My Copywriting Questionnaire, Question #10

In the last entry we talked a lot about believability and proof. And we mentioned testimonials.

Testimonials are a huge source of proof. Hence the last question in my questionnaire.

10) Finally, send me every testimonial you got!

With most clients who have an established product, this isn’t a problem. They usually have been collecting testimonials and they’re ready for me.

For newer products, it’s understandable that testimonials will have to come later. But my advice is usually, “Why don’t you start looking for testimonials while I write the copy.”

That way when I’m finished, I can just copy and paste the testimonials in.

Now, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about selecting testimonials. Please don’t ask your brother to write an “It’s great!” testimonial for your product. When you do that, you’re really just going through the motions and not giving the copywriter anything to work with.

We need REAL testimonials. From people who had success with your product and are willing to tell you about it.

(Note: If you have to pay them to try your product, so be it! As long as the feedback you get from the trial is legitimate, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t pressure them in to a positive review if they don’t have one.)

A genuine testimonial helps the copywriter out in more ways than one.

First of all, it’s going to make him/her look better. The conversion rate is likely to be higher, and the client is going to be more satisfied.

But second, it’s also going to tell the copywriter what actual customers like about the product. What the major benefits are to them and so forth.

This tells the copywriter what points to emphasize in the copy. That’s a big deal!

So don’t skimp on testimonials. Actively seek out reviews, even if you have to give away your product for free or pay people to try it out.

Here’s how I’d ask for a testimonial.

#1) I always ask for a testimonial or constructive criticism. That means if the customer wasn’t happy with your product, they’re not pressured in to lying. They can simply let you know what they weren’t happy with (which is very valuable in and of itself).

#2) Ask for specific results. If you’re selling an ebook on how to make money, what’s the exact dollar amount the customer can attribute to reading the ebook? And how long did it take to make that money?

A weight loss product? How much weight did they lose? And how long?

#3) Do you want to stress a major benefit in your copy? Ask the customer how that benefit worked for them.

For example, if you want to stress how simple it is to lose weight with your system… Ask them to mention how easy/difficult the weight loss system was for them. Get them to state these benefits in their testimonial, it really will help.

#4) Ask them if you can edit the testimonial and have them sign off on it as truth. Customers are not all copywriters. Sometimes they write pretty poor testimonials… that could be great if spiced up.

It’s perfectly acceptable to edit a testimonial and then get the original author to approve it. It’s ethical, and it sells better.

Another way to go about getting testimonials is to automate it. When a customer buys, are they automatically added to an autoresponder? Put in a few auto-messages reminding them to send in their feedback.

The bottom line is, you need to be actively pursuing testimonials. It’s going to help your sales and it’s going to help the copywriter.

(And if that copywriter is me, I’ll thank you endlessly.)

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