Take your marketing to the next level with testimonials

Dec 18, 2014

People have grown untrusting of brands and their well-polished marketing copy, but they still trust other people. So it makes complete sense that one of the easiest ways to overcome buyer skepticism is to weave unbiased customer testimonials throughout your advertising copy, both in print and on your website.

Why do testimonials work?

People are influenced by what they see others do—it’s human nature. Let your customers testify to the great benefits they are getting from using your products or services, and they’ll create a desire in others to get the same great benefits for themselves.

Not to mention, people will more readily trust what a fellow buyer has to say about a product or service than the brand that stands to benefit from a sale. Testimonials from satisfied customers help people evaluating your product begin to trust that their money will be well spent with you. In a survey conducted by Marketing Experiments, customers were 25 percent more likely to complete the sign-up process for a subscription service when text testimonials were included and 201 percent more likely to sign up when a video testimonial was added.

What makes an effective testimonial?

Make sure they are candid. Correct glaring spelling and grammatical errors, but leave as much of your customer’s unique tone as possible. You don’t want your testimonial to end up sounding exactly like your marketing copy—that’s missing the point. It’s the authenticity that will connect with other buyers.

Include specifics and comparisons. A testimonial that simply raves, “I love these widgets. They are the best!” is nice, but not convincing. Instead, cultivate testimonials that give specifics. If your widget does the job 25 percent faster, ask your customers to include how fast they accomplish the task with your widget versus the other guy’s.

Get testimonials from people your target audience identifies with. If you offer a service for business leaders, include a job title and company along with you customer’s name in the testimonial. Consider including the town and state where the testifier lives. These little details make the person real and help potential buyers connect. And it’s always a good idea to add a picture if you can get one. Video testimonials, if you can arrange them, are incredibly powerful.

Reinforce the claims you make about your product. Ask your customers to talk about how your product or service stands up to its selling points. Have them choose their favorite features and ask them to explain why those features stand out, including as many specifics as possible.

How to go about getting testimonials

Catch customers in the honeymoon phase. Give your customers time to use the product, but don’t wait too long. People will be most excited about it early on and will be more willing to share.

Place a feedback form in a prominent place on your website. Use carefully worded questions to draw out specific answers. Make sure to include a release statement on the page with a check box so people know their comments might be used in your marketing.

Create a feedback form that can be emailed or mailed. Include a note thanking customers for their purchase, and add any details your sales team remembers about their interaction with them. “We really appreciated how well-informed you were about our products, and we hope you’d be willing to elaborate on your experience with our widgets so we can share it with other potential customers.”

Place a phone call. A phone call approach is more appropriate for bigger-ticket items. Some customers may respond well to a phone call, but it’s best to start out thanking them for their purchase and finding out how it’s working. If they warm up, move on to asking if they’d be willing to give a testimonial. If you choose the phone call approach, be sensitive and respectful of your customers’ time.

Offer a meaningful incentive. In exchange for a testimonial, give customers a free hat, a discount on their next purchase, or a gift card.

Put testimonials to work

Include testimonials everywhere you can. These are a powerful tool, so get them on brochures, direct mail, and print ads. It’s great to have a testimonials page on your website, but also sprinkle them throughout. Place relevant testimonials on product pages or rotate them through on a sidebar or footer.

Make a point to keep testimonials fresh. Include several times to gather and replace older testimonials in your yearly marketing plan.

Testimonials have the potential to make a huge impact on converting potential buys into your next happy customers. If you need help developing a customer testimonial form or even gathering and writing your customers’ testimonials, give the Write Place a call at 641-628-8398.


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