How to Collect Testimonials
By Rebecca Swayze August 31, 2010
When used properly, customer testimonials can help you build a list of engaged email newsletter subscribers and increase sales.
Testimonials can alleviate tension during the sign up process and can potentially increase product sales once subscribers are on your email list. But how do you collect worthwhile feedback when you have none to begin with?
Read on to find out how easy it can be to track down the buzz about your business, and how to ask for feedback if you come up empty-handed.
What Are People Saying About You?
Without even picking up the phone or sending an email, you have an incredible arsenal of research tools available to you via the internet.
The first place to start digging? Your inbox. Chances are that your customers have had questions or comments about previous orders with your company. If you haven’t deleted them, they’re still frozen in time in your inbox.
Hunt through old messages and look for any positive feedback you can find. If you come across a nugget of praise, send a quick email back to the sender asking if they would mind if you used their comment in your marketing materials. Since the feedback is good they shouldn’t mind, but it’s always best to ask.
Next, head over to Twitter Search to find out if customers are tweeting about your brand. Search for your company name, your products and any other terms relevant to your business.
If the search produces results, send users a quick private message to ask if they mind if you use their tweets. You should also mark favorable comments about your brand as favorites so that you don’t lose any of them. This way you can always access your favorites page from your home page, and other users can view your favorites page to see which tweets you like best.
Have a blog? Read back over your older blog comments – there are bound to be testimonials you can use in your marketing materials.
Again, simply check with the person who so kindly gave you praise via email to make sure that it’s ok for you to republish their comment.
If you have a Facebook fan page, take a look at what people are saying about your business. You might find the best testimonials without even having to ask for them.
Just make sure to send a quick Facebook Message or email to the user to give them a heads up that you would like to use their testimonial.
This Google service lets you set up search terms that you’d like to monitor (such as your company name). It then notifies you when your search terms appear in new online content such as blog posts, news articles or web pages.
You can choose to be notified by email, through a web feed or on your iGoogle page. Scan your alerts periodically to see what the Web is saying about you.
Not Finding Enough Feedback? Ask for It.
Post-purchase follow up messages give you the perfect opportunity to ask customers for feedback. If customers are content with your service, they should happily provide a few words of praise in return.
It’s also a great way to find out where you can improve your service if they do have something negative to say.
- Use a survey service that allows you to redirect people to a page on your website after completing the survey. Once people start submitting, you can use goal tracking to see which of your subscribers fill it out.
- Or, simply include a line in your next email that instructs those interested to reply to your message with their testimonial – an easy and painless solution that takes all of 60 seconds to complete.
Give Us Some Feedback!
Do you find these tips helpful? Have you collected testimonials before and used them in your email marketing campaign?
Please share your thoughts below, we love to hear from you!
Lalitha Brahma8/31/2010 8:34 am
I was just preparing to send a Broadcast for asking testimonials from my ebook buyers and your article came in! What a synchronicity. Some people love to speak or provide a Video. Hence I also like to give the option of providing a call in line and asking the client to record their comments. Your "I love Aweber"-Video testimonial, helped me come out of my comfort zone and create my first Video recording. Win-Win strategy-I was able to learn this skill and now am ready to implement in my business. You got a testimonial from a happy and satisfied client. Thanks
Mike8/31/2010 10:01 am
How would you recommend approaching past customers for testimonials, perhaps those who you have not worked with in over a year or two?
Mecedez8/31/2010 10:14 am
Thank you for such great information and I always get a lot of great comments but never use them. Now I know all I have to do is to ask for their permission to use them. Thank You, Thank You and Thank You.
Carol Bentley8/31/2010 10:27 am
Great article Rebecca and some great ideas on where to find those elusive testimonials.
I’ve invited my blog readers to pop over here to take a look – after they’ve downloaded my article describing how to acquire and use powerful testimonials. 😉
Thanks for sharing.
Peggy Hall8/31/2010 10:42 am
I like to send a "thank you" gift like a special report, article or mp3 to those who send in testimonials…and I always ask permission to post their comments to my website. Also, I feature a "success story" in each newsletter, along with a photo if customers want to send one in!
Ryan G8/31/2010 11:17 am
Good suggestion on the inbox idea. Never actually thought of that and it seems so obvious now.
Michael David Lawrience8/31/2010 11:57 am
Thank you for the excellent article. I have sent out emails asking people for reviews for my eBook on Amazon Kindle.
Claude Fullinfaw8/31/2010 4:22 pm
The ideas are excellent to add more value to our present and future customers as well as to build faith and respect for people considering to do business with us. Thank you for these insights into add-on value marketing. Regards.
Chante9/1/2010 2:48 am
I’m just starting to get into the potential my site has for sales. Thank you so much for all the options you provide with links to act on the information! Some of your points I hadn’t thought of. I’ll definitely be using all of these though!
Alex Sysoef9/1/2010 6:19 am
I have actually created an email asking for customer’s feedback and added it as part of my follow-up sequence. Along with feedback – I ask for a testimonial and their permission to have it published.
Obviously I had to schedule it far enough out to allow customer experience the product and it works like a charm! People love to provide feedback right after they used the product, as long as you don’t wait too long…
Mike9/1/2010 1:38 pm
This has helped me greatly, I went through my FB and emails and have already got approvals from people to repost their comments
kaffy adekiigbe9/2/2010 3:21 am
with the level of my understanding i can see that testimonials is a good suggestions on the inbox idea. i also have sent out my email for cutomers to review for my facebook on Amazon kindle, you’re great. GREAT POEPLE! GREAT POEPLE.
Leon Noone9/2/2010 4:39 am
G;day from Down Under,
I always find you information very helpful. It’s one of the main reasons I’m an AWeber client.
You’re always looking for ways to help. You efforts are much appreciated.
Make sure you have fun.
Rebecca Swayze9/2/2010 8:11 am
Thank you everyone for all of your feedback! It’s great to see that so many of you are using testimonials.
Lalitha – It’s funny how things work out like that, isn’t it?
Mike – Though it depends on your business and the degree to which you worked with your customers, I would suggest starting with more recent testimonials.
Amanda9/13/2010 11:26 am
Wow, great ideas on places to go for testimonials.
I would have never thought to revisit some of the resources you suggested. Your article has opened my world to new possibilities now and for the future. I will be more conscoius to ask for the testimonial. I’m excited…got to go have work to do, lol.
Thanks SO much
Angela9/15/2010 5:12 pm
Great information. I have good FB on my jewelry website. I will definitely follow your ideas. Thanks for the tips. Thanks
Markus Dan9/16/2010 3:40 am
Excellent post! Cool idea about the inbox !!! Definitive a must-do.
Keep on this good job, greetings from Vienna
The Ultimate Business Resource for Startup Entrepreneurs | Michael Holmes9/19/2010 9:13 pm
[…] How to Collect Testimonials | Aweber Blog […]
Kelsey4/5/2012 7:38 pm
Can I just say I am LOVING your blog?? I am switching over to AWeber from my current e-mail client and I am way excited!
This post was super helpful. I can’t believe I never thought to pull testimonials from previous e-mails and blog comments. Brilliant!
Richard5/23/2012 3:14 pm
Great article Rebecca,
hope you dont mind one usefull tip.
We provide nice tool for collecting testimonials (less hassles exactly with tasks you describe above).
Check out www.satiswhy.com, hope it helps.
Stephanie8/23/2013 1:35 pm
Another great way to collect testimonials that I don’t think anyone mentioned is to run a sweepstakes or a contest. Sometimes a little incentive can mean all the difference to your customers, and the value of having those testimonials will far outweigh the cost of running the promotion.