Testimonials are among the most powerful marketing ammunition in your marketing arsenal. As a small business marketing speaker, I'm often asked if testimonials are important - and if so, why?
Testimonials have the power to achieve a variety of things for your marketing and customer retention programs.
Each time you use a testimonial you need to decide what you are trying to accomplish or what message you are trying to support. For example, they can:
* Overcome buyer skepticism. Use a testimonial to shine light on your credibility, or on the quality of your product or service. This type of testimonial builds trust and overcomes natural barriers. In the example above, the testimonial could have read: "Best product I've tried in this price bracket - and I've tried many. Great value for money, and no shortcuts on quality."
* Overcome objections. Your readers are going to be naturally skeptical of any claims, promises or bold statements. As much as you can back yourself up with facts, a third party experience or opinion will work wonders to overcome unspoken objections in the customer's mind. "It all sounded too good to be true, but when I used the hair straightener, there was more shine and less breakage."
* Simplify or make a point. A customer's personal experience with your product or service will work to persuade your audience like a story does. Complex explanations or abstract applications will make more sense when applied to real life examples. This works well with highly technical products or complex services where the customer doesn't need to understand all the details.
* Break up and maintain interest in long copy. Readers have short attention spans and they will get bored unless you can change up the structure on a regular basis. Quotations and testimonials will break up the tone or voice of the copy, and sound like the customer is reading dialogue, which will keep them engaged. You can also break up paragraphs with a testimonial that supports the point you have just made.
* Target anxieties or doubts. Just like they can overcome skepticism and objections, they can also overcome hidden anxieties or doubts at each stage of the sales process. Anticipate questions like "is this worth my money?", "do I really need this?", "can I trust the guarantee?" and "will they sell my information?", and place testimonials accordingly.
Use testimonials in your marketing efforts and you'll unleash the power of social proof, reduce risk, and induce the "I gotta get me some o' that" factor!
What has been your experience with testimonials? Use the comments area below to share your thoughts...