Testimonial TechniquesThe forward to Harvey Mackay’s bestselling Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive featured 15 solid pages of praise from VIPs like President Gerald Ford and the Reverend Billy Graham. “The kicker?” writes Hal Licino at MarketingProfs. “By the time the reader read those 15 pages, they were so convinced that the book would change their lives that what followed practically didn’t matter.”

Don’t underestimate the power of the testimonial. Such endorsements can be up to seven times as effective as paid advertisements. So go ahead and energize your email campaigns with testimonials by using pointers like these:

Ask open-ended questions in surveys. If you give customers a yes/no question, there’s a chance that they might respond without elaboration. Encourage in-depth responses—and increase the chance of positive feedback—by asking questions that facilitate lengthier answers.

Don’t limit your testimonial-gathering efforts to survey feedback and notes from customers. You may, for instance, invite customers to submit video reviews of your product or service. Or: “If you are recording your customers’ telephone conversations,” suggests Licino, “you will likely discover a treasure trove of kudos and props. Simply contact those customers again and ask for permission to use their comments as testimonials while offering them a thank-you gift or discount.” He notes that incentives should be substantial enough to warrant customer participation, but not so large that it looks like compensation.

Learn to edit for length. “There are no hard-and-fast rules,” Licino says, “but if you can edit … down to 35 or fewer strongly indicative words, you should fall within the limit of the average attention span.”

Above all, use testimonials to highlight a unique experience—something prospective customers can’t or won’t get elsewhere.

Don’t be shy. Find ways to encourage fans to offer unique praise; you could boost the power and reach of your testimonials.

Source: MarketingProfs.

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Skip Sommer