Are you stuck in a cycle of doing what you’ve always done to attract and retain customers, and getting the exact same disappointing results? Most small business owners don’t need to be told that finding new ways of generating new business can be very hard. Just trying to stay in business takes a lot of your time, money and energy, and sometimes this can feel like it’s just not worth the effort.
In today’s digital and social-driven economy, it’s foolish to ignore the significance of online consumer behavior, especially if they are posting comments about your business.
Don’t ignore what users may be saying online about your business!
You may also be doing your business a disservice if you are not spreading the positive things your customers say about your solutions, user training, support, etc. Testimonials, user reviews and case studies are persuasive when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be added throughout your content.
In this article, we’ll show you how to improve your visitor-to-sales conversions using captivating user testimonials.
Testimonials And Consumer Reviews
Legendary showman Phineas Taylor (Aka “P.T.”) Barnum is often quoted as having said that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-driven content is a powerful and effective way of getting your business promoted. Testimonials from satisfied users are far more persuasive for attracting new customers than anything you can say about your own products or services.
There is a source of untapped business growth potential that most small businesses just aren’t utilizing, or utilizing correctly … client reviews!
Reviews and testimonials are fantastic for building credibility for your services and products.
Marketing studies conducted by many leading companies all seem to lead to the same inevitable conclusion: user reviews and testimonials reduce doubts potential customers may have about your product, help users select products and increases sales.
Below are just some findings that support this:
- According to research findings by eVoc Insights, a company known for researching and measuring user experience, “In general, 63% of users indicate they are more likely to purchase from a web site if it has ratings and reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, customer reviews are responsible for producing an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more user reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Web site visitors who interact with both customer reviews and customer questions and answers are 105% more likely to purchase while visiting, and spend 11% more than visitors who don’t interact with UGC. (Bazaarvoice, Conversation Index, Q2 2011).
- Customer reviews are significantly more trusted (nearly 12 times more) than descriptions that come from manufacturers, according to a survey of US internet users by online video review site EXPO. (eMarketer, February 2010).
Adding Client Reviews And Online Reputation Management
Adding great testimonials and reviews to your site from clients who are thrilled with the results they’ve obtained by using your products or services is essential for creating a solid online business reputation.
Customer reviews and testimonials, however, can work both ways and impact your business both in a negative and positive manner.
You see, people may not be saying bad things about your services directly to you, but they could be posting updates on a discussion group about a bad experience they’ve just had with your business and this could be costing you business.
This is where “online reputation management” becomes an important aspect of your online success.
Misconceptions about online reputation management, such as being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you really don’t need to worry about it) may be be harming your business without you even realizing this.
See this article to learn more about a simple yet effective WordPress plugin that lets you legally and ethically manage user feedback: Manage Negative Client Feedback In WordPress With Power Online Reviews Plugin
Tips On Improving Your Sales Conversions With Awesome Testimonials
User reviews, testimonials and case studies are persuasive when it comes to marketing your products and services online and should be added to your content marketing. When you include responses from users in your content, you:
- Show other users exactly what problems and pains your products and services can help to solve for them and how easily it can do this.
- Help site visitors identify and address their objections.
- Help potential customers connect with their aspirations and motivations and facilitate moving them further along the sales process.
Below are some tips on how to create sales boosting testimonials:
- Avoid over-editing: Try using your customer’s actual words as much as possible. Leave grammatical or spelling errors in. This helps keep your testimonials “real”.
- Use photos of real people: Images of people’s faces draw attention on a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews will help increase visitor engagement with your site’s content.
- Use the power of storytelling: Stories are much more effective and captivating than just providing facts and statistics. Being able to present a customer’s “horror story” and how your solution “came to the rescue” will make a far longer-lasting impression on those reading your content than using generalized statements about how “excellent” your service has been and giving “two thumbs up” service recommendations that everyone has heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: It’s good to add customer testimonials to your site copy where it best makes sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help sell your point. Think about the impact you can create in your visitor’s perception if you were to add a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution sells for before posting your price information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before discussing the benefits of your products, or testimonials where customers are genuinely thrilled about your support when offering a money-back guarantee or providing content designed to help your readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify your information: Which of the following statements do you think is more powerful: “XYZ solution was directly responsible for helping us grow our net profit by $58,701 during the last financial quarter,” or “XYZ solution helped us grow our business?” If possible, ask clients to specify quantifiable results when submitting testimonials, like how much your solution helped to increase their sales or reduce their costs in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours of work they have saved, how many new leads or new clients they were able to generate during a specific financial period, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Vary the customer testimonials on your site: Although this can be a little difficult if you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, try to avoid displaying the same testimonial everywhere on your web pages. Depending on the type of business you run, you could try to obtain more testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special discount for clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you decide to use it.
- Appeal to your target audience: As every infomercial featuring a celebrity endorsement, subject expert or “busy mom” knows, if you know who your target audience is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects aspire to become is an extremely powerful motivator and influencer. People want to see and buy from “better versions” of themselves, so make sure to include testimonials that speak directly to your ideal customers.
- Reprint across different platforms. If you get fantastic feedback on your Facebook page praising your business, ask them for permission to reprint the content on your blog.
- Never use fake client testimonials. Most people can see through sites that employ copywriters to create their content. Outsourcing content is fine, but prospective clients need to believe that the testimonials published on your site are real. Don’t compromise your credibility or reputation with a “made up” testimonial.
How To Get Testimonials From Your Customers
Ask For Testimonials
Getting a testimonial from a happy customer can be as simple as just asking for it.
Follow these useful tips for requesting testimonials from customers:
- Make a point of contacting clients after 90 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you have not obtained one immediately after performing a service.
- Add a text box for testimonials in all client surveys.
- Pull out your phone when you next meet with clients or “hand over” a finished project and if they are delighted with the results, ask them if they wouldn’t mind recording a very quick video testimonial/feedback interview. When recording the video, explain to viewers what you have done for the client and try to record the client’s positive reactions and responses.
- Make it easy and write the testimonial for them. Whenever a client sends you a positive email thanking you for a great service that contains snippets of useful “testimonial” material interspersed with the rest of their message, grab the juiciest sections (only use what they have written – never put words into their mouth), and use these to create a testimonial, then contact the client and ask them for permission to quote them on your site. Explain that you have already prepared something to help them save time and invite them to change what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link To The Source Wherever You Quote Their Testimonial
Offer to post a link to their website in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive for clients to provide a testimonial. It also makes the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.
Add A Testimonial Request To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a subscriber list, include requests for a testimonial in a regularly-spaced newsletter message. This should be done as soon as your customers have had a chance to assess the results of using your products. Use words like “I need your help” in the subject of your message and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking them to provide feedback, a testimonial, or a product review.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature lets you solicit testimonials for your profile. With LinkedIn, the process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite simple and user-friendly and the person who provides the recommendation gets a link to their profile. If you get a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask for permission to reprint it on your site (you can offer to publish a link back to their website or profile in exchange).
Create A Testimonials Page
Create a a new page on your web site for customer testimonials and add a “more customer testimonials …” link pointing to your main testimonials page throughout your content sections.
Practical Tip: You can measure how effective testimonials are by how long visitors stay on the section of your pages or posts where you have added the testimonial content. A great tool for observing visitor behavior on your site are “heatmaps”.
We have written an article about adding heatmaps to your sites to understand visitor behavior here: How To Predict Visitor Behavior On Your WordPress Site With Heatmapping Tools – HeatMapTracker Review
Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin to add and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add a form to your pages inviting users to submit feedback and testimonials.
Once your testimonial plugin is installed and set up (with instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), all you have to do is send users to your “Testimonials” page.
Here are some testimonial plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed testimonials into your pages and posts using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you insert a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which is great to add a photo of the testimonial author, their company logo, etc.
The plugin also provides users with a “pro” version with additional features and technical support.
To learn more about using the plugin, visit this site: Easy Testimonials
Testimonials Widget is a free WordPress plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, reviews, quotes, or text with videos or images on your blog. You can insert testimonials via a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and have multiple display options such as random or specific ordering.
The Testimonials Widget plugin comes with extra features via a premium version, including built-in options SEO functionality and plugin support.
To learn more about the plugin, go here: Testimonials Widget
This premium plugin provides plenty of great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes to display correctly on any device or browser.
- Display your testimonials in a widget or as sliders, slideshows, grid layout, list layout, etc. via a shortcode
- Styling options (display image on top, bottom, or side of testimonials, display testimonials in a speech bubble, customize font and background colours, font types and more.
To download and use the plugin, visit this site: Testimonials WordPress Plugin
In Conclusion …
Customer reviews and client testimonials are powerful sources of content that help your business in terms of adding credibility, building authority, improving online reputation and growing your sales funnel. Always ask for testimonials, reviews and feedback from existing customers or clients, and start publishing these on your website or blog.
For additional sources of information and resources about creating engaging testimonials see these articles:
- Ecommerce Consumer Reviews: Why You Need Them And How To Use Them
- How To Create Captivating Customer Testimonials
- 5 Tips For Knockout Testimonials
- Make Customer Testimonials Meaningful
- Your 5-Minute Guide To Writing an Amazing LinkedIn Recommendation
- How To Get Great LinkedIn Recommendations
We also recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with actionable information that will show you how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating high-quality content for your visitors and grow your business online using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
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