“Expressions of solemn testimony have long been important to the children of God upon the earth.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin, Born Jun. 11, 1917.
I'm going to pretend this quote is about the use of testimonials in advertising.
So many marketers misunderstand the PURPOSE of testimonials, and therefore, they MISUSE them.
You don't want the prospect to have to take your word for it that the claims you are making are true.
You want to have real testimonial statements from paying customers. You want them to attest to the facts you've claimed.
But the real value in testimonial statements is that you can show the prospect that someone just like them has achieved success with your product.
You want to be able to have the prospect see the giver of the the testimonial to be just like them, or else slightly shittier than they are.
So they can think, “OK, if THIS guy can make this work, I know I can, too.”
But the big “gotcha” word in Wirthlin's quote for me is the word “solemn”. You have to have someone taking it seriously.
Too many testimonials are presented as excited, agitated, joyous proclamations.
But I think you can get more persuasive power out of a more confessional presentation.
Have someone talk about how the product took them from a low, to a high. From doubt to faith. From debt to abundance. From weakness to strength.
Present this testimony as an interruption to the otherwise upbeat mood. It's like a “very special episode” of your favorite sitcom.
Ask the audience to allow you to get serious for a moment…
Then show them some real emotion from your happiest customers, who started out in despair and disillusionment. Your audience will respond in kind, with real emotion – invested in their own imagined story arc.
How can you ACTIVELY get your customers to GIVE you the kind of testimony that can do this? It's a matter of asking in the right way.
Should we talk about that?