Testimonials: A marketer’s best friend
Testimonials are a great way to build consumer confidence in your product. Hearing from other people who have purchased the product and are satisfied with the results goes a long way toward making sales. Testimonials can range from short blurbs (a sentence or two, or a paragraph) to letter-length endorsements. The blurbs are great for interspersing with the text of your autoresponder messages; longer testimonials are excellent for posting on your web site.
How do you get testimonials? Once you start selling your product, you will likely receive unsolicited notes from buyers who are pleased with their purchases. But at the outset of your campaign, before you have actually began selling anything, there are several ways to get testimonials:
Friends and family. Ask friends and family to review your product and write a few sentences describing what they like about it and why they would recommend it to others. This may seem like cheating, but no one has to know you’re acquainted with your testimonial writers—and besides, if they actually like the product, there is nothing dishonest about it.
Colleagues and experts in your field. If you work or have worked in a field relating to your topic, ask your coworkers (or former coworkers) to write up a testimonial blurb for you. If you don’t work in a related field, look up people who do online (groups or forums are good places to start) and e-mail them to ask if they would mind reviewing your product in exchange for a free copy. Most reviewers work on a free-product basis and will be happy to do so.
Other affiliate members and resellers. Think all people trying to sell the same product as you are bitter enemies? Think again! Many internet marketers working with affiliate and reseller programs are happy to help other entrepreneurs, because believe it or not, there is plenty of market to go around. Of course, they will expect the same courtesy from you. Since they are already familiar with the product, they will have no trouble coming up with a testimonial for you.
NOTE: Always make sure you have the permission of the person who wrote the testimonial to use their name and words in your marketing materials. Get it in writing or by e-mail, even from friends and family. Make that especially from friends and family—you never know when a disagreement will result in a rescinding of an offer to help. If you get permission via e-mail, simply end your disclaimer message (I hereby give [your name] permission to use my name and remarks for marketing purposed, signed X) with a line that states: Typing my initials here constitutes my official signature___. Then just ask them to reply to the message, add their full name and initials, and hit send. Most people will be willing to do this.
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