You’re at a party, the wine is flowing, the buffet is open and you happen to mention that instead of taking a lawn mower to your legs are considering investing in some serious waxing treatment. You’re just not sure where to go. (What do you mean this isn’t appropriate party conversation?)
FRIEND 1: Well, I saw a new day spa open up in town, in fact I have one of their leaflets. It says they’re the best but I don’t know anyone who’s been yet.
You take the leaflet and think about inflicting your long and billowy leg hair on one of the young therapists when…
FRIEND 2: I always go to the spa on the other side of town for my treatments.
YOU: What’s it like?
FRIEND 2: I love it. As soon as you walk in they acknowledge you and are super friendly. You get unlimited herbal tea while you’re there and the therapists are well qualified and really friendly. I had the best leg and bikini wax there by a girl name Jane. You should ask for her, it didn’t even hurt. Oh, and if you go on a Friday, you get the bikini wax half price.
Of course the personal recommendation holds more weight because it lets you visualise the experience and the benefits. You don’t have to decipher if the company’s leaflet is telling the truth because you’ve got someone giving you the inside scoop.
And that’s how it is with testimonials. Testimonials are there to provide the inside story for potential buyers visiting your sales page.
Of course today, people know testimonials aren’t as impartial as a friend’s recommendation because a business will choose ones that help sell the product. But this doesn’t make them any less effective or important. So here’s your quick guide to collecting and using testimonials in your sales page.
Even with a great product or service, testimonials can be tricky to gather simply because people are busy. You’re best to ask for them when people are feeling pretty hot about you, which is usually just after you’ve completed the work or delivered your product.
It also helps to give customers a guideline for writing them as people might not know where to start. Malc’s target market for his banjos aren’t computer fans, so even though his customers are on the phone to him raving about his instruments, getting people to email or submit a testimonial online can take a bit of coaxing and reminding.
Here’s the guide I follow when asking for a testimonial. It makes it easy for your customer and prevents vague “I thought the service was brilliant” types of testimonials that don’t really sell your product or service.
- What made you seek out this type of service / product? What problem were you having?
- What were your concerns about using a [copywriter / web designer etc] to solve this?
- Why did you choose this supplier?
- What did you enjoy about working together?
- What results did you get from the service?
These are very simple questions, but they encourage your customer to include specific details and even cover objections to create a testimonial that sounds more ‘real’ for example:
I was launching a new product and wanted to reach a bigger audience but didn’t have the resources or time to do all the marketing so I decided to outsource the launch marketing to a company. I was a little worried that an external company wouldn’t match my branding or communication style and might upset my audience. I chose the Top Marketing Company because I’d heard good things about them from my business coach. I loved that they really listened to me and was impressed with their knowledge and expertise. As a result I kept my sanity throughout the launch and increased sales by 75% compared to the first launch!
Including testimonials is also a great way to illustrate the range of customers you work with.
5 tips for using testimonials in your sales page
Once you’ve gathered your testimonials, there are a few tips to increase the impact they have on your sales page.
1. Don’t clump them together
You want to use as many testimonials as you can get your hands on as they are a great way to build proof in your sales page. However, if you put all your testimonials together it makes it too easy for people to skip through them without reading the content. Instead, scatter them throughout and…
2. Use them to highlight points in your sales page
Weave your testimonials into your copy for a better effect. If you have a testimonial that talks about how easy your system is to use, drop it in right after YOU mention how easy your system is to use.
If you’ve just talked about how your eBook can help people make more sales, drop in a testimonial from someone who did just that.
If you’ve mentioned that your thermal underwear makes you feel like you’re being nuzzled gently by a polar bear well… you get.
3. Include a headline at the top of the quotation
Because not everyone is going to read through all your testimonials, make sure each one has a mini-headline to catch the attention of scanners. In the above testimonial example I’d pick out “Increased sales by 75%…” before leading into the full text.
4. Use a photo, name and business name (where applicable)
The more ‘real’ you can make your referrer, the more credibility their testimony will have. Where possible, use a photo, name and business name / location if applicable.
5. But don’t use an active link
If you do use a business name or a website, don’t include a hyperlink to their site. By all means tell people what the site is, but you don’t want your reader to get distracted and go clicking off to another site.
Want to see an example of testimonials used with this formula? Head on over to my Copywriting Services page.