Using Testimonials to Improve Conversion

If you’re selling anything online, testimonials can help your sales letter / process. People would much rather be convinced by someone other than the person they’re buying from. Think about it for a second – if a friend, or even a friend of a friend recommended a product to you, it would already be a ‘shoe in’ so to speak once you’re in the store, right? Well, using testimonials is exactly the same idea.

I don’t know how many sales letters I’ve read, especially in the info-marketing / internet marketing niche. I can tell you that I frequently scroll down to see whose testimonials they’ve got on the page. Because I’ve started to get familiar with the players in the niche, I can usually recognize at a glance a few of the testimonials. This lends a huge degree of credence to the sales letter for me, and can often help tip things in favor of a sale.

So the first question many of you will ask is: “How do I get testimonials?”

Well, it might be a lot easier than you think. Have you tried asking? In your autoresponder series, try asking for the testimonial, same as you’d ask for the sale!

I recently implemented this on my webstore. I’ve got a “buyer’s guide” that I’m giving away for free to help potential customers better understand the product. Just the other day I added an email a few days after the download email, following up with them, and in the email I asked them if they had had a chance to read through the guide, and if they had any comments to please reply to the message. Well I haven’t had many downloads yet (I’ve still got pretty low traffic) but I’ve already gotten one reply! Percentage-wise, that’s a pretty high response rate.

You might be surprised what you can get by asking.

Ok, #2. What should be included in a testimonial?

Everything you can without being tacky. Some people are willing to send in video testimonials, which in my opinion is pretty much golden. Audio is next best, but written testimonials are still terrific. If possible, try to include a picture of the person. Name, location, sometimes profession, or website are all details that are good. Usually for credibility you’ll want at minimum the name, and some other identifying detail. The name alone for some reason isn’t quite perceived as well.

#3. “Do you have any more tips?”

Sure, why not? The other day I came across a great site that generates free testimonial graphics. This site is by the same guy (Mike Capuzzi) who created CopyDoodles (worthy of another post). It’s pretty cool, basically taking your text and making it look like it was handwritten on a piece of stationary or notepaper.

If you’re interested in more information about the power of testimonials, Brian McEvoy is the testimonial expert and has a great product along those lines. It’s well worth checking out.

2 Responses to Using Testimonials to Improve Conversion
  1. Erik Cunningham
    August 26, 2008 | 12:33 pm

    I saw something similar to your email recommendation request strategy just yesterday.

    I purchased a toll-free number over the phone for a new company I’m creating and received an email confirmation shortly after that included a request to leave a positive comment about them on their message board.

    In this case, the request came too soon, but if they send a follow up request in a couple of months, I might do it.

    Erik Cunninghams last blog post..Day 3 at SES Conference & Expo 2008 San Jose

  2. Jonathan
    August 26, 2008 | 12:41 pm

    I see that quite a lot… someone has the right idea but it gets botched up in implementation.

    For my webstore, I set the auto response request for feedback at 4 days after they were given the download link for the report, and 14 days after the product shipped, so they should have had it for about a week (hopefully still in the honeymoon phase =).