the scanner” and then claiming the system doesn’t work, I do not want to do business with you.

I will blacklist you from our shopping cart and won’t allow you to buy anything from me ever again.

Take your refund and go haunt someone else.

Because anything else is not fair to the students who *do* put in the work.

Every moment spent interacting with “lime scanners” is time stolen from my “Mission” - and also from my paying customers.

I could be answering their questions, instead of administering to another spurious request.

Took me a long time to internalise this:

We should refuse to reward bad behaviour.

By the by, if you genuinely want help with lead generation, and are ready to *be* helped (not everyone is, and that’s ok), then I’ve got your back.   

Join the self-checkout queue for FAST50 here.