You’ve delivered a valuable product or service and have happy customers -- can you turn that into more customers and further business success? Hearing positive stories about products is powerful, so we asked eight entrepreneurs their best tips for utilizing case studies or testimonials for lead generation. Their answers are below.
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Make a Habit of Social Proof
In many industries, there is nothing more powerful than social proof. If you don't already do this with every customer, you should! Figure out your 10 most profitable customers, nurture your relationship with them and ask them specifically what they've gotten out of working with you. Then figure out how you can craft those stories into testimonials or case studies to show these examples to prospective future clients.
2. Use Pictures
We've run A/B tests on this issue, and testimonials accompanied by pictures had a statistically significant increase in CTR. It's a simple additional that will yield better results.
3. Focus on Tangible Impact
Third-party validation of your company is a fantastic way to show others you know what you're doing. The trouble is, most testimonials are vague and fluffy. I find that the most effective testimonials are specific with regard to the tangible impact we had and the client's experience working with us.
4. Put Them Everywhere
If you have case studies, put a link to their page on your blog, in your email signature and in all of your social media profiles. The more places potential customers can see the results of your work, the better.
5. Create Trust by Having Traceable Testimonials
One problem with testimonials is that even if they sound great, their authenticity can't be verified because there is no back link to the "reviewers" website or social profile. You can create more trust by making sure that your testimonials can be traced back to a real person. Not many people will actually contact the reviewer, but the thought that "they could" can have a huge impact on making the decision to buy.
6. Tailor Testimonials to Customer Bases
Testimonials are meant to demonstrate success, so many of your potential customers will look for these types of demonstrated successes from customers like themselves. With this in mind, you should build case studies that feature customers that are similar to the demographic you're trying to attract as well as the successes they are trying to achieve.
7. Offer Words With Weight
We turned one client’s success story into a testimonial roadshow. We had our PR team look for venues where a full presentation by the client of how our services benefited her company lined up with the proper editorial content and booked her as a speaker for the show. We made sure to have some media in the room as well as people in other places in our industry, including potential clients. Having a client speak publicly on your behalf is powerful.
8. Feature Likeable Customers
If you have users that are celebrities or influencers within their community, highlight their testimonials so that prospective buyers can think, "I know her and I trust her opinion." You can also consider featuring happy clients that fit the exact same demographic as your highest paying customers. As long as they are somewhat relatable, you'll be sure to grow your leads and overall sales.