Marketing Tactics is a regular feature of this blog that highlights a particular marketing tactic that can be implemented in your business.
Marketing tactic: customer testimonials
Purpose: endorsement / trust marketing
Resources: current & past customers
What are Customer Testimonials?
Customer testimonials are a form of third-party endorsement for a product, service or business in general. Customer testimonials can come from word-of-mouth, written copy, audio and video formats.
How are Customer Testimonials Used in Marketing?
Testimonials are used in product & service marketing as a form of third-party endorsement for that particular product, service or business. Word of mouth testimonials from a trusted friend, family member or co-worder are the most powerful form of marketing that a business can receive. Written or recorded testimonials used in marketing pieces are less powerful, but have the advantage of being portable and easy to insert into marketing pieces to add a level of third-party endorsement to that particular marketing campaign.
Common uses of customer testimonials are: websites, brochures, books, product packaging, information products and marketing collateral.
Soliciting Customer Testimonials
You should solicit a testimonial any time you have a customer who was happy with their purchase from you. The volume of customers and the way you communicate with them will influence the way that you solicit testimonials from them.
In situation where there is a relatively low volume of customers, such as in a professional services business, you can ask the customer directly for a testimonial. Depending on how busy your clients are, you may experience a higher success rate getting testimonials by actually ghostwriting the testimonial yourself as if you were your client and then sending it over to your client for editing and approval. This is perfectly ethical so long as the customer has approved it.
In situations where there's a high-volume of customers on a daily basis, a bounce card or autoresponse email is generally preferred. Bounce cards are used frequently in the restaurant business and are usually accompanied with the check. Autoresponse emails are used in ecommerce to see if the customer was happy with their recent purchase and, if so, it will ask them to leave a testimonial.
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