Getting Great Testimonials--Even if You Haven't Sold Anything Yet
If your customers have given you positive feedback on your product already, then you may already have some great testimonials to add to your site. However, if your customer response is a little scarce--or if you're just starting out--getting testimonials from your buyers might take a little more effort.
So how do you collect the testimonials you need and keep them coming as you grow your business?
One easy way to collect testimonials is to include a link on your site with a form that allows your customers to give you their vote of confidence: "Tell us how this product changed your life!" or "Click here to let us know what you think!" Put this link next to some testimonials that you've already gathered to give customers an example of the kind of feedback you're looking for.
A more effective method is to create an autoresponder that contacts your buyers after they've purchased your product to ask how they're enjoying the product, as well as giving them a chance to offer feedback on their experience with your business.
And, of course, anytime you receive a great letter or e-mail from a customer, ask them if you can use their comments on your website to recommend your product to others. If they were happy enough to let you know, they're bound to want to spread the word.
If you haven't yet begun selling your product and have no feedback yet, offer your product or service for free to a select group of customers in exchange for their thoughts on the product or some details on their experience with your site. The impact that testimonial will have on your bottom line will be well worth the initial expense.
Strategies For Using Your Testimonials Effectively
Once you've got some testimonials to share with your visitors, you need to make sure you're putting them to the best possible use on your site. Always make sure that you:
- Include your best testimonials front and center on your homepage, like in your sidebars, or even above your headline.
- Place some testimonials right in the middle of your homepage sales copy to keep your readers focused on your credibility as you outline the features and benefits of your product.
- Set up a whole page dedicated to your glowing testimonials, as well as including snippets of their comments throughout your site. Be sure to put a link to your testimonial page next to each of those snippets.
- Include testimonials on each and every page of your website. No matter where your visitors click, you want them to find a positive customer review of your product or service.
Now let's look at a few mistakes to avoid when using testimonials on your website:
- Don't edit your testimonials to exclude a comment or add information you want to hear! If you can't post a comment "as is" and feel comfortable with it, it shouldn't go up.
- Never use a customer testimonial without permission.
- Never, ever invent testimonials! This is fraud, plain and simple, and lying never results in a positive impact on your business.
If you're not using testimonials on your website, you're missing out on one of the most powerful, easy-to-use and cheap marketing tools available to you.
Most of us would rather act on a referral from a friend than make a purchase based on a sales pitch alone. We want to know that the product actually works before we take the leap to buy, and we're bound to put more trust in someone who has already used the product successfully than the person trying to convince us to buy it. Using glowing, fact-filled testimonials on your website will let your visitors know that you're worthy of their trust.
Derek Gehl is the CEO of the Internet Marketing Center, an internet marketing firm that has helped thousands of people learn to start and run their own online businesses.IMC hosts a new Search Marketing Lab Forum, where members have their strategy questions answered by search marketing specialists.