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Testimonials help during the relationship building journey between a company and prospective customers. Oftentimes, customer testimonials help to establish credibility and expertise among those who don’t know your company. Being a genuine, unbiased voice, testimonials are a great selling tool that isn’t “in your face.”
In fact, when used correctly, customer testimonials are one of the most powerful marketing tools that a business can (and should) use. A recent Nielsen study found that 92 percent of people trust a recommendation from a peer, while a whopping 70 percent trust a recommendation from a complete stranger. What does this mean? A strong customer testimonial can boost trust and even lead to an increase in conversions and sales.
How can marketers utilize customer testimonials in their content to help leverage conversions? We have some ideas on how you can get started.
The only way to obtain a customer testimonial is to ask. But when should you ask, who should you ask, and how do you ask? The best time to ask is at the end of a successful transaction (or project). You can start by asking your most recent or repeat customers. Reaching out to your best or highest paying customer(s) is another avenue to explore to obtain good testimonials that are genuine and effective.
Ideally, there are two people who should reach out: the CEO or the person who has the closest relationship to the client or customer. When communicating, we recommend to start out by thanking them (again), then asking nicely if they would be willing to give a testimonial in either writing, verbally, or in-person for video. Regardless of the format, it’s important to get written or verbal permission from them to use their testimonial on your marketing items.
Knowing that your clients and customers are busy, making the process of giving a testimonial should be as easy as possible for them. Not only will this indicate to them that you are being cautious of their time but they will be more willing to actually take the time to send in a testimonial.
When you do make the “ask,” remember to send them open-ended questions that will highlight their specific experience with your company.
Tip: As tempting as it may be, don’t offer an incentive of any kind. Even if the motive is to try to entice your customers and clients to give you a testimonial, this offering could be viewed in a negative light thus defeating the entire purpose of asking for a genuine testimonial.
Image via Flickr by net2photos
What distinguishes a good testimonial from a great one? The specific details describing what is so great about your product or service and how it’s beneficial and/or helped your end user. This way you’re telling others what specifically sets you apart from your competition, instead of being vague and having quotes that say “great product” (which is an option but does not make for a very compelling testimonial). When writing these testimonials make sure to include specific details such as the names of people, organizations, and projects. If you choose not to write them, it’s OK to use direct quotes from the customer — just make sure to check for any potential spelling and grammar mistakes.
Another way to craft a compelling and engaging testimonial is through video. In your testimonial brainstorming session, consider an accompanying video along with a brief written description of the testimonial. Videos tend to be more engaging, but it’s important to not entirely replace the written content as you’ll want that for SEO purposes.
Tip: Video testimonials can also be utilized in social media marketing. They serve as a great tool to increase your company’s exposure along with a way to get people to share your content. You can find some great examples here.
Once your testimonials are collected and ready to use, you should strategically place them throughout print and digital material so your company can get the most impact.
These pages specifically help in creating leads and driving conversions. If you don’t have at least one testimonial on this page, you could be missing out (in a huge way) on lead conversion. Plus, you don’t have to stop at these pages either. Other key web pages that should have testimonials are the about page and contact us page. At the end of the day, any page that could help drive leads should have a testimonial.
Tip: Make sure the testimonial is relevant to the page that it’s placed on. For example, a product-related testimonial should go on a product page, not the home page.
Any visitor that lands on a blog post (wherever they come from) is a potential customer that can be converted. Adding short testimonials within the blog post can interest your visitors and increase their trust with your company. Case studies can also be enhanced by adding in relevant testimonials. While these pieces are great sales tools, testimonials can help reaffirm your credentials and lead prospects down the buyers journey.
Tip: One of the best places for testimonials is in a side bar or underneath an image. You can even add in a testimonial by a Call-to-Action. A testimonial could be the final marketing touch point needed for a potential customer to convert.
One of the best ways to nurture leads in today’s society is through drip campaigns. Adding relevant testimonials to specific emails in your drip email campaign program can help to increase the effectiveness. We’ve said this before but we’ll say it again, it’s important to match the most relevant customer testimonial to the content that’s in the email. Using a testimonial that promotes one of your products or services in an email that highlights a blog post will seem too “in your face.”
It’s never too late to incorporate testimonials on your website, in your social media strategy, or in print materials. If you need help in developing great content around a certain customer testimonial, the CopyPress Team is here to assist.