Today’s consumers are wired—even if on a purely subconscious level—to seek social proof. Before making a purchasing decision, they want to know that other people have made that decision—and been happy with the results.
Indeed, studies show that even a testimonial or recommendation from a total stranger can positively impact a purchasing decision; seven out of 10 consumers are more likely to buy a product or service if it has testimonials attached to it. The question is, how can you get these testimonials, then effectively use them within your marketing materials?
Asking for Reviews
The only way to get testimonials is to ask for them. You can contact your customers at random and ask for reviews, and sometimes that will yield results. A better approach is to be systematic about who, how, and when you ask.
For instance, it can be ideal to ask for a testimonial from someone who has just completed a purchase. Send an email within a day or two of their purchase and ask them to share some feedback. Because the product is still fresh in their minds, they’ll be more likely to oblige.
If you don’t get a response, send a follow-up a couple of weeks later. Sometimes, it may take that long for a customer to form a solid opinion about the product. And if you do get a response, take note of that, and reach out again the next time that customer makes a purchase. When someone proves willing to give you a review, that’s always something you should track and leverage.
One more tip: Consider sending personalized emails to your best, most loyal customers—the ones who you feel are likely to provide you with honest, positive feedback. Simply let them know how much their business means to you, and how helpful a quick testimonial would be.
As you send out testimonial requests, consider asking a few “guiding” questions. For example, ask the customer how much money the product saved them, or how much time it saves them on a daily or weekly basis. You can also ask more open-ended questions, e.g., what’s the biggest benefit this product has given you?
As you receive testimonials, don’t be afraid to edit them for grammar, punctuation, or length, making them as punchy and as readable as possible. Note that, for substantive changes, you’ll need to get approval from the customer.
Though it may not always be possible, consider putting an image of the customer beside their testimonial; of course, you’ll need to ask the customer to send that image, and to give their permission for its use, but such effort can really pay off. Remember that testimonials are all about building trust, and an image can make your testimonials far more human and trustworthy.
As for how you use testimonials, there are a number of ways you can implement this content:
- On a designated Testimonials page on your company website
- On the home page
- Product-specific testimonials on the corresponding product pages
- In your print brochures
- Turned into images and posted to social media (simple resources like Canva can be used here)
- In email newsletters
- In your email signature
There are a number of creative places where a testimonial can be implemented to offer that social proof that your buyers are looking for—and in the process, to win their trust.