If you wanna write amazing sales copy and be seen as a leader in your market, then you need people to believe your claims.
If they don’t?
They’re not gonna buy.
Now, there’s a few ways you can put proof in your sales letter.
For example, you can talk about an authority figure discovering something new, such as a doctor finding a herb to help stroke patients recover faster.
Or you can talk about tests you’ve put your product through, that show off its quality. David Ogilvy’s “Rolls-Royce” ad did this perfectly.
(I’ll put the link at the bottom so you can read it. It’s bullet numbers 2 and 6 that show this “proof-by-testing” in action.)
Anyway, there’s loads more ways of putting proof in your sales letter.
But the one we’re gonna talk about here is the most common – testimonials.
Now, listen up:
Testimonials are more powerful than a Hulk Hogan punch when done right…
But when done wrong?
Then they’re as weak as my erections after a couple of vodka shots.
So what makes a powerful testimonial, and what makes a weak one? Surely any testimonial is good, right?
Here’s the thing:
You’re living in the age of the internet. And the amount of bullshit online is enough to make the streets of London in medieval times smell like a bed of roses.
So when people are reading your testimonials, they’re gonna be skeptical.
And that skepticism turns into disbelief when they read a testimonial like this:
“Mick’s heart health supplement has changed my life! So grateful! Would highly recommend!” – Jane, 59
So why might people not believe this?
1) It’s Far Too Vague
When it comes to testimonials, your clients being vague is as harmful to you as Kryptonite is to Superman.
It really can kill all belief.
Instead, get your clients to be specific. Get them to share a real-life benefit they’ve got from your product.
Now imagine if Jane said this:
“Mick’s hearth health supplement has changed my life because I was still recovering from a heart attack I had 2 years ago.
I couldn’t enjoy life. I was out of breath just walking up the stairs. Going to the shops and breathing heavy in front of people was embarrassing. I knew people were looking at me thinking “Wow, I don’t ever wanna be like her. She must have really let herself go.
And, of course, I was always scared of having another heart attack and not surviving it.
It terrified me.
Now, I’ve got to admit:
I was skeptical about taking this supplement. I was worried that Mick was trying to scam me by just putting sugar (or something much worse) in these pills. Plus, the doctors were telling me that statins are the only thing I should be taking. And it’s hard to ignore a doctor, right?
Though things couldn’t get any worse, and the statins weren’t helping. So, even though I was nervous, I took the supplement.
And what’s happened since has amazed me…
My blood pressure’s reduced from 160/100mmHg to 127/86mmHG and my total cholesterol has gone down from 6mmol/L to 4mmol/L. With this drop, I’ve found doing the day-to-day tasks in life so much easier. I can now walk for an hour without getting puffed. I even go to the gym!
So no more feeling embarrassed walking around the shops being out of breath…
And no more being terrified I’ve got another heart attack waiting just around the corner.
Mick’s supplement was amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s had problems with their heart.”
So which one’s stronger?
Which one’s gonna convince people that Mick’s heart health supplement is gonna be as life-changing for them as the introduction of porn was to Monks and Nuns?
The second one.
It’s not even close.
And the fact that Jane’s being so specific here (both in terms of how she felt and in terms of the actual figures of her readings) is making this testimonial seem much more believable.
Anyway, let’s move on to the second reason why the first testimonial is horse-dung.
2) Saying it’s by “Jane, 52” is about as believable as the “flat earth” conspiracies
How often do you see testimonials end with just a first name and age?
Way to often.
And they suck. At the end of the day, anyone can write a fake sentence and stick a random name on the end.
So, instead, you need to do the following:
- Use a full name…
- Use a photo… (Ideally of them holding/using your product.)
- Say where they’re from… (The more specific the better. “England” won’t cut it. “Manchester, England” is better. If you want it even stronger, add her village. And, if they don’t mind, you can even use their actual address.)
And by the way, make sure any testimonials and photos you use actually represent your target market.
If 80% of your buyers are women between 40-60, then 80% of your testimonials need to be, too.
3) There’s no emotional story behind it
Why? Because people connect to stories better than anything else.
Think about it:
How have religions become so popular? Through stories and parables. If the Bible just said “love your neighbor”, people wouldn’t have even given it a second glance.
Yet because it tells the story of the Good Samaritan, then Christians know they need to love their “neighbor”.
And it’s the same with testimonials.
If your testimonials basically just say “Barry is amazing!”, then anyone reading your sales letter is just gonna glance over it.
In other words, it’s crap. And they won’t remember it.
Instead, look at the second “Jane” testimonial I wrote.
See the story there?
Notice how it starts at the point BEFORE Jane tried Mick’s heart health supplement? And notice how it emphasizes how Jane was feeling and her struggles.
Then, it talks about Jane’s skepticism.
Because your prospects are gonna be skeptical at this exact point. So, by mentioning this, it makes anyone else reading your sales letter think, “Well, Jane took a leap of faith and look how it worked out for her; I should do the same.”
Anyway, if you take all this advice on board and use it in your own testimonials, then your sales letter (or wherever else you’re putting the testimonials) is gonna be a hell-of-a-lot stronger, knocking your current results out the park.
And in answer to my initial question:
“Are your testimonials hurting your sales?”
If you use those typical one-liners, then I believe they could well be.
PS- When getting your clients to give testimonials, make sure you ask them to talk about how they felt BEFORE using your product. Get them to go into detail about the pain they were in.
Then get them to mention what was holding them back from buying right away.
Finally, they need to talk about specific benefits they’ve got.
PPS- Here’s the David Ogilvy ad I mentioned: (Add it to your swipe file if it’s not already in there!)