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How To Give Your Marketing Pieces Instant Creditability

by Barry Lycka

Writing advertising copy can seem like an overwhelming task. Why? The whole point of ad copy is to get the message across to your customers about why they need your product or service. However, with everyone screaming, "Buy mine, buy mine" at the top of their lungs, it is often difficult to make yourself stand out. That's where endorsements and testimonials can be an absolute lifesaver!

If used correctly, these simple, short quotes can give a lot of credibility to your advertising, and give a huge boost to your sales figures, too.

Sure, anyone can insert a statement like, "I just loved your shoe polish! It made my shoes look like new. I'll never buy any other brand again! - Sue, Arizona".

Or how about the endorsement of, "I highly recommend that you buy Joe's shoe polish. I've tested it on my own shoes and it works great! - Ed, Shoe Wearer." But those don't hold much weight. Do YOU believe it? Does it sway you to buy shoe polish? No. And I'll tell you why.

Powerful testimonials have certain elements in common.

1. They are specific.
2. They are verifiable.
3. They are impressive.

Let's look at these things in detail and I'll explain what I mean.

1. They are specific.

Endorsements and testimonials that are convincing are specific to the experience of the customer. Rather than just stating that the shoe polish made Sue's shoes look like new, this testimonial should say something about her experience.

"I had forgotten all about the anniversary party. I had 2 hours to get ready and noticed the shoes that go with my formal gown looked awful. I couldn't possibly wear them. I ran to the store for some polish (hoping it would help) and just happened to pick up your brand. I couldn't believe the difference! They looked like brand new shoes! It went on evenly and buffed up to a perfect shine. Thank you!! Your product really saved my day!"

Now that says a mouthful!

2. They are verifiable.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of unscrupulous people in the ad world. They will quickly create false testimonials and endorsements simply because they don't have any real ones. The majority of consumers are fast becoming aware of this tactic. That's why it is so important to provide verifiable information with your accolades.

When listing a testimonial or endorsement in your ad, include some way the potential buyer can contact your customer. This may include an email address, a Web site address, a phone number or any other type of contact information. This one element lets the buyer know that they are free to verify the information given. It builds a tremendous amount of trust and credibility.

3. They are impressive.

How do you impress someone with a testimonial or endorsement? Easy! Give ones that are from impressive people.

Yes, it's easy to impress buyers if Mel Gibson endorses your shoe polish. But what if your testimonials come from everyday people? That works, too. Simply include the title or status of the individual giving the endorsement. The trick here is to phrase the title in such a way that it means something to your target audience.

For example, if writing an ad for organizational services, we could state the title of the person giving the testimonial as such: "Sue Smith, Mother of three & Internet Business Owner". Even those people who aren't parents understand how much of your time children take up. This woman has three children AND an online company. If the organizational practices work for her, they'll surely work for anybody.

Even though Sue isn't a widely know celebrity, her title brings its own air of impressiveness because of how it relates to the product or service.

I have no doubt about what you're thinking right now. "How do I get my customers to write testimonials that follow these guidelines?" Simple... ask.

When you ask for a testimonial, specify what your needs are. I often state my requests this way, "Since you're pleased with my product, I'd like to ask if you would be willing to provide a testimonial. I'd love to let my prospective customers know about how the product helped you find two extra hours each day that you've been spending with your family. Also, would it be possible for me to include either your email, web address or both?" Now the client knows precisely what I'm looking for.

Most buyers are looking for validation and justification prior to making a purchase. Providing them with proof that your product or service is well liked by their peers is an excellent way to give your ads credibility and increase your sales.

(c) 2001 Barry Lycka

Barry Lycka can show you how to improve your advertising efforts through the use of powerful copywriting. You can dramatically improve the way you approach your customers and the response rate of your ads. Endorsements & testimonial use is just one part of a process you can implement right now. Visit Barry's site today!

What advertising methods have worked for you? Come to the boards and share your story.

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