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How to Use Testimonials to Boost Your Direct Mail Response Rate

February 23, 2015

How does your business establish trust with its audience? From guarantees to great offers, businesses use a variety of marketing techniques to establish credibility with their audience and position their product or service as reliable and risk free. 

These techniques are often incredibly effective, but they share one thing in common –  they’re all messages from your business. Through guarantees, unique benefits, and the offer itself, your business is directly communicating its value to its audience. 

No matter how accurate your claims are, customers will always view guarantees and selling points from a business that’s marketing to them with a degree of uncertainty and skepticism. After all, your business is hardly a disinterested third party.

Testimonials – reviews and recommendations from your business’s customers and clients – are a powerful tool that your business can use in its direct mail campaigns to establish credibility, build trust and massively increase your response rate.

Why testimonials work so well

Testimonials work because they give prospects an unbiased, accurate look at your offer’s value from a source other than your business. They give prospects a review of whether your offer is truly worth it from someone similar to them.

The more closely the source of your testimonials matches your target audience, the more effective your testimonials will be. Prospects trust testimonials because they provide insight and opinion from someone that’s highly relevant to them.

Small business owners will value the testimonials of other small business owners highly, while C-suite executives at a large company will not place as much value on the testimonials of other executives.

The key advantages of testimonials are that they’re real, verifiable reviews from a relevant source. When you have a great product or service, your customers could become your most powerful sales and marketing asset.


How to get great testimonials

The best testimonials are short enough to read quickly but detailed enough to offer concrete information on your offer’s value. They list specific details of the value of your product or service and how it’s helped your existing customers.

Getting great testimonials isn’t quite as simple as asking your existing customers to write a short review of your product or service. Ask specific questions and you’ll get the detailed, specific answers you need for a great testimonial.

Write down a list of your offer’s key benefits and selling points. When you interview your customers to learn more about what they think of your product or service, make sure you ask questions that are directly related to your offer’s selling points, such as:

       “What type of savings has our product/service produced for you?”

Numbers make testimonials far more engaging, especially when your customer is talking about savings produced by your product. Ask for specific facts and figures and you’ll end up with a testimonial that gets prospects interested. 

       “Why did you switch to our product/service from our competitor?”

If one of your existing customers has switched to you from a competitor, ask them how you’re better. A testimonial from a customer that’s switched to your product, and benefited from doing so, is an extremely powerful marketing asset.

       “In what ways has our product/service most helped you?

Many testimonials are generic, offering no insight beyond the fact that a product or service helped a customer. Ask for specific ways that your product or service helps customers and you’ll receive specific benefits to use in your direct mail marketing.

If your business has a retail location or local office, it’s possible you don’t need to ask customers for testimonials. Your business’s Yelp page is a great source of reviews, feedback, and opinions from customers that can be used in your marketing.


Using testimonials in direct mail postcards

The right testimonials can massively enhance your direct mail campaign when used effectively. Keep these three tactics in mind when you’re choosing testimonials for your direct mail campaign to achieve the best possible results:

Choose testimonials from people that match your target audience

Prospects will always respond the most positively to testimonials from people and businesses similar to them. If you’re marketing to small business owners, ask your existing small business customers for testimonials.

If you’re marketing to individuals, use testimonials from other individuals. People value the opinions of people that are similar to them the most as they’re far more relevant and easy to relate to. 

Include the URL of your Yelp page so that prospects can learn more

Yelp is an extremely powerful tool for marketing your business, especially when it’s used as part of your direct mail campaign. Since Yelp is a third party, prospects are guaranteed that its reviews are genuine and written by real customers.

If your business has a great ranking and plenty of positive reviews on Yelp, include a link to your business’s Yelp page as a call to action so that prospects can easily find out what your existing customers think of your business.

Use detailed testimonials to better connect with your target audience

Nothing sells like detail, especially when it’s in a testimonial. Use testimonials that go into detail about how customers have benefited from your product or service to better connect with your target audience.

In addition to detailed testimonials, detailed attribution that lists the source of your testimonial in full – for example, using their full name and title – increases relevance and makes your testimonials more effective at building trust with prospects.


Does your business have great testimonials?

Great testimonials from existing customers and clients can be the force behind your direct mail campaign’s success. Does your business have testimonials that it can use in its next direct mail campaign? If not, it’s time to ask your customers for feedback.