First Up: Testimonials
Schneider adds that testimonials don't always have to come from the customers; he frequently uses reviews or endorsements in major newspapers and publications as testimonial content.
3. Keep the Content Focused
It's about quality, not quantity. "We'd rather go with one good testimonial than five or six that don't say that much," says Schneider, who recommends that each testimonial be as specific as possible to a particular selling point in the mailing. "Each testimonial should be small and short and focus on a single [selling] point, but the sum of testimonials should be the entire sales message," Kern explains.
4. Include Names and Locations
Including a customer's name, title and location along with the testimonial paints a picture of a real person and adds further credibility to her comments, Kern says. In some instances, including a location is crucial; Schneider gives an example of a mailing for a Southern cookbook. "You could have testimonials from locations throughout the South to drive home the point that the users are from the South, and if the Southern customers like this book, then it must really be a true Southern cookbook," he describes. If you cannot use a person's full name, Kern recommends using her initials instead.
5. Test Placement
If he had an unlimited testing budget just for testimonials, Schneider says he would test the placement of testimonials before the content. For example, he would do an A/B test of one package with testimonials only on the outer envelope versus one with testimonials only in the letter, or two packages: one with a testimonial-devoted lift note and one without. "I don't have a golden rule of when to put them where. It has more to do with the overall flow of the package and where it needs testimonials," Schneider says.
For example, a cookbook mailing may show images of each recipe, and if you had a testimonial that matched an image, then it'd be best to place them together on the same page, while a general testimonial could work anywhere in the package.