This is Part One of a three-part series about sales pages and improvements you can make to increase your conversion rate.
What do I mean by conversion rate? I mean more sales! For all of the people who see your sales page, we want as many of them as possible to decide to purchase your amazing product.
In these next three episodes, I'll be sharing some sales page secrets with you that have not only helped me and my own business, but also hundreds and hundreds of students that I've worked really closely with over the last couple of years to increase their sales page conversions too.
In part one, we are talking about the number one most important thing your sales page needs to have to be successful. Unfortunately I think a lot of people don’t give this piece of the puzzle as much attention as they should because it makes an enormous difference.
So what’s the number one most important thing your sales page needs to have? Customer testimonials.
Press play on the podcast player below to hear the full interview.
Why Customer Testimonials Are So Important
Why are Customer Testimonials so important? Well, to your potential customers, those testimonials are proof to them that your product is valuable, that it's high quality, and that it really helps people and that there are other people out there that really love it.
It's one thing for you to say over and over again that your product is amazing and here are all the ways that it can help someone. But it takes things to a whole ‘nother level when you can have other people speaking to how incredible your product is.
I have seen time and time again that when I try to launch a brand new product and I don't have any happy customers yet, my sales page conversion rates are low.
Stronger Testimonials Help Conversion Rates Even More
Having testimonials makes a difference to your conversion rate but I also notice a big difference depending on the strength of those testimonials. Simple testimonials like “This course was great. The videos were lovely.” are better than nothing but having transformational testimonials is so much better.
The more specific that happy customer is, and the more they speak to the transformation, not just that they enjoyed your product, but that your product truly tangibly help them and improve their life makes an enormous difference for your sales page conversion rates. Having someone say things like: “I went through this program. I went from this before picture to this after picture. These are my results. Here's this concrete evidence of how this product has changed my life. I love it so much. It's the only course on (whatever topic) that I recommend. You have got to enroll in this course or you've got to purchase this product.” is so much better.
You can talk until you're blue in the face about how amazing your product is. We all tend to think our own stuff is amazing, right? But other people will find it easier to be convinced by testimonials of happy customers. Let your happy customers do the talking for you because it means so much more when they speak to how great your product is.
Use Customer Testimonials In Ads, Social Media Posts, and Email Marketing
Customer testimonials don’t have to be used only on the sales page. Once you’ve gotten this great feedback from your customers, you can use it in lots of other places too. If you’re running ads, it works well in your ad copy.
Another great place to use those happy customer testimonials is in your organic social media posts. The words are powerful – let them work to your advantage!
If you have a particularly good testimonial with a lot of before and after transformational details, this would make an excellent case study that you could use in email marketing. The emails that I send out that really feature a customer story about how my product has helped her in a great big tangible way, those are my best performing emails.
Your potential customers and your audience, they're going to see themselves in your happy customer stories. They're going to connect to a particular one and all those excuses they came up with such as I don't have the skills that I need or the background that I need, or the time or the money or whatever it is holding them back won’t seem so insurmountable. When they see themselves in that happy customer story they're so much more convinced that maybe those excuses are just excuses. They think, “Maybe I really can do this. And it's time for me to give this product a chance.”
How to Optimize Your Customer Testimonials
Use a Photo of the Customer
There are a few key elements that a customer testimonial should have and one of those is a photo.
In some niches and spaces online, people feel kind of weird putting their photo on a sales page. If that's the case, it's okay. It's not going to make or break the testimonial. But I do want to encourage you to ask if you could possibly share that happy customer’s photo and in many cases they are going to say, Oh, sure, absolutely.
The one thing I don't want you to do is to use a stock photo in place of a customer’s photo instead because that's really a form of dishonesty. That is not that person so you're being dishonest in in who you're displaying on your page. The last thing you want to do with your customer testimonials is to create mistrust. It's very easy with a Google image search for someone to figure out that you're using stock photos in place of real customers on your page. And so if they see that, they might think well then how do I know this customer is real? How do I know this quote from this particular person is real? So that's the last thing you want to do.
Try your best to get that photo of your lovely customers. And if you can’t, then sub in something like a cute little graphic formatted graphic. But please, please, please do not use stock photos.
Edit the Testimonial
I’m not talking about rewording and changing the message of what those happy customers had to say. I’m talking about editing for grammar, spelling and brevity.
Sometimes we have these amazing customers, and they have two paragraphs to share with us about how our product has helped them. That is so fun – I love getting those kinds of emails or messages from my customers! But I may not need to include every single sentence that they had to say on my sales page, because it might be too much for a potential new customer to read. And I may want to highlight certain aspects of what they had to say more than others. Maybe they spoke to a particular feature of my product that I really want to emphasize. Maybe they spoke to a particular transformation that they had. And there's a few other sentences that don't necessarily add to that main point.
So again, I am not talking about manipulating what your customers had to say and completely changing what they had to say. We will never do that. But, you can take out sentences and you can shorten things up. You can make the focus of that testimonial the main focus that you need it to be and that's totally fine.
Format the Testimonial
The other thing you want to do with your customer testimonials is format them. Long blocks of text are hard to read so any long testimonials you get will need to be broken down and highlighted. Add line breaks and bold certain sections of a long testimonial.
It's your job as the product owner and the creator of that sales page to emphasize the right things to make it easier for potential customers reading that page to get to the main point quickly, right? So by bolding the most important sentences from that testimonial, you're drawing that reader's eye into that and making sure they don't miss it and that it doesn't get lost in those 20 amazing sentences.
The other thing you want to do with your testimonial is make it pretty. I see so many customer testimonials that are just a quote right within the sales page, not looking like anything special.
You want to add a color block, a pretty icon, some fun borders… You need to do something so that the testimonial feels beautiful and branded. You want it to fit in with your sales page but at the same time, it stands out enough so that the reader of your page knows that it's something special.
Add Transformational Photos
A bonus idea for your customer testimonials would be to share photos that really demonstrate that transformation that you helped your customer to achieve.
For example, if you're in the health and fitness space, that may be their before and after fitness photo. If you're in the organizational space, perhaps they'd be willing to share a before and after photo of a space in their house that you helped them to organize with your product.
In my case, with my Facebook Ads Intensive, some of my customers are willing to share a screenshot of their ads manager. They're giving us a peek behind the scenes to say look at all the purchases I've gotten from my ads, look at my return on adspend. That is so powerful, having that proof that not only do these happy customers say that you've helped them in a big way, but they're really demonstrating that you've done so.
How To Get Customer Testimonials
I hope at this point you're convinced that you desperately need some happy customer testimonials on your sales pages. But you may be wondering how you are going to get them, especially if your product is brand new, and you're just launching it out into the world.
My first recommendation is to find yourself a group of beta testers. Find some friends, family or super loyal audience members who feel like your online friends and reach out to them. Say,
“Hey, I'm launching this new product, would you be willing to test it out for me and tell me what you think? In exchange, I'm offering it for a super low price because I really want to have people testing this out, giving me ideas for how to improve it, and letting me know, if it was helpful to them or not.”
You really want to focus on not just getting an amazing testimonial from folks, but also on the fact that they get to get in early and give you valuable feedback that will help you make your product even better. Because we all have ways to improve our products, right? There may be things we're missing or things we didn't effectively communicate. Those early beta testers can be a huge help in that way.
You don't need a ton. I'm not saying that you should massively discount your product and sell it to 100 people for a huge discount in order to have beta testers. I'm saying you can reach out to five people or 10 people andI really do want to encourage you to do that. Whoever you need to reach out to and whatever it takes to have some early bird beta testers in the door, it will help you and your product.
Do make it clear to them that you expect their feedback by a certain date and make it easy on them by giving them a survey with some specific questions that they can answer for you.
Ask Previous Customers for Reviews
Once you have launched your product into the world for the first time and you are getting more customers in the door, you're past that beta testing stage. The next way to get those happy customer testimonials would be to email out a Google form to all your past customers.
Whether you are super organized with this process (or super scattered like I am!) it’s still worth doing.
For me, if I know in a few months I'm going to be relaunching a product, I will create a Google form that has all the different questions that I want to know about my product. Questions like:
- What were the features that people loved most about my product?
- Was there anything that was confusing?
- Do they have anything that that's on their wish list that they would add to the product?
And then the last question, I always, always, always put on my Google forums, or my customer surveys of any sort- Is anything else you want me to know? This is the best question ever. This is where people really spill the beans!
Customer Feedback Can Inspire Improvements
Having this open-ended question really allows people to say anything that is on their mind about the product. It can be great or it can be pretty awful. But even the awful answers usually have a nugget of information that I can use to change or improve my product. I get a lot of really constructive, really helpful feedback from very, very happy students. (If you listen to Episode 212: 7 Changes That Transformed My Online Course you will see how that sort of feedback helped me really improve my class, making it better for both me and my students.)
All my products get better and better every time I launch them, and I'm so so appreciative of everyone who's willing to be really honest, and really vulnerable when answering the survey, because it's helped me a ton, and it helps future students and customers too.
Customer Feedback Can Help You Keep Going Through Tough Times
It’s not always bad feedback though. The other cool thing that often happens in that anything else you want me to know box is sweet messages that feel like fan mail.
People will tell me how grateful they are for me and one of my programs or one of my products, how much it's helped their business, how their life is better, that they're less stressed, that they have more time for their family, or how they're just growing and making big plans for their lives and their futures. They're employing other women in their business because of their growth and more.
I just get the most amazing pieces of fan mail from these feedback requests and that keeps me going. It's incredible to to know that you've helped people in that way.
If I only had yes or no questions and checkboxes, I would be missing this other valuable information. Quick and easy checkbox answers are important to have but definitely add other open-ended questions too. For me those are always the most valuable answers that I get.
So all that to say that just creating a little Google form, which is totally free then linking to that Google Form, in an email to all your past customers and asking them how they're doing. Ask them what you can help with, and let them know that filling out the form would really help you. Tell them that it benefits them too when they will fill out your form because when they give you ways to improve things, you can actually go in and improve things which helps them too.
I always make a point of emphasizing that with my past Ads Intensive students, because even though they won't be in the live program again, they do get access to the replays and the resources in the future. So if they suggest amazing tools and resources that they'd like me to add in, they will benefit from that too.
Ideas For Gathering Customer Testimonials
First I’ll tell you how I usually go about gathering customer testimonials then I’ll share a few ideas from some of my former students.
Use a Facebook Traffic Campaign
Some people have a solid, consistent method in place for continuously collecting feedback. I am not one of those people! One way that I am able to quickly gather testimonials and feedback is through a Facebook Traffic campaign.
I will actually upload that list of customers to Facebook, and I will run a traffic ads campaign that links directly to the Google form. My ad copy will say something like, “Hey, Ads Intensive student, I have so appreciated teaching you in this program and I would love it so much if you would click on this link and take a few minutes to fill out this form. I just want to keep cheering you on and I want to keep improving this program.” The link it right there in the ad. By using an ad I can reach them in their email and in their Instagram and Facebook feed too.
This might sound expensive but it’s really not. Your customer list is a relatively small group of people and on Facebook you can reach 1000 people for typically anywhere from $5 to $40. So we're talking super cheap to reach your past customers of a particular product. Plus, I think people really like how easy it is for them to click through and answer a few questions.
Embed a Survey Form in Your Course or Product
Brandice Lardner of Grace Filled Plate has her survey form included in the final lesson of all her courses. She also has a checkbox on the form where her students can give her permission to use any of their feedback as a testimonial. If you use a survey program like TypeForm you can also have the students upload a headshot as part of the survey and then you’ll already have it for the website!
LaToya Edwards of Women Finding God includes a link to her feedback form in all of her products, not just courses. That way, no matter which product was purchased, she has a chance to get a testimonial back from her customers. This is a great idea for digital product sellers!
Email Your Customers
No matter how expensive or inexpensive your product is, you will still want to ask for testimonials. Bethany of Board and Batten Design sells products for as little as $3.50 and she has an automated email that goes out to every purchaser ten days after they buy that is set up so they can submit their review right there in the email.
Katie Kiefer of True Money Saver does this as well but uses the Shopify app Judge.Me which automatically requests feedback three days after purchase. She also has an automated email with a link to a Google survey and a coupon that lets them get a particular product for free as thanks for taking the time to complete the form.
Sometimes when I’m emailing all of my customers at once to ask for feedback, I tell them that I’ll be doing a random drawing from everyone who completed the form by a certain date. I usually offer about a $50 product as the prize. Anonymous feedback is allowed but if they wish to be entered into the drawing, they will have to leave their contact info which allows you to follow up with them to use their feedback as a testimonial.
Remember when you are offering these incentives that you want to emphasize that you are looking for honest feedback and that the incentive is only offered as appreciation for the time they are taking to answer your questions. You are not buying positive reviews!
Be sure to emphasize over and over again that you want honest feedback. You want them to tell you not just what they loved what what they didn't love so that you can make improvements to the product or course.
It doesn’t have to be an actual survey form either. You can absolutely send out an email with questions and ask for responses to the email itself. LaToya likes to do this whenever she is about to launch again. She will ask have they gotten started with the product? Do they have any questions? What have they learned so far? What do they need help with? This could be set up as an automated email too but don’t discount the personal touch of a less-automated way.
Ask for Feedback in Your Facebook Group
If you have a Facebook group as part of your business, that’s another place to find good feedback and testimonials.
Vanessa from the Crafty Gemini said that she has a lot of private Facebook groups for her customers and students of her various sewing courses. She encourages people to share images in the group of the projects that they've made and if she sees an image or feedback from someone that she wants to use, she will just ask the person if she can share their post or photo. She screenshots what they had to say (and of course, saves the fact that they gave her permission to share!).
I do the same thing with my students and people in the membership group. Anytime something comes up that could be used as a testimonial I save the post, grab a screenshot, and ask for permission to share. Sometimes having a direct screenshot offers a nice contrast to other reviews on your sales page that you have formatted to look nice. Those screenshots offer a realistic aspect to the words.
Customer Testimonials Are So Important!
I hope by now you're convinced how important and powerful those customer testimonials are for your page. And that it's possible to get them.
Get your early beta testers in for new products. Ask for feedback and be open to hearing both the good and bad about your product. Don’t forget to have at least one open ended question as well. It’s a good idea to have a few different ways for people to be giving their feedback.
Overall, if you are really caring about your students and your customers and staying in touch you’ll be getting that valuable feedback from them.
Now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant by getting those incredible Customer Testimonials for your products!
Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 of Sales Page Secrets!
Visit My Sales Pages to See Even More Customer Testimonials in Action!