Using Testimonials to Create High-Impact Sales Letters

Sales letters can be an effective marketing tool when you use the right ingredients to develop a targeted sales piece that is directed at very specific audiences.

When you write a sales letter, you need to introduce your product or service, outline its features and benefits, differentiate the product or service from those of your competitors, and convince the reader to make a purchase. The catch is, you must do all of this within a fairly short sales piece that needs to be very persuasive. One of the best tools you can use to help convince readers that they need your product or service is a testimonial from a satisfied customer.

When a customer gets satisfaction from using your product or service, ask the customer if he or she would be willing to write a short testimonial that outlines the experience that was delivered by the product or service. Perhaps your product saved the customer 50% off of their normal materials expense because the product utilized materials more effectively. Maybe the client that utilized your marketing consulting services has experienced a 30% increase in the number of leads derived from the marketing campaign you developed. If this is the case, let your clients tell your story in their own words. This can be one of the best methods of persuasion.

Never use a copywriter to write testimonials for you. These testimonials will never sound as genuine as those that can be given by customers. Another danger when using false testimonials is that the voice of each testimonial sounds the same, making it look like the same person wrote each and every paragraph.

When you ask for testimonials, ask for a long testimonial in the customer’s own words. Many advertisers use very short testimonials that encompass one or two positive words about a product or service. This makes potential customers suspicious because it looks like an editor has cut down a lackluster testimonial into a rave review. You can always edit your customers’ testimonials for grammar and spelling, but you should keep the wording the same. This will further help you to maintain a genuine appearance when using testimonials.

Use specific testimonials that describe how using your product or service has changed the lives of your customers for the better. Instead of “this is a great product,” find a testimonial that says something like “I used XYZ Tools’ new chainsaw and saved 50% of my raw materials from going to waste.” This is a specific and measurable result that can entice prospects to make a purchase. If your business is service-based, let customers talk about how your service has improved the quality of their lives, saved them money, saved them time, or decreased waste.

Using testimonials from satisfied customers may not have occurred to you when you first sat down to write your sales letter. Once you solicit some genuine testimonials from customers and use them in your sales letters, you will start to notice a real difference in the inquiries about your product or service.

Never, ever publish a fake testimonial from an non existent customer.  This is both unethical and more importantly illegal and can lead to serious consequences such a severe fine.  This is what the FTC says about such actions:


What truth-in-advertising rules apply to advertisers?

Under the Federal Trade Commission Act:

Advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive; 
Advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims; and 
Advertisements cannot be unfair.