When I’m about to make an online purchase, one of the most significant factors that influences whether or not I go ahead with it is the reviews and comments from other customers.

Consumer reviews are an almost infallible barometer of how good or bad a product or service is – after all what incentive does a customer have to lie about whether or not a product lived up to their expectations and delivered excellent value for money?

This is why customer reviews can be an excellent marketing tactic for your business if used in the right way.

Glowing recommendations will increase interest from sales leads and make them more likely to buy because they too realise the power and reliability of customer reviews.

According to Hal Licino, an email marketing advocate for Benchmark Email and an author of two books, a customer testimonial is a “potent plug” that can make people as much as seven times more likely to buy than if they saw a paid advertisement. Seven times!

“Email surveys and customer ratings are the leading way to accumulate textual testimonials,” he explains on the Marketing Profs website.

Mr Lacino points out that the most successful testimonial results tend to be provided by open-ended questions such as:

– How did you first locate us?
– How was your overall experience?
– What issue did our product or service solve for you?
– To whom would you recommend us?
Needless to say, marketers should always ensure that they only use ethical means of gathering testimonials.

“Your prospects will respect the testimonial only if they believe that it is honest and essentially uncompensated,” Mr Licino says.

Posted by Suzanne Stock – Communications Director, HR, Online Advertising, General Marketing

Related Topics: Business Data & Lists