==== Originally published on the IT Arsenal Newsletter ====

reviewIt’s called many things…

Testimonials, Feedback, Social Proof, Referrals, Word of Mouth….but really all these things represent is trust, and if you have trust, people feel comfortable buying from you. Here’s how to use trust to boost sales.

Showing people you have trust from others is one of the strongest ways to build your brand, and boost conversions. [marketing speak for SALES] In this way, no matter how small you are, you’re like Amazon, where reviews are king.

You obviously want trust for your business but simply having a great service or product doesn’t get you it. You need to have a great product people are willing to talk about and you need to show what they’re saying. [we live in a social media world now]

Here’s how to do that easily with technology to help.

First, ASK for feedback by building it into your offering, simply ask how it’s going or how they liked XYZ in an e-mail, you could set this up to go out automatically with an auto responder at an e-mail marketing company like Mailchimp, or send it manually in any social medium. [if you’re launching something new, trade your offering for feedback to get a jump start]

Here’s some text you can swipe:

  • “Hey X, hows it going? I just wanted to see if you had any feedback on X, I’d love to hear your story. Did you get XXX as promised?”
  • “I’m planning on launching this thing for $100, but I’m looking for 10 people to go through it first for feedback, for free.”

I’ve asked even months after a service or product was bought, it’s a good reason to get back in touch, if you’re not displaying trust on your site, you can go back now and get some from anyone who’s ever worked with you!

Second, MAKE IS EASY TO GIVE, and get the essentials. After you send the above message, provide a link to a form to gather your testimonial. Laura Roeder has a good article on what to ask.

Remember to get a picture, or logo, these are powerful for associations, text testimonials just don’t cut it anymore. I recommend using Gravity Forms [here’s a link to the last newsletter that went out on how to do this] on your website, and making this a page you’re familiar with on your site, but you could use something as simple and easy as Google Forms. I also try not to ask questions that are so specific to one service so the same form can be used for many types of feedback. You can see my feedback page here as an example. Feel free to fill it out with bogus info to see the surprise video of me and my nephew Tyler dancing!

Once you have that link, it’s really useful to have it handy to copy and paste, I end up using mine for all sorts of user interactions, and I now have over 100 pieces of feedback to pick through and present on my website.

Third, display it! Create a page dedicated to your testimonials, or feedback, or whatever you’d like to call it, and pick a few of the best for your homepage.

That’s it, ask, [and build it into your offering] make it easy to give, and display it. Trust is something you can build, and display, and it will absolutely boost your business sales! You can buy office signage to display it and let your potential customers see them.

PS. Here’s a bonus idea I think is really powerful. Use this WordPress plugin to have a visitor leave you a VIDEO testimonial, straight from your website. Easy to implement, great for authentic testimonials or reviews (video is a powerful medium. What if you had a page with 10 video testimonials on how great your product is? Do you think anyone interested, after watching a few, would trust you’re the real deal?)


PPS. Second bonus idea, use LinkedIn‘s endorsements and recommendations to get started. More people widely recognize these as respectable. One quick screenshot of your LinkedIn page could be a perfect homepage testimonial visual. See this image, don’t you immediately think, hmm this person must be pretty good if that many people have recognized his skills.

If you find these tasks daunting and need someone to just set them up, check out the link below.

—> Build Your Own Request

I sincerely hope this e-mail was useful, and want to know about it if it wasn’t, just hit reply!


Rating designed by Dirk Schmücker from the Noun Project