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Acquiring And Using Testimonials For Your Product, Service Or Website

Dec 21, 2007
One of the most effective ways of persuading potential customers is by providing "social proof" of the value of your product. This proof is usually in the form of a testimonial from a satisfied customer. What are the best ways to obtain and use testimonials for your product?

The easiest and less proactive method is to simply wait for a customer to send one to you. Even if you have a good product, it could take a long time to accumulate a number of good testimonials. This is why you will probably want to take a more active roll in obtaining testimonials.

One method would be to include a survey with the delivery of every product. The best responses from the survey could then be used for your testimonials, plus you may get some valuable feedback to make improvements. This method can also be used in a more active way by calling customers and, with their permission, recording the responses.

A more direct approach is to simply contact customers by phone or in writing and explain that you are starting a new ad campaign and would like to share some of the benefits that previous customers have gotten from the product.

What if your product is new and you need testimonials? You'll need to find people to test out your new product and provide a testimonial. You can get the word out by various means that your product is new and you are looking for feedback. By offering a limited amount of products at a significant discount off the normal price, you will be able to get a number of testimonials.

Often you can contact previous customers and ask them to review your new product. This provides a measure of good will to your customers and they are generally open to such a suggestion.

Another way to find people to provide testimonials is to contact people that have provided testimonials for other products. You can often find well known people in your field by searching the websites of similar types of products and look for "big name" people that have given testimonials. Offer to give them a free copy of your product in exchange for their review.

As far as using the testimonials, the most effective way is a video testimonial. The web is moving more and more to video and a satisfied customer video testimonial can be very convincing. Not everyone has a camcorder, but many have a webcam, and if not, you it may be worth it for you to offer to buy and send them a webcam and allow them to keep it for free. They cost as little as $25 these days.

The next best thing to a video testimonial is an audio testimonial with photo. After that is a written testimonial with photo, and finally just a written testimonial.

It terms of the content of the testimonial, you should try to get concrete benefits that the customer has obtained. General, "XYZ company is great to work with..." type of comments won't help much with the sales process.

Some of the best testimonials are from people that the potential customer can identify with, so don't think that average, ordinary looking/sounding people can't be effective. Along these lines, a "before and after " type of testimonial with visual proof is a great way to convince others. This type of testimonial will require some advance planning to set up the before pictures.
About the Author
Neal is a researcher on a book on stock option trading. The book can be found at www.stockoption-trading.com. Neal is also the consultant for a daily stock pick service at www.skilltrader.org
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