Long before the internet, testimonials have been used in marketing to promote products. A testimonial attempts to show real people extolling positive feelings about their purchase, helping to convince consumers the sales pitch is accurate. There is a natural skepticism towards these recommendations online, though, with some vendors paying for endorsements or even inventing fake buyers for the sales page. Consumers want to see the realistic opinions of buyers, allowing them to make an educated decision. However, getting believable testimonials can be a challenge, so you need a strategy in place.
Why Are Testimonials Effective?
Social proof is a powerful factor in the sales process. People naturally feel more comfortable using something that has a track record, so they want to see evidence of use. Authenticity is also an important factor. An inauthentic testimonial could do more harm than good, with any hint that something is fake only interrupting the sales process. Conversely, recommendations that feel authentic make the sales message instantly more believable.
How Do You Get Quality Testimonials?
There are some simple ways to get testimonials, though you may need to use a number of these techniques to see best results.
The obvious first step is to ask customers if they would be willing to give their opinions. While this might appear too simple, many buyers are looking for a chance to get their thoughts heard. A common concern is that it could lead to higher refund requests, but a polite request is unlikely to feel pressured.
Follow up with Customers
Customer feedback can help to improve the overall service, but you can also gain quality testimonials. Either by phone or email, you could ask to do a short interview to assess the customers thoughts. Asking leading questions will help customers to open up more, speaking about the elements of the product they enjoy. Along with the valuable feedback, you can also craft a detailed testimonial from the feedback, making sure to request permission first.
A similar method to post-purchase contact is a survey. Surveys can be used in the same way as a call or email conversation, but they can be automated and sent to every customer. You might need to create an incentive for completing the survey, but you should find you receive a consistent flow of potential endorsements. Again, making it clear how you want to use the information is essential.
Backlinks, particularly from high authority pages, are a valuable commodity for SEO. Some sites allow anyone contributing a testimonial to link back to their site, creating an incentive for making the effort. People in your industry, whether that is bloggers, social media influencers, or product creators, are more likely to craft a quality testimonial when they can know they will get a backlink from it.
As your business grows, brand and product mentions are likely to increase. Blogs and social media sites will include references to you, with some of these mentions being opinions and reviews. Software tools like Mention and Social Mention can be used to identify potential opportunities, allowing you to contact people who have had positive experiences with your products. A quick message to someone discovered by the software can often lead to a positive recommendation you can use on your sales page.
These techniques should be enough to get the testimonials you need, allowing you to create a compelling sales page. The number of examples you receive will depend on the number of sales you make, but even products with low volume can produce usable recommendations. Testimonials are only one aspect of the sales process, though, so you still need to focus on the benefits of the product. However, positive recommendations provide valuable social proof, helping to convince some reluctant buyers to take the next step.