Triggering a Flood of Testimonials
by Tiffany Dow
Testimonials are an important part of any sales letter. Testimonials are types of social proof, which may help buyers trust a product more. Although some people have become suspicious of testimonials, they can still be extremely important in convincing other people to buy.
But getting testimonials can be difficult. In general, people are lazy. They don’t usually provide feedback unless it’s negative, or unless you ask for it.
You shouldn’t offer money as an incentive for people to offer testimonials, because then they become “paid testimonials.” People tend to distrust testimonials that people are paid for, because some people are perfectly willing to lie about a product if they’re paid to do it.
Instead, you should offer some small token of your appreciation, just as a “thank you” to those who take the time to write a testimonial for you. It might be a free report, a link from your site to theirs within the testimonial box, or a coupon for 10% off their next order with you.
As long as you’re not offering cash, most people won’t feel you’re being dishonest to get your testimonials. It’s not that they don’t really want to offer one if they like the product, it’s just that they don’t think about it. Those that do think about it will often put it off “until later” and then forget about it.
So make sure you ask your customers for their testimonials. You could ask them on your “thank you” page. You could ask them again on the last page of your product, or at the end of each audio or video file.
You could ask them in a follow-up email. “Hi, I just wanted to find out how you’re enjoying XYZ Product. Is it working out for you? If you haven’t done so already, I’d really appreciate it if you could send me your thoughts on the product – I may even use it as a testimonial with a link back to your website! It’ll only take five minutes of your time, and I’ll send you a free bonus report as my thanks for taking the time to do this for me.”
Be sure to ask people if you can include their real name in the testimonial, or if you should use their initials. Some people don’t want to have their real name anywhere on the Internet, and try to be very secretive about using it.
For some types of products, they may not even want their name associated with it. For example, many men might not want their name used on the sales letter for a “male enhancement” product!
Also, ask for a picture, if appropriate.
Some people have a tendency to trust testimonials more if they include a picture, because it seems more like a real person wrote the testimonial. Although some dishonest marketers might just steal photos to use for testimonials, the average person probably wouldn’t think about that.
And the people who would are probably natural skeptics and are less likely to buy your product anyway. Audio and video testimonials are a great enhancement to your sales copy if you can convince your customers to call in an audio testimonial or email you the video file, but this is harder to obtain since many won’t be versed in more advanced technology.