Monday, February 20, 2006

Tips for Multiplying Your Websites Profits

Welcome back biz tips readers!

For today's online business tip, I have a great
feature editorial for you called:

"How Adding a Single Element to Your Web Site
Can MULTIPLY Your Profits -- and Get Your
Customers Selling Your Products FOR You"

It was written by Derek Gehl and his awesome team
at the Internet Marketing Center.

Here you go, enjoy! ...

Here at IMC, we've spent the last decade teaching
our customers and subscribers how to set up online
businesses that make real profits. The list of success
stories is long -- and keeps growing!

That's how I know that the techniques we recommend here
really work -- and not just for us (of course, we
thoroughly test each strategy and technique before letting
you know what works and what doesn't)... but for anyone.

... Which brings me to the subject of this newsletter: I
want to talk to you about why your customers' successes,
triumphs, and positive results are SO important for your

The fact is, even if your web site is full of great sales
copy and photos that illustrate all the fabulous features
and benefits of your product or service, your potential
customers still need to know:

What do people who have actually purchased and used
your product or service think about it?

It's simple: your readers know that YOU believe in your
product, or you wouldn't be selling it! But what do people
with the same problem or need that they have say about your

Answering that question is one of the most fundamental tasks
your web site needs to accomplish -- and it's as simple to
do as it is important.

By using testimonials -- reviews and comments from your
satisfied customers, in text, audio, or video format -- on
your web site, you not only answer the question, you also
transform your sales pitch into a credible, unbiased
recommendation for your product.


As I said before, adding testimonials is probably one of
the easiest ways to improve your web site -- but a good one
can generate more selling power than some of the best
salescopy out there!

So why are testimonials so effective?

*Testimonials build trust: Whether your customers
are raving about what your product has done for them
or about the great service you gave, they are telling
your visitors first and foremost that they had a positive
experience with your products and company.

*Testimonials aren't "salesy": Because testimonials aren't
written in your "voice," they stand out in your copy as
candid and unbiased accounts of how well your product

*Testimonials overcome skepticism: A good testimonial has
the power to convince even your "tough sell" visitors
that your product or service really made a difference in
your customer's life -- and can help them, too.

For example, let's say that you're selling a special lotion
designed for dry skin. A visitor finds your web site -- a
person with dry skin who needs some relief -- and reads all
about the amazing moisturizing ingredients in your product and
how wonderful it smells.

Those are two good selling points -- things that people would
want to know before they decided to buy.

But lots of products can make those promises -- and many of
them don't work! So why should they purchase your product ahead
of all the rest?

Then, as they look over the page, a testimonial catches their
eye from one of your customers, explaining that your lotion
quickly healed a lifelong, agonizing skin condition --
something no other product had ever managed to do!

That's the power of an effective testimonial: it can convince
your reader that your product DOES work -- and that you can
be trusted to deliver on your promises.


When you're choosing testimonials, there are a few key
ingredients to look for that make the difference between
an ineffective testimonial -- and one that sells.

Here's an example of a glowing, but ultimately ineffective

"I love this product! I can't get
enough! I'm so glad I bought your stuff
and I'll be back to get more, for sure!"

What could be wrong with that? It sounds like you have a
happy customer on your hands!

But what does this testimonial really tell your visitors?
Does it prove that the product works, or explain exactly how your
customer benefited from using it? While the feedback is definitely
positive, the testimonial does not provide enough detail to have
any real impact on your visitors.

Here's an example of the kind of effective, benefits-driven
testimonials that we include on our own web sites:

"I used the methods you told me to use
and for three days my phone's been ringing!
I sold over $3500 in goods and services in
three days! It's the first time in 5 months
that anyone had really purchased anything..."

Now that's a great testimonial! But what makes it so powerful?

Let's break down the elements of an effective testimonial in
more detail...

like, "This product is great!" is nice for you to hear,
but it doesn't tell visitors what your product can
actually do for them.

You want the benefits of what you offer to be front and
center in every testimonial: "This product doubled our
profits in a month!" or "This product made the pain in my
back disappear completely -- and did it fast!" or "We've
never seen any product that could get the rust off our
car without damaging the paint -- until now."

your product can do something, your testimonials should
back up your promises -- complete with actual facts and

How much money did your customers save by using your
product? How much time did they save by using your service?
How did it solve their problems or improve their lives?

RELATE TO: You want your visitors to see that your product
helped someone just like them, seeking the solution to
the same problem your visitors have.

Make sure your testimonials come from someone with whom
your target market can identify.

If you sell primarily to seniors, for example, ask your
customers if you can include their age along with the
testimonial. If you are selling to moms with children, ask
if you can mention how many kids they have -- or include a
photo of their family!

- A GOOD TESTIMONIAL IS CREDIBLE: Accompany each testimonial
with the first name, last name, and hometown of each
testimonial-giver to show that your endorsements come from
real people. Always try to include a photo as well.

And if you can, take it to the next level by including
audio or video testimonials for maximum effect! Do anything
you can to help your visitors connect with your testimonial-
givers on a personal level.

PRODUCT: Your testimonials should emphasize the key
benefits of your product.

It's fun to hear that your super-duper floor cleaner
smells nice or that the bottle doesn't drip -- both
things that matter to people who would consider using
your product in their homes -- but have you established
that it cleans their floors well?

try another product that didn't work before they found
yours? You want your visitors to know what your product
can do that other products can't. Choose testimonials that
set your product apart from your competition!

Now that you know what you're looking for in a testimonial,
how do you actually gather the reviews you need from your


If your customers have given you positive feedback on your
product already, then you may already have some great
testimonials to add to your site.

However, if your customer response is a little scarce -- or if
you're just starting out -- getting testimonials from your
buyers might take a little more effort.

So how do you collect the testimonials you need -- and keep
them coming as you grow your business?

One easy way to collect testimonials is to include a link on
your site with a form that allows your customers to give you
their vote of confidence: "Tell us how this product changed
your life!" or "Click here to let us know what you think!"

Put this link next to some testimonials that you've already
gathered to give customers an example of the kind of feedback
you're looking for.

A more effective method is to create an autoresponder that
contacts your buyers after they've purchased your product
-- even a month later -- to ask how they're enjoying
the product, as well as giving them a chance to offer
feedback on their experience with your business.

And, of course, any time you receive a great letter or e-mail
from a customer, ask them if you can use their comments on your
web site to recommend your product to others. If they were
happy enough to let you know, they're bound to want to spread
the word.

If you haven't yet begun selling your product and have no
feedback yet, offer your product or service for free to a
select group of customers in exchange for their thoughts on the
product or some details on their experience with your site.

The impact that testimonial will have on your bottom line will
be well worth the initial expense!

As soon as your online business is up and running, make a point
of giving every one of your customers a chance to share their
experiences with your product or service.

Ask for feedback -- good and bad -- in your autoresponders, your
newsletters, and other spots on your web site.


Once you've got some testimonials to share with your visitors,
you need to make sure that you're putting them to the best
possible use on your site.

Always make sure that you...

- Include your best testimonials front and center on your
homepage, like in your sidebars, or even above your

- Place some testimonials right in the middle of your
homepage salescopy to keep your readers focused on your
credibility as you outline the features and benefits of
your product.

- Set up a whole page dedicated to your glowing testimonials,
as well as including snippets of their comments throughout
your site. Be sure to put a link to your testimonial page
next to each of those snippets!

- Include testimonials on each and every page of your web
site. No matter where your visitors click, you want them to
find a positive customer review of your product or service.

Now let's look at a few mistakes to avoid when using
testimonials on your web site...

- Don't edit your testimonials to exclude a comment or add
information you want to hear!

If you can't post a comment "as is" and feel comfortable
with it, it shouldn't go up. If your testimonials are in
your voice and all sound the same, no one is going to trust
that they are legitimate.

- Never use a customer testimonial without permission.

- Never, ever invent testimonials! This is fraud, plain and
simple, and lying never results in a positive impact on
your business.


If you're not using testimonials on your web site, you are
missing out on one of the most powerful, easy-to-use, and cheap
marketing tools available to you.

Most of us would rather act on a referral from a friend than
make a purchase based on a sales pitch alone.

We want to know that the product actually works before we take
the leap to buy, and we're bound to put more trust in someone
who has already used the product successfully than the person
trying to convince us to buy it!

And just like that recommendation from a friend, testimonials
offer unbiased, results-based evidence that your product does
exactly what you say it will do.

Time and time again, we've seen our clients experience a HUGE
boost in sales when they've put positive comments from their
customers front and center on their web sites. Few things can
put a skeptical visitor's mind at ease faster than a rave review
from a satisfied user!

No matter what stage you're at in building your business,
you want to focus on establishing credibility with your
potential clients. Once you've won their trust, you've won
a loyal customer for life!

Using glowing, fact-filled testimonials on your web site is
one of the most high-impact -- yet simple -- ways to let your
readers know that you are worthy of their trust.

Again, this was written by the internet marketing geniuses
over at the Internet Marketing Center. I suggest you go there
to check out all the great information products they have created!

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