Have you ever looked at a website and said to yourself:
“That sounds amazing – but can you actually deliver?”
If you did, then what was probably missing for you was social proof. It’s a well-known marketing principle that Everett Rogers wrote about in 1962. The majority of the buying population won’t be sold just by a great idea – what they want is proof from people they identify with. A website with a hundred testimonials will generate more leads and close more sales than a website with no testimonials every time.
More social proof you can offer = Higher the conversion rate!
Depending on your resources, your product or service and your target market, there are lots of ways to build social proof…
Basic Written Testimonials
Basic written testimonials provide proof that you deliver on your promise, so collect them at every opportunity. A basic testimonial is more powerful with a photo of the client or customer.
Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can use today. Video testimonials are far more engaging and believable. They will keep visitors on your site longer and increase the chances that they will make a purchase.
Everybody loves a great story, so consider whether a longer testimonial will work to build your business. These can be particularly powerful in high-risk purchases. Again, adding a picture to a long-form testimonial adds credibility and authenticity.
Social Media Streams
If you’ve got a good presence on social media, it can be useful to include that in your website’s home page. Pinterest and Instagram are particularly useful because they are image-based.
Consider using a tool like TRUST PILOT, which presents genuine customer feedback, both good and bad – and the occasional piece of bad feedback can sometimes make you look more genuine.
These are the most powerful forms of social proof. A good case study should highlight the results that your business has achieved for your client. The case study could be as detailed as you like or as brief as just showing the result. If you choose to go detailed, then show the client’s position and pain points before you were involved, then describe the process that you went through to solve the problem, then show the outcome or the result.
Even if you can’t get testimonials, you can indicate your customer base with logos. Again, they can be rendered in grey tones so they don’t clash with each other or your colour palette.
When to ask for a testimonial?
The best time to collect a review or testimonial from your customers is as soon as they have seen a result from what you have provided to them.
Below is a framework that I highly recommend when asking your clients for a testimonial…
1. What was your biggest pain-point or frustration before you purchased from us?
2. What obstacle nearly prevented you from purchasing from us?
3. How was your experience dealing with us and our process?
4. What is the BEST result that purchasing from us brought to your business?
5. Who else would you recommend us to?
Most businesses that don’t have many testimonials think that their clients wouldn’t want to give them a testimonial, which is simply not true most of the time. It’s usually just your mindset. So next time you have a happy client, simply reach out to them and ask them. You might be surprised!!
Discover more this topic on this podcast episode I recorded:
The Real Magic Podcast EP57: 6 Principles of Influence in Website Design. Part 6 – Consensus