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Tying Testimonials to Conversions

By | April 14, 2010

Your company is dedicated to providing every customer with quality service. You have great products that you believe in. However, you aren’t sure how to promote these ideals to future customers and convince them that your company has the resources they need. The answer? Develop quality testimonials.

Testimonials are a compelling marketing tool. They allow you to establish brand credibility while offering future customers concrete examples of what you can do for them. Keep in mind, however, that the kind of testimonials you develop and where they are placed on your site will determine how effectively they can impact conversions.

One of the worst things you can do is post a testimonial that sounds like a sales pitch. The point of providing actual client testimonials is to help future customers see what real people are saying about your products and services. Getting clients to provide the right kind of testimonials can be harder than you think. Satisfied customers tend to focus on what went right. They forget that they too had doubts and questions, and that your company alleviated and answered them. This is the valuable information you want, but how do you get it?

Sean D’Souza, a writer for Copyblogger, recently wrote an article outlining the “Six Questions to Ask for Powerful Testimonials.” These questions are designed to produce a “reverse testimonial”: A statement that starts with a client’s skepticism and works its way towards the positive impact your company had on the situation. These statements are effective because most of your potential clients are struggling with a bit of doubt themselves; these testimonials address that uncertainty and remove it. The six questions to ask to achieve these testimonials are:

  1. What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this product?
  2. What did you find as a result of buying this product?
  3. What specific feature did you like most about this product?
  4. What are three other benefits of this product?
  5. Would you recommend this product? If so, why?
  6. Is there anything you’d like to add?

The client doesn’t have to answer each one. As long as they are starting with number one and working their way down the list, you’re going to receive the reverse testimonial you’re looking for.

Now that you know how to get effective testimonials, how do you position them on your site to reap optimal conversion benefits? According to a study done by Marketing Experiments entitled “Using Testimonials Effectively,” it’s important to place testimonials on the pages of your site where customers are likely to experience the most anxiety. This is going to differ from company to company, but it is common for customer anxiety to occur during the registration and buying processes. Customers want to know why they need to register before they can buy, why you need certain information from them, and, if they are purchasing something, whether or not their credit card information will be safe.

You can alleviate these concerns in a variety of ways, but at the end of the day these future customers want to know three things: That other people have had a good experience with you; that the action they are about to take is going to be worthwhile; and that this action isn’t going to cause them any problems down the road. We hope the proverbial light bulb is turning on right now, because you should be realizing this is exactly where your expertly-constructed testimonials should come into play. Reassure this future customer. Let them read positive feedback from real clients, and let them make their decision based off that.

Testimonials can be a powerful conversion tool, and Fathom understands this. If you want more information on how to develop quality testimonials and where to place them on your site, contact us today!

Image provided by richkidsunite on Flickr.

2 Comments

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About Abigail Carter

Abigail Carter is a digital media producer for Fathom's video marketing department. She is a graduate of Kent State University's Electronic Media Production Program. She specializes in motion graphic design and animation, as well as production management, camera operation and editing.

  • http://jaxseoworks.com Ken Harper II

    Hi Abigail!

    Asking customers to answer those 6 (or similar) questions in their testimonials should give you better content and feedback on your business.
    I’ve seen similar questions for periodically surveying your customers to improve your business; this is a great idea, too.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Take care.

  • Rachel

    I want to work for you! :) Love what you’re doing. I launched my website today, it’s my first. There are a few glitches and they will be fixed soon. I’m going to Australia for an internship this summer, so I’ll have some experience. Can we do an online informational interview about your company? I’m very interested. Thanks!

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