Does your marketing plan include the use of testimonials?
Testimonials, where previous clients or users of your service provide feedback, are much more than a tool to use as a feedback loop to improve the way you do business.
In a marketing sense, publishing your testimonials, whether on your website or on social media, provides potential clients who may still be at the window shopping stage with social proof about the value your business can bring.
After all, it’s one thing to say yourself that your business provides great service and has amazing staff and another thing for an independent third-party to verify that it’s true.
A glowing testimonial is often the evidence needed to push a prospect down the sales funnel from browser to buyer.
How to get great testimonials
To get great testimonials you’ll need to ask for them, and clients usually welcome some thought starters on what to write.
Make it a part of your process to ask for a testimonial at the conclusion of a piece of work or sale – you can set up a pro-forma email to send out, which also details the type of feedback you’re looking for.
For example, you might ask open-ended questions such as how efficient the service was, how well they felt the work was completed, how clear they felt the communication was and how friendly the staff were to deal with.
You’ll also need to make it clear that you intend to use the testimonial for marketing purposes.
Why testimonials work
Testimonials work because humans are social creatures. We care what other people think and we have a social imperative to conform and align ourselves with others. It’s called herd mentality.
Someone else’s experience as conveyed in a testimonial also carries a sense of trust and authority that few brands still command.
I’ve observed this phenomenon at work recently with the Covid vaccine rollout.
Before the Delta strain went to work in NSW and Victoria, and before Governments began dangling carrots about the additional freedoms that would be available to vaccinated people, most people I know were planning to get the vaccine but were not rushing to do so.
The most typical line I heard was, “I will get vaccinated, I’d just like other people to get it first to make sure it’s safe.”
In short, they were window shopping, they were seeking social proof of the vaccine’s efficacy before committing.
Given much of this behaviour operates on an unconscious level, potential customers may not even be aware that they’re being influenced by testimonials.
But they are, which is why using them as part of your marketing strategy could be the easiest thing you’ll ever do to convert prospects into clients.
Here to help
Beyond writing great content, I also provide content marketing strategy and planning services.