Message & Media: In Their Own Words

BlueCross BlueShield of Kansas uses a customer testimonial on its outer envelopes to address prospects’ concerns about health care costs, and includes an intriguing teaser on the envelope front (shown here) to convince recipients to open and find out why the health insurance provider could be the right choice for them. 

BlueCross BlueShield of Kansas uses a customer testimonial on its outer envelopes to address prospects’ concerns about health care costs, and includes an intriguing teaser on the envelope front to convince recipients to open and find out why the health insurance provider could be the right choice for them (back of envelope is shown)

Add credibility to your marketing messages through the use of your customers’ comments and reviews

One of the most effective ways to neutralize buying objections and add credibility to your product benefit statements is to let your customers speak on your behalf.

Words enclosed in quotation marks carry implied authority and grab the reader’s eye quicker than words that aren’t. Customer comments can also transform a commodity product or service, such as lawn care or auto insurance, into a one-of-a-kind standout.

Comments and reviews also help customers research and compare products through the eyes and experiences of customers who have already purchased.

This means customer product reviews and testimonial comments can be powerful additions to just about anyone’s marketing messages—B-to-B, B-to-C; including educational institutions, healthcare providers and services such as travel or pest control.

While customer testimonials have long been a staple of direct mail letters and catalog copy, online customer product reviews now make it easier than before for customers to share favorable (and not so favorable) opinions about your company and what you sell. Prospective buyers love these candid insights.

How can you harness the power of your customers’ opinions about you and all you offer? The first step is to make it easy for people to share their opinions.

Start by soliciting customer reviews on your website and via post-order e-mails—even weeks or months after the product or service is delivered. You can also use package inserts and follow-up postcards to request your 
customers’ input.

Most importantly—however you solicit customer feedback—make it clear you’re interested in hearing both pros and cons. You’ll build more credibility when you share a spectrum of honest customer assessments. They can also help you correct problems with products and customer service.

Check with your legal adviser about whether or not you need a release before publishing anything, then create a systematic process for screening and using the comments/reviews you receive.

Pat Friesen is a direct response copywriter, content developer and creative strategist. She is also the author of "The Cross-Channel Copywriting Handbook," published by Direct Marketing IQ. Reach her at (913) 341-1211.
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Comments
  • Ped Or

    I have an online store too that I need to deal with them nicely. Your insights on how to manage customer feedback helps me a lot. This brings more meaning to what I currently do with my online marketing.

    Ped Or
    Contributor – http://yourbestsearchengineoptimisation.wordpress.com/