How To Collect Testimonials Automatically On Your Blog
Testimonials are very important to have on your site.
Testimonials help to establish credibility and they are so effective in converting prospects into customers because they are not strong sales pitches.
Rather, they come across in an unbiased voice that establishes trust.
Using real customers to show the success of your product or service is a great strategy, but what if you don't have enough (or even any) testimonials?
What do you do then?
Read on to learn more about some strategies that you can use to get more testimonials on autopilot.
In a previous post, we discussed how to go about getting social proof when you don't have testimonials and now we are going to talk about how you can actually get those testimonials. We will actually go a step further and set the whole process up so that you get them automatically without having to do a lot of work.
But first, let's take a look at the old way of gathering testimonials, and why this never works effectively.
When it comes to getting testimonials, most bloggers and online business owners consider this a rather haphazard process.
Some customers may submit success stories, and some may not. Whatever happens – happens. Sometimes those bloggers ask for a testimonial, at other times they don't because it does not feel natural, there are even times when they simply forget to ask.
This may be the case with you right now, and maybe you have a promotional event or launch coming up, and you suddenly start thinking about getting some testimonials.
You email your list of customers and ask them to provide some, or maybe you privately hit up some of your best customers for testimonials.
Either way, you are fishing!
Or maybe you find some testimonials as they happen and take some screenshots of them. It's only natural that some people will say good things about your product or service on Facebook, Twitter, or in your blog comments.
You then grab a screenshot of this and file it away for later.
But that is the old way of gathering testimonials, and quite frankly, this method is very ineffectual.
The better way of collecting testimonials is by using tools like Thrive Ovation to systematize all of this so that you don't have to keep hitting people up for testimonials.
So, here are a few things that I recommend you do:
1. Display The Testimonial Form In a Prominent Place In The Member Dashboard
After logging in to access the product they bought, your customers should see the testimonial form (or a link to it) displayed right there in front of their eyes in a very prominent place in the member dashboard.
Make it easy for them to make the decision to leave a testimonial.
2. Embed The Testimonial Form Where Your Product Ends
These days, the majority of information products are delivered through websites. Courses are typically broken up into different modules and various training units. This means that you can actually turn the final training unit into a testimonial form.
By doing this, you can accomplish a couple of things:
First, you are making that a standard part of your product and that increases the chances that your customers will actually take the action of leaving a testimonial.
Secondly, this is a great way of getting your customers to acknowledge their own particular wins. This becomes as much for them as it is for you and solidifies (to them) the fact that they have actually arrived somewhere.
Look at it from this perspective:
The training products that you provide are cycles of action. This means that they start, change, and stop. So you should actually set up any of your products so that they aren't really completed until your customers have submitted their experience of it to you (through your testimonial form, of course).
If you have more than one product, then you can use a tagging system to categorize the incoming submissions according to the products that they are for.
Thrive Ovation has a great feature which allows you to do this quickly and easily.
3. Build Your Request Into The Autoresponder Sequence For Your Customers
We call this an on-boarding sequence.
Use these emails to check in with your customers' progress and ask them about their experience. Send them to your testimonial form for their answer.
You could even do this repeatedly over a period of time so that each of your customers is asked this several times. This is particularly helpful if you run a membership site where you have people that are signed up for several months.
Maybe once a month you could email those members to check in and link to the testimonial form on your blog.
Make The Entire Process Even Better With Marketing Automation
This means that you can see exactly what your customers are doing when they visit your site.
Here are a few ways that you can use this information:
Use it to follow up with your active customers. If there are any of your customers who are logging in repeatedly, then you can trigger an invitation to be sent to them automatically asking them to submit a testimonial.
You can also use testimonials in the sales emails that you send out. While this isn't something that you can automate, it is still a great idea to do it.
If you've got some prospects in an email sequence promoting one of your offers, then show off a testimonial or two in those emails!
This means that you will have to do it manually and involves updating the email sequence periodically, but since your testimonial collection is now on autopilot, you will have a whole lot more to work with.
Something else that you could do is to set up a specific page just for testimonials on your site.
Use one of the designated tools mentioned earlier, and then every time you approve a new testimonial, it will appear on that page automatically.
When you do it this way, the automated email sequences that are sent will still be able to show your latest updated testimonials.
If people leave without posting a testimonial, run an abandonment sequence.
The cart abandonment sequence is one of the most effective tools when it comes to increasing conversions.
If visitors come to your checkout page or cart and leave without buying something from you, you can automatically start following up with them in an effort to see if you can help in any way.
Drip is an extremely effective tool for doing this, and the same logic can be used for testimonials.
To make it work, just couple that with a rule that tags people whenever they submit a testimonial. After they submit, you can redirect to a URL where you give the testimonial form its very own thank you page.
This means that you can email customers automatically if they come to your testimonial form but they don't submit it.
In your email, tell them that you really look forward to hearing from them about what their experience has been like, and then send them right back to the form. When people know that you value their opinion, they are more likely to comply.
This will definitely increase your conversions on that testimonial form.
Run an NPS (Net Promoter Score) Survey
By running a regular NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey, you will be able to figure out the customers who are most likely to promote your business in turn.
It all comes down to one question: How likely are you to recommend my company, product, or service to your friends or colleagues?
The results are graded between 0 and 10 and the average of all the responses that you get is your NPS. Using this system, you know that the people who score 9 or 10 are the ones who are most likely to promote your business.
But how are you going to apply this?
Say, for instance, that each time you interact with your customers in customer support, or even in the emails that you send them, you ask those customers a question.
If their answer is 9 or 10, an automatic testimonial form follow up is sent to them.
You may even send it if they only answered 7 or 8, but for the lower scores, you would probably follow up in different ways to try and find out exactly how you could make their experience better. There are many marketing automation systems that you could use to achieve this.
Send emails with the NPS question, and make the numbers from 0 to 10 links that can be tracked by your system so that if your customers click on the 9 or 10, a testimonial form is automatically sent out.
When You Systematize, You Get Great Results
Most of us don't get nearly enough testimonials on our sites because we don't take the time to systematize the process. We leave everything up to chance, and that gets us poor results.
But, if you want to achieve great results on a regular basis, then you need to build this into the actual systems that run your blog or business.
This may involve a few procedures that are executed by humans, and it may also include marketing automation and some pre-written emails. Either way, you will be able to get more testimonials and ultimately make more sales by setting up such a system to do everything automatically.
Use Thrive Ovation or any of the other great automation tools available on the market today, and after you collect those testimonials, use the ideas listed below to get maximum effect from their use.
3 Ways to Use Customer Testimonials in Your Content
1. Use customer testimonials as case studies
You can transform praises from previous customers into case studies.
After all, your prospects don't need to read thousands of testimonials before making a purchase but they do want to see results before making a purchasing decision.
That's what makes them click, so use a case study to tell them about the results that they can expect from using your product.
2. Add a Perfectly-Timed Slider
Use sliders to reveal testimonials that are relevant to the post that they are reading.
Well-timed sliders at the end of your blog posts will work miracles for your conversion rates. You can support those testimonials with effective calls to action that invite your readers to try your product or service.
These sliders work so well because if your readers scroll to the end of the post, it means that they are searching for some kind of solution.
3. Use Quotes
Testimonials that are in quote form are a lot easier to read and everyone loves an inspirational quote that is relevant to their lives.
That never fails to catch their attention. Blend quotes with customer testimonial and you will have a rapt audience at your disposal. You can also use an image of the person which works to make the quote more trustable.
This adds legitimacy and credibility to your testimonials.
Customer testimonials don't have to be hard to get, and you don't have to spend your time hitting up customers to get them.
Use the strategies outlined in this post to help you gather all the testimonials you need on autopilot and to use them for maximum impact in your business or blog.
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Updated: Originally published July 30th 2018