Customer Testimonials The Copywriter's Problem-Solver
Faced with a copywriting challenge? Consider how a few good testimonials can help strengthen your copy platform.
Customer testimonials are a highly effective creative tool for building instant credibility. They also provide a quick countermeasure to the buying objection "it sounds too good to be true." They are an asset for adding new life to a waning control mailing as well as introducing a new product concept. If you aren't already building a library of your customers' comments, now is the time to get started.
I recently received this e-mail from Lands' End (shown at left). When I opened it, I immediately saw two customer testimonials for Lands' End custom clothing—no scrolling required. And while I'd seen this new service advertised in the Lands' End catalog as well as on the Web site, I'd assumed "custom" meant custom hemming, not a complete custom fitting (and, frankly, I wasn't interested).
Then I read what Lands' End customers Laura, Kim, Pam, Melinda, Jeff and John had to say. After reading their comments, the corporate claim was much more credible:
Lands' End customers have already created hundreds of thousands of Lands' End Custom garments for themselves. And they haven't been shy about sharing their opinions. Or holding down the emotion.
The customer comment that was most convincing was Jeff from Utah's. He said the Lands' End $49 custom dress shirts he bought were better than the $120 shirts he previously had purchased from custom shops. Jeff, you sold me!
Focus on What's Genuine
Whether the testimonials you use are solicited or not, it doesn't matter. What matters is that the words ring true and don't sound as though they were written by an advertising copywriter.
If you're not flooded with "white mail" (unsolicited comments) or kind words from customers, pick up the phone. I'd rather spend 10 minutes talking with a customer, jotting down what he or she has to say, than trying to create a testimonial and asking some customer to sign it. The end result is rarely the same. And if you're lucky, while you're listening to customers talk, you'll learn some things that can help with much more than just your testimonial tally.