Where's the Proof?
Locating Social Proof on Your Web Site for Results
Whenever we begin working with our Testimonial Director clients, one of the areas we cover is where to place testimonials. Despite the fact that nothing is most trustworthy and convincing for prospects than testimonials from your customers, the majority of businesses today keep them hidden away. In fact, in our recent survey, 75% of respondents indicated they are using testimonials on only "a few" or less pages. In fact, two thirds of those only use testimonials on a single "rave reviews" page.
So, what's the problem with that? Well, simply put, most of your prospects will never see that page.
Everyone is Local:
Using Localized Social Proof to Increase Conversions
When we use social proof in our business, location can make or break our efforts for one simple reason: the more someone is like you, the more you trust what they say. If you know someone is from your same town, or same province/state or same country, you have more in common with them and therefore you are more likely to identify with them and believe what they say. If you see a testimonial and the person making the statement is obviously from a different location, you will inherently trust it less than if they were one of your neighbours.
Learn how you can increase conversion rates by making your social proof local…
Don’t Just Sit There:
5 Strategies for Proactively Getting Testimonials from Busy Customers
More than ever, customers are busy and getting them to provide feedback on how your product or service has helped is challenging. Rather sitting back and accepting the fact that you're not getting the testimonials you need, you can take specific steps to encourage customers to act and make it easier for them to get you the information you need.
By applying these 5 strategies, you can significantly increase the feedback you receive and develop many more testimonials to help you sell more!
Who Needs Video?
5 Strategies for Making Text Testimonials Sell
These days, there is a lot of talk about needing to get video on your web site. As a result, those who don't have video testimonials often feel that there is no point in using the text testimonials that they do have. And this is a critical mistake.
If we apply five simple strategies, we can maximize the effectiveness of text testimonials and provide a big boost for conversion rates on your web site.
Nothing Wrong with a Little Bribery at Least When it Comes to Testimonials...
Always remember that our customers are very, very busy. They have lots going on at work and at home and getting them to take time out to do anything is a challenge. Unfortunately, some interpret this as meaning that customers either didn't have a positive experience or that they are unwilling to share that experience.
This means that there three important consequences to trying to collect testimonials from these super busy customers...
The Trust Return on Investment, Part 2
In our previous article, we looked at the extremely interesting study by Nielsen who measured Consumer Trust in Advertising Channels. Another interesting aspect of the survey was the trust contrast between People I Know and Consumer Opinions.
This data demonstrates how critical it is that we align testimonials to the prospect...
The Trust Return on Investment, Part 1
If you are like most organizations, your marketing budget has been squeezed and squeezed as customers become tighter with their spending and competitors become more and more fierce. This means that more and more, the return on marketing investment needs to be measured and maximized.
Enter an extremely interesting study by Nielsen who measured Consumer Trust in Advertising Channels...
Three Must-Have Testimonial Types
With written testimonials there are three versions you want to include in your materials. The good news is that you don’t have to get three testimonials from each client. You just need to know how to chop up a letter effectively to create the format you need. Here are some examples you can consider for your business...
When it Comes to Testimonials, Looks Count!
So you've gone through the effort... collecting testimonials and putting them onto every web page, right next to your page copy to provide that critical social proof. You're all done, right?
Not so fast. Ask yourself: how do the testimonials look?
53 Ways to Use Testimonials
Unsure how to use rave reviews in your business? Here are 53 ideas every business can implement to help your customers sell for you!
Get on the Same Page!
Putting Your Social Proof in Context
We do a lot of implementation calls with customers using Testimonial Director. Most want to start using Testimonial Director to create a Testimonials Page. That is, put all their great client feedback on one page on their web site. You've seen it: that lonely page that shows up on web sites where we ask prospects to go read the rave review of satisified customers.
The problem? No one goes there.
Make Your Testimonials Come Alive with Video!
Part 1 - Options that Won't Break the Bank
In all my discussions with clients, there are two basic principles of improving your conversion rates that I've never had a single person dare debate: 1. Testimonials increase conversion rates, and 2. Video testimonials increase are even better.
It makes sense - the data shows that while only 70% of people trust what you say on your web site, 90% trust what your customers say. Add video to that an that effect is amplified. In fact, in its Landing Page Survey, MarketingSherpa surveyed business-to-business companies and found that adding a Video Testimonial was the number 1 rated tool for increasing landing page conversions.
So, given those numbers, we've all got video testimonials on our web site, right?
Make Your Testimonials Come Alive with Video!
Part 2 - Be Your Own Videographer
As we discussed last time, there is little debate that video testimonials drive conversions!
As for your options on how to collect them, this newsletter, we'll take a look at being your own testimonial videographer in more detail. For many, this may seem intimidating - both from the skills required as well as the technology involved…
I've got great news - it doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. If you see your customers then there really isn't an excuse not to capture their feedback and then edit and post their video testimonials on your web site. Let's start with the equipment:
Your Million-Dollar Testimonial Strategy:
Using Testimonials to Counter Objections
Recently, we conducted an information call for our community on the impact of recent Federal Trade Commission Guides on Endorsements and Testimonials. The call was focused on the impact of newly refined restrictions on using Testimonials in advertising and marketing, specifically on new requirements for how results are communicated (you can still get the recording here).
Along the way of preparing, we came across a quick piece from Bill Glazer - head of the Glazer Kennedy Inner Circle. In the face of these restrictions, Bill suggested an alternative way to use testimonials. And it's brilliant. In fact, we dubbed it a "Million-Dollar" strategy.
No Ad-Libbing Allowed -
Getting the Information You Need for an Effective Testimonial
I'm willing to bet that we've all done it. We have a customer who is a great fan, having had a great experience, and agrees to provide a testimonial. So we say, Great! Send it in!
And what we end up getting is vague or focuses on an aspect of our product or service that is not going to influence another prospect to buy.
Why does this happen? Because we're not providing our customers any help in giving us the type of information we need for effective testimonials. Instead, we need to explicitly state what type of feedback we need to help others make a decision.
Leveraging Social Media as part of a Referrals Program in Sales
"Now, we trust strangers." That's how New York-based Universal McCann sums up their 2008 study on the impact of online social media on society. They note that there has been a real explosion the number of ways in which people can share information and influence decisions. The marketplace used to be run almost exclusively on face-to-face meetings and transactions. Today, that has been transformed into a space occupied by networks of people where social capital is earned and valued.
This has important ramifications for sales, because the real power behind social media is how it can help transform you from being a complete stranger into a known quantity even among groups of people you've not even met yet. As marketing and social media strategist Kneale Mann sums up rather nicely, the benefit is that "social media can eliminate the cold part of the call."
What's the Big Deal with Testimonials?
Everyone, it seems, is trying to harness the power of testimonials. Intuitively we recognize that endorsements of our company, product, or us as a person have influence. These little repositories of personal opinion have real power. A well-placed, well-written testimonial can be the magic pill that seals the deal. I invite you consider the source of this power. Understanding why they work will help us choose how to use them more effectively.
New FTC Guide Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission published new guidelines on the use of endorsements and testimonials - specifically, setting a new standard for what is considered deceptive. The new guidelines are more restrictive and it is critical that all advertisers understand the implications. This white paper provides an overview of the new guide and why it is actually good for your business!
Six Big Myths About Testimonials
In a competitive marketplace it's important to use every tool in your sales toolbox to help drive more revenue into your business. Testimonials are, by far, one of the most cost-effective tools at your disposal in that regard. Think about all the great ways they can serve you and your business. In good times and in tough times, testimonials are in abundant supply, they cost next to nothing to procure and they have a shelf life that exceeds just about any other marketing collateral out there.
Given these great benefits, you might wonder why they're still underused by many sales people today. I sure do, and it's something I regularly ask of people I meet when conducting sales training sessions: what's your testimonial strategy...and if you don't have one, why not? Over the years, I've listened to a lot of answers to those questions from a range of people in organizations large and small. What I have found at the heart of the problem is that testimonials are often underestimated because incorrect assumptions are made either in the process of collecting them or in how they are used to promote a business.
Step on the Gas:
Testimonials Connect with Prospects to Give Your Business Extra Traction
In business, being successful at standing out in a crowd is a skill that comes more naturally to some than others. At the root of that skill is the ability to be memorable, so that your name or that of your company remains top-of-mind for your customers. The challenge is that people don’t all find the same kinds of messages appealing. As students of psychology will attest, our society consists of left-brain and right-brain thinkers. Author Doug Hall zeroed-in on the importance of this in his book, Meaningful Marketing,citing a collection of studies, including research published in the Harvard Business Review, that found that while hard facts appeal most to left-brainers, enthusiastic, emotional-based messages connect more often with right-brainers.
So how can you as a salesperson best connect with a wide range of buyers who don’t always find the same messages meaningful? This is where testimonials really shine.
Get the Power of Word-of-Mouth Working for You:
Build a Referral Program for Long-Term Sales Success
Building great relationships with clients is a cornerstone of a successful career in sales. Achieving this means more than just a benefit for your customers in knowing that they can count on you for the very best in product knowledge and advice, plus after-sales support. You stand to gain as well when those satisfied customers tell their friends and colleagues about you. Referrals have a unique capability in that they have the potential to generate new clients for you without you having to seek out those clients first.
Danger, Will Robinson!
Beware of Classic Mistakes when Asking for Referrals
Referrals have the potential to connect you to new customers through a network that's built on trust and familiarity. That means there's more on the line than just your own reputation: the person doing the referring has to first be sure they are doing the right thing by recommending you, your products or your services with others.
Given this, let's look at what you can do to avoid the classic mistakes when asking for referrals…
Did you know that testimonials are the single most trusted source of information when your prospects make a buying decision? That's why I'm so excited to share these powerful lessons on how you can leverage your current customers - your secret sales force - to sell for you around the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
This report details field-tested strategies that businesses of all sizes can use to implement an online testimonial program. The strategies it calls for are designed to maximize the return on trust— making best use of testimonials and broadening online presence while boosting the conversion rate of prospects into customers.