Happy customers are your best ambassadors, and displaying their praise online is a great way to build trust and bring in even more customers. But it’s impossible to get testimonials from customers if they don’t know that you’re looking. To get testimonials and make your testimonial collection campaign effective, it needs promotion. Customers have to know what you’re looking for, where and how to submit their testimonial and you need to tell them more than once. Use these steps to get testimonials and make your testimonial collection campaign deliver results.
Here are 7 Testimonial Collection Promotion Steps
Getting your customers to take any action requires promotion. To get customers to buy from you, you have to deliver a great product and advertise it. To get them to come back and buy again, you have to deliver an exceptional experience. The same is true to get testimonials; you must tell your customers what to do, how to do it, and provide incentive. This starts with promoting your testimonial collection form.
Step 1: Set-up
To get your customers to take an action, it has to be easy and straightforward. If your customers have to prepare a script, schedule a meeting with you, and get in front of a camera, it will be more difficult to get testimonials. Make the process as easy and natural as possible.
If you want to get testimonials online, make sure you have all of the following;
- A testimonial collection tool that is easy to use and understand, like Boast.
- A landing page with directions on how to submit a testimonial
- Test the page and the tool to ensure they work on desktops, smartphones, and different web browsers.
- Make sure users can submit a quality testimonial with a webcam or smartphone.
- If you are running a giveaway or another promotion, make it clear how the customer can receive it.
Start your testimonial collection promotion
Step 2: Identify The Testimonials You Want
Just as you may be uncomfortable asking your customers for testimonials, your customers may be uncomfortable giving them. Even if they have nice things to say about your business, they may be reluctant to put it in writing or on camera. To make customers more comfortable submitting testimonials, you should know what type of testimonials you want.
Ask yourself if you’re looking for;
- An in-depth testimonial with details about the customer’s experience
- A few short lines about what the customers enjoys
- A picture of the customer’s experience before and after working with you
- A video or written testimonial
- Testimonials to put on YouTube, your website, your social media, a catalog, or something else
What you’re looking for will determine how you get testimonials, how you reach out to customers, and what you’ll say when you do.
Step 3: Connect With Your Customers
Before promoting your testimonial campaign, make sure you know how to get in touch with your customers and what communication they are most comfortable with. Ideally, this will include more than one method.
To decide where to best interact with your customers, ask yourself the following:
- Do you have a large following on social media? Which platform(s)?
- Do you regularly interact with customers on your social platform(s)?
- Do you often communicate with customers over email?
- Do your marketing emails have high open and response rates?
- Do you or your employees talk at length with customers at your office or shop?
- Do your events receive high attendance?
- Do customers participate in your giveaways or contests?
The more you reach out, the more effective your campaign will be. Keep in mind however that your customers browse thousands of social posts and hundreds of emails each day; you will need to personalize your message—send direct social messages, personalized emails or meet in person—and repeat it to break through. If you’re not sure your request will break through, try a few unconventional ways to ask customers for testimonials.
Step 4: Incentivize Your Customers
Remember that your customers are busy people, and they may need some incentive to spend time giving a testimonial. This is especially true if you want to get testimonials online and you are communicating through social media or email. When giving incentives, remember that you cannot change your customer’s words or tell them what they should say. When providing incentives, always follow the letter and spirit of testimonial laws and guidelines.
You might give offer the following incentives to encourage your customers to submit testimonials;
- A discount on your product or service
- A free product or service
- A gift card
- Early access to special features or new items
- A chance to win a tablet or other popular electronics
Step 5: Draft Your Messages
Once you know how to get testimonials and how to promote your testimonial gathering campaign, it’s time to make your messages. If you’re sending emails, use an email automation program like Mailchimp or Constant Contact. If you’re sending messages on social media, use a program to manage your social messages, like Hootsuite or SproutSocial. If you’re meeting your customers in-person, rehearse what you’ll say.
If you haven’t used automation before, input your customers’ emails first and then draft some messages telling them about your campaign. You might try these testimonial request emails;
- A thank you email for being a great customer
- A follow-up on service
- An invitation to a contest or giveaway
Remember, you may have to ask more than once. An automated email drip is an easy way to do this. Write a group of emails you can send to happy customers and space them out over a few days. Your automated email drip might use the following emails;
- An introduction to your testimonial collection campaign
- Thanking customers for their patronage and asking them to participate in your testimonial collection campaign
- Explaining why testimonials are important to you and your business
- Reiteration of any incentive you’re offering to get testimonials
- Reminding customers it’s easy to submit a testimonial
- Mentioning the incentive is ending soon
- Mentioning the incentive is ending today
If you’re concerned about annoying happy customers with these emails, consider how many emails you’ve received from a company without unsubscribing. Also, remember that your emails have a well-defined purpose and you have an existing relationship with your customer. Sending 3 to 6 emails a few days apart in order to get testimonials isn’t likely to burn bridges.
You won’t get all of your customers to open and read all of your emails, but some will. When customers do submit their testimonials, make sure to manually take them off the email drip, or design the drip to automatically remove them.
Step 6: Send
With your messages drafted and scheduled, it’s time to send. Choose a time that your recipients are most likely to see and read your messages. For B2B companies, this might be during work hours around 10 AM or 3 PM. For B2C retail companies, this might be during a customer’s off time, around 6 or 8 PM. If you’re communicating via social media, these times may be different, and they may be different for each platform. Use times that you’ve previously had success with, times customers usually email you or respond, or make an educated guess.
After delivery, make sure to monitor your campaign and answer any questions you recieve. When customers submit testimonials, thank them and take them off the list. If you promised an incentive, be sure to deliver it.
Step 7: Reassess
Once your testimonial collection campaign is complete, it’s time to reassess. How did it go? Did you get testimonials?
If your campaign was successful, assess what worked. Knowing what worked, what didn’t and documenting your findings will help you get more testimonials next time.
If your campaign wasn’t successful, find out why. If you had one of these problems, try these solutions with another campaign.
- Problem: You didn’t contact enough customers about your testimonial collection campaign.
- Solution: Build your customer list in your store, at your office or online and try again.
- Problem: You contacted customers, but they didn’t respond.
- Solution: Try giving your customers an incentive to submit testimonials.
- Problem: Customers didn’t know how to submit testimonials.
- Solution: Try using a simpler app, and give directions on your landing page.
- Problem: Your testimonial collection app or landing page wasn’t working.
- Solution: Test your landing page and app, and change them if necessary.
- Problem: Your campaign didn’t run long enough for customers to submit testimonials.
- Solution: Give your customers at least a month, or longer if needed.
- Problem: Customers didn’t know what to say in their testimonial.
- Solution: Give a few prompts, an example testimonial, or both on your landing page.
Testimonials boost your reputation, build trust, market your business, and help to establish your company in your industry. However, getting testimonials doesn’t happen without effort. Build your testimonial collection campaign with these steps and you can get testimonials from your happy customers.