How to translate testimonials into killer sales copy

Welcome back! In this week’s Web-writing video how-to, Heather discusses how customer testimonials can help you write better sales pages.

For many of us, writing a sales page can be challenging. You may be a really great blogger, able to write about anything, or you may be a small business owner wanting to write your own sales copy for your website…in any case, if you’ve never written persuasive copy before, it can prove to be very difficult.

Fortunately, there is a rich resource you can tap for crafting convincing sales copy: tune in and learn how you can draw on your happy customers’ testimonials for the specific content you need to write a killer sales page…

Sales writing can be challenging…

  • You need to tell your prospects ”what’s in it for them.”

All of the content that you write needs to be customer-focused: your prospects want to know what’s in it for them.

  • But if you’re new to sales writing, it’s easy to write about features and forget about benefits.

If you’re brand new to sales writing, or if you don’t’ do it all that often, it’s easy to lapse into a discussion about the great features of your product – its color, shape, and dimensions – rather than how those features can actually benefit or otherwise help your prospect.

In the case of a service, you may say “we offer a, b, and c” but fail to say how these offerings can improve your prospects’ bottom line.

Testimonials provide valuable insight…

Here’s an easy way to work around the features vs. benefits conundrum and jump-start the process of writing a kick-butt sales page: rather than starting the sales writing process first, instead have the first step be gathering customer testimonials about your product or service.

  • Why not discover what your customers love about your product or service?

By discovering what it is your customers love about your product or service, you’re spared trying to guess or make a judgment call about what the most important benefit statement should be. You can simply gather customer testimonials and find out for yourself!

  • When you write your content, you can refer to the testimonials and create better benefit statements.

In crafting your sales copy, you can refer to your customer testimonials to provide content rich with tangible, specific benefit statements.

For example, maybe you own a pilates studio and have helped a lot of people with back problems. If you see that specific benefit mentioned time and again in your customer testimonials, then you might weave it into your sales copy: “We help people with back problems,” and then add a sample testimonial.

Or, it might be that you own a company that helps other companies with their accounting. Perhaps you can say that you helped company X streamline their accounting process, and even made it fun…If that’s the feedback from your clients – that they enjoy working with you and find it fun to work with you – then by all means use it in your sales copy!

Consider asking questions like…

Using client testimonials is a different way to slant how you write the sales page.

When you’re getting ready to send out those requests for testimonials, rather than say “ Hey Bob, you’re a great customer and I’m wondering if you would write a brief testimonial for me” – which might strike Bob as headlights strike deer, or elicit something that doesn’t work the way you’d hoped – instead refine your request, such as:

  • How has my product/service helped you? Please be specific.

The hope here is that folks will talk about how they saved or made money working with you – something that speaks to how working with you helped improve their bottom line.

  • What were your challenges before finding my business?

In this way you can take your customer’s story and weave into your sales copy.

  • Why did you decide to work with my company over my competitors?

The answer to this can enlighten you as to your U.S.P. (Unique Sales Proposition) and provide specific insights to include in your sales copy.

You can simply put these questions in an email, taking care not to overwhelm – maybe limit them to five.

Once you’ve gathered your customer testimonials, you will have a fantastic platform to write that sales page!

This approach provides four benefits…

  • The writing process will go much faster. You don’t have to “guess” at benefits.
  • If a testimonial is really good, you can expand it into a case study, interview, or blog post.
  • You’ll have powerful “specifics” that you can weave into your Web copy.
  • You’ll have testimonials!

And as a final note: remember to sprinkle your testimonials throughout your site – you’ll wow your prospects even more!

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s SEO copywriting video! If you have a question for Heather, you can tweet it to her @heatherlloyd or email  heather@seocopywriting.com. And be sure to check back next Monday for another hot Web-writing tip – it may well answer your question. See you then!

Want to learn more about sales writing and SEO? Check out SuccessWorks’  SEO copywriting training options to see what program suits you best!

photo credit: Mathyld