Testimonials. How to write them? How to ask for them in the first place? Do testimonials and email marketing go together? Is there even a way to automate the whole thing?!
You see - we're rubbish at asking for testimonials. It makes us feel grubby. So we don't do it enough. But we should, and we've finally convinced the awesome Monica Snyder, CEO and Founder of Birdsong.co to come and share her secrets with us.
You're going to want to take some notes here because Monica gives us the exact questions you need to ask your customers to collect testimonials on autopilot so you can make more sales in your business.
SOME EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:
(2:59) Did Monica throw up in a helicopter or did Kennedy make that up?
(5:09) Why do testimonials even matter?
(5:54) When should we ask for testimonials?
(8:10) What are the triggers for requesting testimonials?
(9:49) How to ask for a testimonial as part of an automated email sequence.
(11:39) How to ask your customers for permission to share their story.
(13:37) How to deal with negative feedback and turn your customers into raving fans.
(15:48) The 7 questions you should ask to get awesome testimonials.
(17:57) So they gave you a testimonial. What's next?
(20:08) Subject line of the week with Monica Snyder.
Why do testimonials even matter?
We all know testimonials are important. They are social proof.
Most of us think we can rock up, create a product, put it on sale, have a bunch of people buying it, and then come back and rave about how awesome you are. But by now you probably know it just doesn't work like that. Truth is, people are more likely to say something about your product if they're unhappy and want to complain. They rarely come forward with the good, juicy stuff. Unless you ask them.
But, as Monica says, it's our job as course creators to collect social proof. And testimonials are the strongest proof. So we've got to find ways to engineer a process that will give us awesome testimonials from our raving customers.
When should we ask for testimonials?
So let's say you've created a course. When's a good time to ask for a testimonial? At the end, right?
Because let's face it - sadly, a lot of people don't even make it to the end of the course!
But Monica has another way. A much better way!
And it's this. You've got to engineer some sort of win early on in the course. It doesn't have to be the final big hurray - it could just be a moment of clarity or a small win. As soon as people get that dopamine hit when they get their first result from your course, that's when they're happy to leave you a great testimonial. So make sure you build some sort of accomplishment early on in your course, celebrate it, and then ask for the testimonial.
But how do we do it?
Ask your customers to give you feedback
Interesting thing is, Monica doesn't actually call them testimonials. She asks her customers for feedback.
Once her customers experience their first win, she sends an email out as part of her welcoming sequence to explain how to use the course to ask them to leave feedback.
People get then taken to a landing page with a smiley face and a sad face, just like at the airport! If they click on the happy face, they're invited to share their story. If they click on the sad face, there's where they have a chance to leave their feedback. And Monica has a chance to take that on board and fix it.
How to ask your customers if you can share their story
But what happens when it's time for Monica to re-write and craft those answers into a testimonial that she can share? How does she ask for permission to share it? Does that take long? Can that be automated?
So the clever way Monica does this is by asking her customers - in the same email where she asks for the feedback - to provide a link to their business or a headshot and logo to go out with the testimonial. So they don't just give her their permission - they actually get a bit of self-promotion out of it!
Isn't this just pure gold?!
How to deal with negative feedback
Okay, smiley faces and happy stories are what we're after here. But what about negative feedback? What if someone clicks on that sad face? Is everything lost?
No way José.
In fact, Monica says, bad feedback can also turn into a testimonial if you handle it well. Negative feedback is where you have the opportunity to turn an unsatisfied customer into a raving fan. And you can do that by simply taking the feedback on board and dealing with it.
Sometimes it's just a matter of putting your hands up and admitting you missed the mark. Sometimes it's a matter of going ahead with a small fix. And sometimes it's a matter of working out how you can solve the problem that your customer had before they joined your course. Because if they're unhappy with it, then they still have that original problem that made them buy from you, right?
So when you focus on fixing your customers' problems, you can turn negative feedback into raving, lifelong fans.
The 7 questions to ask your customers to get awesome testimonials
Now, what kind of questions should we ask to get awesome testimonials that work? Because you know what? "The course is awesome" isn't really what you're after. It doesn't do much in convincing someone who's on the fence about buying your course to finally make that leap of faith and go for it. It sounds positive, but it doesn't work.
So here are the 7 questions Monica asks. It starts easy, with:
- "What your name?"
- And "What's the name of your business?" Or, if it's a B2C course, "Where do you live?"
Then you go into the juicy stuff, and you ask:
- "What was your biggest problem before buying my product?" This is where you're trying to get an idea of what life looked like before. You want to build the hero journey or the epiphany bridge.
- Then "What changed after you used the product?"
- "What's one specific result you were able to achieve after using the product?" This is where you get those numbers and metrics that are so powerful in a testimonial.
- Then you ask, "What would you say to someone who is thinking about buying the product but is on the fence right now?"
- And finally the wide-open question, "Is there anything else you think is worth sharing or that you want to share but haven't been able to yet?" This question, Monica says, is always full of golden nuggets, so don't shy away from asking it!
And that's it. These are the exact 7 questions Monica asks to get feedback from her customers. She then creates a handy headline and has a nice before and after story of how her product rocked someone's world.
And isn't this great? Because we started off talking about asking for testimonials as something that feels grabby. But this is all about your customers. It's about them. It's about their journey. Their wins. And it's a lot more than just you bragging about your wins on your web pages!
So they gave you a testimonial. What next?
Because Monica does all this as part of her email sequences, it's all automated! She gets testimonials coming in without having to go out of her way and ask for them. And isn't this a great testament to the usefulness of email marketing as something that stops you from doing what Monica calls 'busy work'?
Once the testimonial is in, Monica waits a couple of days, and then, if relevant and appropriate, she sends out the start of her new product launch series. Just. Like. That.
Subject line of the week with Monica Snyder
Monica's subject line of the week is "An $11,000 walk to the playground". And guess what? The email was exactly about that. About the fact that Monica took an hour out of her day to walk her kids to the playground, and in that hour, she made two phone calls and closed $11,000 worth of sales. Wow!
And why did the subject line work? For a few reasons, actually. Because it had a number, and a number in subject lines is always good. Because it had an emoji. And because it triggered curiosity. Because making money and walking to the playground aren't usually things that go together. But in Monica's world, they do. Because that's exactly what she teaches - that making money and relationship building go hand-in-hand.
Isn't this all levels of awesome guys?!
Useful Episode Resources
Want to connect with Monica? You can find her on her website.
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