Putting Your Social Proof in Context

One of the mistakes that people make when using testimonials is not putting them in context. What do I mean? How many times have you gone to a web site and you’ve seen a link on the home page called Testimonials. Click it and you go to a web page with a grocery list of testimonials…

I’m not saying that it’s bad to have that page of testimonials – I’m saying that if this is the only place you display testimonials on your web site, then you are missing the biggest opportunity to use your customer feedback to drive more sales.

The purpose of testimonials is to provide social proof that the statements you are making about the benefit of your product or service can indeed be trusted. When we force someone on your web site to go to a different page to see social proof about the statements we are making, then that proof loses much of its effectiveness. Both because many of your prospects won’t make the effort to go to that different page and even if they do – they will forget much of the context of your original claims.

So go to your web site and do the following self assessment:

  1. For each page where you describe a product and service, identify the key customer value(s) that you’re promoting.
  2. Check that you have, on that page, a testimonial that backs up that key value(s).
  3. For even more effectiveness, ask yourself what the biggest sales objections are and ensure that there testimonials that counters it.

I realize that this will quickly seem to be complicated – especially if you have multiple products and services. Here is a quick strategy to help:

  1. For each product and service list the top three customer values and top objection. Given them simple category names like “increase revenue”, “decrease costs” for the values and like “too expensive” for the objection.
  2. For value and objection, review your inventory of testimonials for those products/services. For each testimonial that provides social proof of the value or counters an objection, label it as such.
  3. Where you have suitable testimonials, get them on the page for that product/service.
  4. Where you don’t have testimonials, go and get ’em!

Of course, if you are using Testimonial Director, you can do this right from your account! Just define your “Products” and “Categories” under the “Define Tab” and then use them when you receive a testimonial. Then by using those when you publish your testimonial widget, the system will take care of sorting out which testimonial goes where…

Here’s an advanced strategy: you can use multiple “Categories” with Testimonial Director. To select more than one for a particular testimonial, just hold down the control key and pick all applicable categories!

Whether or not you are using Testimonial Director, make sure that you are providing the social proof in the context of your products and services. That’s how you’ll get the full benefit from your satisfied customers’ feedback.

Dedicated to increasing your sales,


3 responses to “Putting Your Social Proof in Context

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