Message & Media: In Their Own Words
8. Put member/customer comments or links to them front-and-center on your home page, like Union Plus, a consumer benefits provider for union members, and Embrace Home Loans, a direct mortgage lender.
9. Actively solicit and post member reviews for every program you offer—this is another successful tactic of Union Plus.
10. Include the URL for video reviews in your traditional print advertising, such as direct mail and space ads. Once you've invested time and money in capturing customer videos, find more ways to use them—including print.
11. Strong testimonials can be used as highly effective lift letters in traditional mailings. A prospecting package for a travel company offering $3,000-$5,000 escorted tours used a one-page testimonial to diffuse the buying objection, "I don't know these people and they want me to spend thousands of dollars and two weeks traveling with them internationally. Why should I believe what they say?" The lift letter was from a Navy officer who had traveled the world during his career and was now a customer who had taken multiple tours with this company. His candid letter addressed all the major buying objections—and it was written in his own words.
12. Use testimonials as headlines or sidebar stories in space ads. Add credibility by providing a URL for product reviews and customer demonstrations that support the headline. For example, Clinique's ads for skin care and make-up often provide links to their Insider's Club product reviews. Some of these reviews feature before and after demonstrations, with how-to tips and candid customer comments that mention both pros and cons.
13. Use visual testimonials. Throughout your marketing messages, whether it's direct mail, e-mail or on your website, use images of or from your customers. Do you operate a lawn care service? Ask some of your clients if you can use photographs of their lawns to show the quality of your service (and to show off their lawns!). It's an opportunity to create both community and credibility.