Last updated on September 1st, 2011 at 11:49 am
Internet marketing in reality is simply people marketing- it’s just a different avenue. Of course there are many big differences between both online and offline marketing, though if you get the essence of it, the same rules still apply. It’s still all about the people and making them want your product.
So how do you really pull in buyers? Among other things, you need a strong testimonial base.
Suppose there are two competing business, say Company A & B, offering the same writing services. Now, let’s simply assume that on both their websites, only Company B has a testimonial page. Theoretically, Company B of course has a greater edge over Company A since the testimonials of previous clients will have a stronger pull on potential clients because it gives some sense of trust and/or security.
Now, let’s even out the playing field. Of course Company A isn’t that dumb not to have a testimonial page. We now have a scenario wherein both businesses, assuming they have the same services, also have the same number of equally compelling testimonials. The possible effect on that potential client is that there isn’t really any much of a difference between choosing one or the other. How then would you get back that edge?
The Bandwagon Effect
Even newly launched businesses or products would be crazy not to have some sort of testimonials backing up the whole thing. You may have sent out review copies to a few friends, or have invited authoritative person to check out what you’re offering and see if they can hand over a testimonial. Whatever the method is, you simply cannot forget to have a few good feedbacks before even fully selling your product or service to the market.
This is because testimonials reinforce what we call as the bandwagon effect. The bandwagon effect simply tells us that a person is more likely to be part (or get) something if another person on his circle or that which he sees as authority endorses it. Fashion fads, word of mouth and the likes are manifestations of the bandwagon effect. Pretty fancy term eh?
On Making the Most out of Your Testimonials
If testimonials = bandwagon effect, what happens if everyone (especially your competitor) has testimonials too. Well, obviously it kinda makes it less compelling since there’s bound to be another person praising the other product out there.
There’s something you can do about it though. Don’t let your testimonials go to waste. There are always ways to maximize your use of your client testimonials. But first, here’s the most important tip:
- Encourage clients to give detailed testimonials. Content will always be your best asset. Do not wait for your client’s good grace to send you a heart-warming feedback, initiate it. After every completed project, directly request your client (if of course it has been a successful product/project) to write you a good testimonial. You can forewarn him to make it detailed or to explicitly tell his *great* experience with you. I’m pretty sure if what you’re selling is quality, that client wouldn’t hesitate to make one great feedback. Sure, simply one liners like “Thanks for the great service” works, but wouldn’t it be much better if there’s a detailed reason why you’re worth your price? And it helps compel other people as well. So go ahead, ask and you shall receive!
That’s the main tip. But anyway, here are the other things you can do with your pre-existing testimonials:
- Select your best testimonial and highlight it among other testimonials. You can make it a bigger font-size or create a special banner just devoted to it. Really, every time someone checks out your testimonial page, he just scans through the whole thing. It would be better if you can highlight something that could right away convince a sale.
- Humanize your testimonials. Make sure the name is there (always). You can add details like address, website, or even age if that matters for you. If you can, why not add your client’s picture? The more it appears to be a human saying rather than just a block of text, the better the testimonial is.
- Video testimonial. What’s more fraud proof than seeing someone actually say their testimonial? Well actually it isn’t entirely fraud free either (because some scammy companies pay for video testimonials). But anyway, it’s more convincing. And for obvious reasons.
- The more the merrier! Need I explain this?
So there you go. Next time you made a good sale or finished a project spectacularly, make sure to ask your buyers for feedback. Who knows, it might even improve your product or service in the future. Once you’ve collected a decent amount, make sure to optimize their use. Don’t just post it in some random page titled ‘testimonials’, you can do more than that. The whole point is that you just have to be more compelling than others. After all, a new client may just need a little more convincing to purchase from you.