Which of These 3 Case Studies Will Grow Your Sales?

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November 2007 was a weird few weeks.

It was my third month on the job, and I’d just received management duties for an entire business unit. While this was a sweet opportunity, it came with high stakes: I was expected to grow revenue immediately. It didn’t matter that I was a rookie and the previous manager had been a vet.

Sometimes, you either perform or get out of the way.

Somehow, I figured out how to do it. That first month, I set a new revenue record for that business. Then I re-set the record the 2nd month. Then, I did it again the third time.

In this post, I’m going to give you 3 promotional strategies I discovered during and after that time.

They’re useful for generating both short-term, rapid sales boosts and long-term, sustainable growth.

  • The Teaser-Trailer Technique – It creates an immediate sales spike.
  • The Second Closer Strategy – Usually boosts sales by ~10% permanently.
  • The Testimonial Getter – Gets you testimonials, a proof-asset that will also help grow your conversion rate permanently.

I’m also going to show you the exact emails I’ve used for each one so you can replicate these strategies (and get results) with maximum speed and minimum effort. And, finally, we’ll cover the psychology behind each technique, so you understand why they work and can further develop your overall conversion chops.

Since that November 2007 “situation,” I’ve consulted many clients in conversion optimization and tested these strategies across different businesses.

Want to grow your sales? Check out these 3 case studies and decide which one will work for you.

They’ve worked every time for me though your results, of course, may vary. You’ll need to tweak them to your business specifics, but I’d wager almost any online business can use these. All you need is an auto-responder service and a little motivation.

Let’s dig in:

Case Study 1 of 3: The Teaser-Trailer Technique that Made a Month of Profit in Just One Week

The goal of the Teaser-Trailer Technique (TTT) is to produce a large, immediate cash injection into your business.

It doesn’t create permanent growth, but it’s useful to run once or twice a year to produce a bunch of cash. It persuades your prospect to buy your product by combining 3 psychological forces hardwired into the human brain: reciprocity, scarcity and anticipation.

Robert Cialdini discusses these in his seminal book, but here’s a quick primer on how these triggers work:

The force of anticipation is simple to understand
If you’re looking forward to or curious about an upcoming event, you’re more likely to pay attention to it when it actually happens.

For example, think about what happens anytime Apple announces an upcoming iPhone event. They share no details aside from when the event will happen, which sends the tech press into an absolute frenzy of guessing what will happen. By creating this anticipation beforehand, Apple maximizes their publicity and attention on the day of the actual event.

In the TTT, you’re going to leverage anticipation the same way. You’ll announce that something cool and new is coming, but you won’t say exactly what.

Reciprocity is also simple
If I do a favor for you, you’ll feel compelled to return a favor for me. Neil’s “get the tab” strategy is a great example of this. We humans don’t like having debts (no matter how small) to others. If someone does something nice for us, we subconsciously look for ways to pay that person back. With the TTT, you’ll create reciprocity by giving your prospect a free, yet valuable gift.

The power of scarcity shows
The less available something is, the more we tend to want it. You will tap into this in your TTT by putting a deadline on the promotion, so your prospects take action without delay.

(Bonus) It’s also important to provide a reason why you’re running any promotion
Humans are inherently skeptical, but if you provide a reason for doing something (however small), our skepticism is very easily calmed. In the TTT, you will tie your promotion to a current event or season theme.

OK, here’s what I did…

How to Execute Your TTT Promo

This might sound simple, and that’s because it is. Simple works. Here are the 4 steps:

  1. Create an awesome free report/gift that your followers will love.
  2. Send an email to your list letting them know you’ll be giving a free gift the next day. This creates anticipation for the gift, maximizing how many people download it.
  3. Send another email that delivers the free gift. If it is truly valuable, this will build good will and a desire in your prospects to reciprocate your kind gesture.
  4. Make a special offer for your product. This provides an opportunity for your prospect to fulfill that reciprocation while also getting a special deal.

Here’s how I performed each step.

The Theme and Promotion
The business unit I ran at the time was MindValley Labs (this has since evolved into MindValley Insights). Our prospects were other entrepreneurs interested in growing their online sales. It was Thanksgiving time, and everyone was preparing for the upcoming holiday spending, so our promotion tied these two ideas together. The basic idea was “online consumers are about to spend a ton of money in the next 6 weeks, so you’d better get your site optimized for it.”

Our special promotion was slashing our price from $147 down to $97. We rarely discounted our price, so this was a huge opportunity for anyone that hadn’t bought the product yet.

The Freebie
The key to the Freebie is that it’s truly valuable and immediately useful to your prospect. If she sees your free material is good, she’ll be more interested in your paid stuff. To create this, I took an advanced module from our paid product and turned it into an ebook. It taught readers several advanced conversion optimization techniques, which they could implement right away.

I then added sections in the ebook to announce and link to our special offer. This way, only the people who read the freebie knew about the promotion, so it felt more exclusive. If the reader enjoyed the ebook, this promotion gave her a way to not only get more training, but get it at a rare, discounted price.

Email 1 (The Teaser, sent Day 1)
As mentioned, the sole purpose of this email is to create anticipation. All we did was tell her we’d be sending a special gift in 2 days:

Dear {FIRSTNAME},

On Friday, November 23, 2007, I’m going to send you a special download link to grab a copy of a short report you’d BETTER READ if you want to cash in on this holiday season. It’s an advanced sales strategy for (ethically) using psychological triggers to inspire customers to buy from you.

It won’t cost you anything, but it is only available until Monday, the 26th.

After that, the report will no longer be accessible.

Plus, within the report, there will be a special holiday gift from MindValley Labs. I won’t tell you what it is now, but let’s just say it’s in the spirit of this holiday season.

Watch your inbox Friday morning.

Happy Holidays,

[your name]

P.S. Remember, it’s only available until Monday, so don’t miss the report…or the special gift within.

Email 2 (The Trailer, sent Day 2)
This email should come exactly when you said it would. And all you do here is provide the link to download the free gift, remind the recipient of the deadline and let her know there’s another cool gift inside the report:

{FIRSTNAME},

You might have received a confusing email from us this past weekend that referenced some deadlines that had already passed. Let’s just say our email server had a large Turkey Hangover and was looking to take the holiday off.

Yes, this even happens to tech companies.

Anyway, as promised earlier, we’ve got the download link ready for you to grab a complimentary copy of our report “6 Psychological Triggers That Will Make Your Visitors Buy From You Today and Tomorrow.”

Obtain your copy here:

[link]

Remember, it is only available for a short time – through Wednesday, November 28.

Also, we’d like to remind you that inside this report, you’ll find your very own gift from MindValley Labs.

Only people who read the report will be eligible for our gift…

…which, we dare say, is probably the best one you’ll receive this holiday season.

Enjoy and happy holidays,

[Your Name]

P.S. Did you know there will be an estimated 474.5 billion dollars spent this holiday season? Make your piece of the pie a big one!

[link]

A couple notes on this one:

  • Our email server messed up the delivery, and Email 2 didn’t actually come when we said it would. Hence, I apologized for that in the first paragraph. (The promo was still super successful though, which is a testament to the technique’s power.)
  • The link in this email sent folks to a landing page where they had to sign up to receive the report. This way I could segment them and send targeted reminders about the promotion as the deadline approached.

If you’re new or you’d like further analysis of these emails, you can view the short video below. I go through each email line-by-line and explain how you can tweak them for your own use.

Following Up
For a few days afterward, I sent follow-up emails to that sublist (those who signed up to get the freebie), reminding them about the promo and the deadline. No hard selling, just simple reminders like a friend would send (“Hey, just letting you know the sale ends in 2 days…”).

And that was it. If they clicked the link in the freebie ebook, they went to a tweaked product page with all the details. All I did was add a note at the top and reminders wherever price was listed.

I kept everything tied to our theme of “preparing for holiday spending,” so it felt less like a marketing ploy and more like a friendly hook up for those folks who actually took action and downloaded the freebie.

It worked like gangbusters for me, and, with a little creativity, you should be able to get similar or even better results than I did.

Here is a Video Walking You Through The Entire Process

Here is an image to go along with it (click for larger size). Disregard the circle about the sharing function: that complicates things unnecessarily.

teaser trailer

Why This Works

This strategy was the sole reason I broke our sales record that first month. I had virtually no marketing experience. The campaign succeeded in spite of my skills.

What I took away from the experience was this: while great copy certainly helps, the real key to conversion and sales growth is understanding selling psychology and how to make a truly irresistible offer.

This is critical to understand: what you say is more important than how you say it. Put another way, the strategy is more important than the individual tactics.

To help you solidify this understanding, let’s review the psychological forces this promotion taps into. You can use this as a checklist as you deploy this promo yourself:

  1. Your theme gives you a reason why you’re running the promotion – My example: “get ready for holiday spending.”
  2. Your promo ultimately makes a really great offer for your product – My example: 33% off a rarely discounted product.
  3. Your Teaser email creates anticipation about the cool new freebie you’re about to release – This makes it much more likely your prospect opens the Trailer when it arrives the next day.
  4. Your freebie builds goodwill, trust and reciprocity in your prospect – Plus, it links to your promo page, so you can cash in on that goodwill right as your prospect is feeling it. My example: our freebie showed advanced sales tactics my prospect could use right away to increase revenue. Every so often within it, I announced and linked to the promo page in a shaded box.
  5. You use deadlines for both the freebie and promotion to create scarcity – This subtly urges your prospect to take action. My example: my freebie was available for 3 days, and the sale expired about 3 days after that.
  6. Your reminder emails leave nothing to chance – You don’t want anybody missing or forgetting about your awesome promo.

Now It’s Your Turn

The first time I did this, it took about two days to devise and execute. With this outline and the main emails already written, you should be able to implement your campaign must faster. Here are the action steps to follow:

  1. Devise your reason for running the promotion – Use this as your overall theme throughout.
  2. Create a good freebie you can give away – You can take an existing module from your product or create something new. Here are some examples if you’re not sure what to create. If you’re a traffic analytics company, you could create a guide showing specific traffic generation techniques. (You could even get this info from your clients.) If you sell accounting software to accountants, you could interview expert accountants to get the latest tax-saving developments in the IRS guidelines and provide the transcript. If you sell pest-control services, you could offer a guide showing simple things home-owners can do to prevent pests in the first place.
  3. Create a simple landing page offering the freebie – When your customer signs up, your auto-responder should automatically send the freebie to her.
  4. Create a tweaked sales page that offers your special sale – Examples of specials are a price discount, additional bonuses, bigger trial period, special 1 on 1 consultation, etc.
  5. Tweak my emails to write your teaser and trailer – Then you need to write the simple promo-reminder emails.
  6. Send them out – You have to mail them out. You can do it on your server or through programs like Aweber and MailChimp.
  7. Profit and enjoy a bunch more delighted customers – Make sure you are analyzing everything so you can fine-tune your campaigns.

Case Study 2 of 3: The “Second Closer” that Permanently Grew Sales by 10%

As of February 2012, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 65.23%.

Imagine that, for every 3 people that take the time to peruse your site, spend cognitive energies deciding what to buy, then add those items to your cart… 2 of them end up bailing.

This soul-crushing statistic has led to a plethora of analysis and strategies for cart recovery. The main idea is: this person has expressed interest by selecting items, but something held her back, so you should think about the possible reasons for bailing and then shoot her a follow-up email that addresses them.

Then hope this email pushes her over the edge to buy. This typically boosts sales by 5 – 15%.

This is great, but I have one question. If this person is already on your email list (this nuance is critical, you MUST have permission to contact them)… why only follow up with her once she has added an item to your cart? Aren’t there other forms of “expressing interest” in your products?

In my view, yes, there are. One such action, for example, would be clicking an email link that points to a product page. If she was curious enough to click your product page link, she must have at least moderate interest in what you offer.

The best part is email marketing software makes it incredibly easy to track who clicks what links in your emails. So, if you link to product pages in your emails, you should be able to determine which of those folks didn’t ultimately purchase.

This made me wonder: what if I followed up with that person and made an irresistible offer? Would that help her complete the purchase and boost sales?

We devised a strategy to find out…

… and were stunned with the results: 10% growth in sales, literally overnight. No matter what your revenue numbers are, this is huge.

Here’s How It Works

Step 1: Once someone clicks a link to a product page, add them to a sublist in your email system.

Step 2: If she doesn’t buy within 24 hours, have your system automatically send her a follow up with a great offer.

Now, how easily you can implement this yourself depends on your email service and/or shopping cart software. (I’ll explain how we did it below.) However, you should realize that it only takes a finite amount of time to implement, but the growth in sales will pay off forever. If that doesn’t excite you, you might reconsider the business you’re in.

Below is the exact email I sent. It was a software product for online business owners that automated some revenue-boosting activities. I have pulled out identifying details to respect the product owner.

Subject: {FIRSTNAME} – test [PRODUCT] for $1

Dear {FIRSTNAME},

I’m sending you this message because I know you’re into or at least curious about growing your website by leaps and bounds.

I was there once, sitting at my desk with my hand nervously touching my face.

Some time ago, you reviewed the [PRODUCT] but did not buy it.

You’re probably skeptical, so I came up with something that will make it really hard for you to not give it a try:

Test the [PRODUCT] for $1!

{LINK 112}

If you haven’t found all of the answers yet, you can put me up on my promise that this will MORE than deliver a serious sales injection.

You see, some people have trust issues and therefore are afraid that an offer like this would get taken advantage of.

Simply put, I’m not worried about this. In an overwhelming number of cases, people are trustworthy (read Freakonomics for experimental results proving this).

So, I want to extend this offer to try [PRODUCT] for just 1 dollar. If you love the increased revenue to your site – great! We won’t bill you until the 8th day.

If for some reason you don’t like that extra cashola, just drop us an email at [SUPPORT EMAIL], and we’ll cheerfully cancel your purchase and wish you good luck.

Take a look here: {LINK 112}

Thanks,

[ YOUR NAME ]

PS: Yes, you can test the [PRODUCT] for 7 days for just one dollar. If it doesn’t work out for you, simply drop me an email, and we’ll give you that dollar back:

{LINK 112}

Let’s take a line-by-line look at what’s happening in that email so you can replicate it:

This email copy isn’t great, but it got the job done. Re-doing it today, I would flow it something like this:

  1. Remind her that she recently showed interest in the product, but didn’t buy
  2. Make a compelling offer (free trial, $1 trial, free shipping, etc)
  3. Re-iterate your most powerful benefits and differentiators
  4. Show a testimonial(s)
  5. Remind her of your guarantee
  6. Make the offer again

We implemented this using Autoresponse Plus and our in-house shopping cart. As I write this, Autoresponse Plus is not taking new customers until their new version is done. Infusionsoft and Office Autopilot should also both work fine. With a bit of fiddling, a lot of other services should work as well.

Here’s how we set it up.

  1. First, the prospect must already be on your email list, so you have permission to contact him.
  2. Next, anytime he clicked an email link to a product page, we tagged him as “clicked link to Product X”
  3. If he bought within 24 hours, the tag was removed because we don’t need to follow up.
  4. If he did NOT buy within 24 hours, our system sent him a product-specific follow up email as shown above.

Just like the TTT, this strategy is painfully simple, but the results speak for themselves. For the technically minded, you could also do this:

  • Have your email link pass his name/email as variables within the link to the product page.
  • Install javascript on the product page that reads his name/email and adds him to the “interested in Product X” sublist via the API of your email systeml
  • After 24 hours, have your email system run his name against your customer list. Proceed as I’ve directed in Steps 3 and 4 above based on what it finds.

I should note that we saw an additional small, but worthwhile boost by adding a second follow-up after 48 hours, so you might test that as well. The more important point to realize is you needn’t worry or labour over amazing copywriting to make this work. Again, the offer itself carries the bulk of the power. The strategy outweighs the tactics.

It’s far more important that you 1) actually follow up and 2) make a truly great offer.

Also, because we offered a 7-day trial, a fair number of our cusotmers ended up canceling. This created a non-trivial amount of support to process the requests. However, I think you’ll agree that 10% sales growth is certainly worth a few extra support requests.

Why This Works

This strategy is based on one simple marketing principle: it makes an irresistible offer to your customer right after she shows interest in your product. If a prospect shows interest in your product, it’s absolutely critical you follow up with her as fast as possible.

With information overload and the day-to-day grind, she can rapidly forget what made your product compelling in the first place. You need to get it in front of her while she’s hot.

Implement the Second Closer, and you can act on this principle to grow sales right now.

Case Study 3 of 3: The Testimonial Getter that Pulled in ~40 Testimonials

I stumbled on this strategy in yet another situation of great peril. Here’s the story.

I run a small online hookah business, and a few years ago we were exploring paid traffic options. One thing college doesn’t teach you is Google and Facebook forbid tobacco-related products in their advertising programs. Here was all this potential traffic… and I couldn’t access it.

But in 2009, I had an epiphany.

It stemmed from something you do learn in college: smoke rings are cool. Anyone who likes hookah also likes smoke rings. As a result, on our website, we generated leads by offering a free guide to blowing smoke rings. To get the guide, the site visitor had to sign up to our list.

My epiphany: I could also use this guide to generate leads via paid traffic (looking back, this is a no-brainer).

I could create a separate mini site, bid on hookah-related keywords and then capture those leads via landing pages offering the guide. There was nothing for sale, so I figured this would let me attract traffic while remaining within Google’s guidelines.

Except I was missing one key component…

Testimonials.

If I had any hope of a decent conversion rate, I needed testimonials attesting to the quality of the guide. Why? Because testimonials boost conversion by backing up your promises.

What I did have, though, was an email list of folks who’d already used it to get results… a big pool of possible endorsers.

I didn’t want to straight up ask for a testimonial because that’s just not that cool. (Plus, asking that way might make my subscribers feel pressured to respond, causing unnatural language and creating unbelievable testimonials that do more harm than good.)

So, I came up with a better way, the creatively named “Testimonial Getter.”

It consists of just 3 emails. In addition to pulling excellent testimonials for you, it also gets negative feedback, which is just as valuable.

Here’s How It Works

First, I sent this email to everyone on my smoke ring email list:

Testimonial Getter Email 1

SUBJECT LINE: REALLY QUICK — can you help me with this?

Hey {!firstname}

I’ve got a new project related to the Smoke Ring Guide I sent you… and I was hoping you could help me with something.

(By the way, if you missed the link or lost the guide, you can get it here: LINK)

OK, before I get started on this new project, I need to ask a favor:

Could you help me out by answering these 3 (VERY quick) questions about the guide?

1. In what SPECIFIC ways did the Smoke Ring Guide help you?

2. How long did it take you to learn?

3. Would you recommend this guide to your friends?

Please be as specific as possible. It’ll really help me.

If you hit me back with answers, I’ve got a little treat I’ll send as a “thank you” 🙂

Talk soon,

Mike

Here’s a line-by-line review of that email:

  1. I quickly let my contact know I’m asking for a favor and gave a reason for my request. People are inherently good, and if you have even a decent relationship with your followers, they’ll be glad to help you.
  2. I’m not explicitly asking for a testimonial. This way, your responses will have natural language and cover a wide range of benefits.
  3. The questions are specifically tailored to get info that would make a good testimonial (more on that below).
  4. Lastly, I’ve incentivized my contact with a little treat for responding. The “treat” was a coupon for his next order, but I didn’t reveal this yet because I didn’t want to influence his answers.
  5. Answering was the only way he could find out what the treat was, so this curiosity drives him to respond.

The responses you receive will either be testimonial-worthy or not, so I prepared a different email for each scenario.

In the event her feedback isn’t super positive, the response is easy. Thank her for the feedback, respond (if necessary) to anything particularly negative and then deliver the treat. Here’s the template I used (and you can copy):

Email 2a (No Testimonial Possible)

John, thanks so much for the feedback.

All right, as the “treat” I mentioned, here’s a little coupon for your next purchase. It’s good until June 15, so you can stock up on some good summer shisha.

(IMPORTANT) Once you’re ready to use it, here’s how to redeem it:

STEP 1: Go here to register or login to your Hobo account (takes 5 seconds):

LINK

(You must log in, or the coupon won’t work… This ensures only insiders like you will be able to access the discount.)

STEP 2: Now make your order, and on the first step of the checkout put “smokering!” (no quotes) in the coupon box.

And voila, you just saved 15%. Works on orders of any size.

Rock on,
Mike

I received an overwhelming number of positive responses when I ran this. Here’s a typical example:

1. Well, first off I was only able to nail the coughing and cracking methods, much to my surprise ( I can’t even whistle). So now I am able to blow O’s with faily little effort thanks to the guide. Other than that, the guide opened me up to a new realm of smoking hookah, making smoking sessions more amusing and entertaining. I’ve noticed that my lung capacity has also greatly improved… won’t be hearing a cough from this guy any time soon.

2. It barely took me anytime to learn. Within my first smoking session of trying, I was readily able to get the O rolling. I feel you really just need to sense the smoke flow and control it by experimenting with your own features ( tips in the smoke ring guide).

3. I’d most certainly take the time to present the Smoke Ring Guide to my hookah buddies, as I already have!

Thanks, John.

Look at that. Without knowing it, he gave me perfect material for a testimonial. He told me how he got surprising results, plus how long it took to get them.

What you want to do in this case is lightly edit the response to keep the same message but make it more concise. Then you ask him to sign off. Here’s what that response looks like.

Email 2b (Testimonial Possible)

[NAME],

Thanks so much for the feedback — it’s sweet to hear about your progress!

OK, 2 more things:

==============
Item 1
==============

After reading your feedback, I wanted to ask one more thing — would you mind if I put your quote on the site? It’s really helpful to show other would-be HoboHeroes what other users thought… rather than me blabbering on and on about it. 🙂

To save you some time, I lightly edited it, and here’s what it would look like:

“Mike, wanted to let you know I was rolling O’s in my very first smoking session. I was able to nail the coughing and cracking methods, which was pretty surprising ( I can’t even whistle)… and now I’m able to blow O’s with fairly little effort thanks to the guide. I’ve now been opened up to a new realm of smoking hookah, making smoking sessions more amusing and entertaining. Thanks! –John”

Just reply with “yes” if that’s cool to use. If you want to tweak it or need me to edit your name or anything, that’s cool… and if you have a picture I can post with it, that’s even cooler.

==============
Item 2
==============

All right, as the “treat” I mentioned, here’s a little coupon for your next purchase. It’s good until June 15, so you can stock up on some good summer shisha.

(IMPORTANT) Once you’re ready to use it, here’s how to redeem it:

STEP 1: Go here to register or login to your Hobo account (takes 5 seconds):

LINK

(You must log in, or the coupon won’t work… This ensures only insiders like you will be able to access the discount.)

STEP 2: Now make your order, and on the first step of the checkout put “smokering!” (no quotes) in the coupon box.

And voila, you just saved 15%. Works on orders of any size.

All right… please don’t forget to let me know if I can use your quote (and if you have a pic).

Rock on,
Mike

Let’s walk through that line by line:

A few more notes about this email:

  1. I explicitly stated the quote would be put on our website and made it ultra easy for him to agree. It is very clear and very easy to respond to (all he must do is respond with one word).
  2. I also made it easy for him to disagree or edit, so everything is transparent and above board.
  3. (Optional.) A testimonial is more powerful if an image is attached with it, so I added that request (a few people sent in some cool pics of them blowing a ring).
  4. By making this request at the same time as giving him a coupon, I tapped the power of reciprocity to increase the odds he agreed.

This simple campaign produced around 40 testimonials.

Because the questions were directive, but not overly specific, the testimonials covered a wide array of possible customer objections and product benefits (some I hadn’t even considered before).

They were great response-boosting tools not only for the new landing pages, but also anywhere else I promoted the Smoke Ring Guide to generate leads. These are an enormous asset that improved my conversion forever.

How to Write a Good Testimonial

The one skill that will help with this is moderately understanding what makes a good testimonial. “Your product is great, thanks!” does you no good because it’s far too generic and flat. Here are some tips to maximize the selling power of your testimonials:

  • People only care about results, so focus on them – “I made $100 using Mike’s system” is far more powerful than, “Mike’s system made me money!” Rah-rah style testimonials do little for your cause.
  • Be as specific as possible – Be specific about the results, time to get those results, etc. “I used THIS product, and I solved THESE problems in THIS amount of time.”
  • When putting them on your site, include a headline that conveys the main message quickly – A good example of this is, “My Acne Disappeared in 23 days” or “I Saved $96 in My First Phone Call.”
  • Use testimonials to answer common objections – This way your customers do the selling for you. Example: “I thought I was too tech-challenged to use this keyword tool, but it was actually really easy! Within 4 days of using your software and following the step-by-step guide, I grew my site’s traffic by 35%!”
  • Attach as much testimonial-giver information as possible – To increase the credibility include name, location, business, picture, etc.
  • The most powerful testimonial is one from someone just like the reader – So, get them from customers that represent each set of needs, objections, demographics, etc. of your target market.
  • If you receive future updates from your testimonial-giver, include an “update” below the original quote – This shows how connected you are to your customers and re-emphasize the awesome results they’re getting.

How to Implement the Testimonial Getter in Your Business

  1. Prepare a nice gift you’ll give folks for answering. It needn’t be huge, but it should make her feel good for taking the time to write in.
  2. Copy the 3 emails and tweak them to your business.
  3. Send Email 1 to your list.
  4. Tweak the positive responses into concise, hard hitting testimonials and respond to subscriber feedback using the 2 follow-up templates.
  5. Once you get confirmation you can use them, add the testimonials to your marketing and archive them for future use.

I saved this strategy for last because it’s not directly tied to your bottom line, per se. That said, I would argue this is the most powerful of the strategies you received today. Powerful testimonials establish you as an expert in your market, grow your credibility and increase conversion permanently.

All the great marketers, partners and clients I know meticulously collect and intelligently use testimonials. You should too.

Conclusion

Hark the angels! You now have a play-by-play map for 3 strategies that grow your business. You’re running the TTT a few times a year, or any time you need a fast cash injection… the Second Closer is re-capturing missed sales automatically… and the Testimonial-Getter pulled in the proof you needed to further grow conversion and establish your authority.

Better yet, most of the hard work is already done for you. All you have to do is follow the action steps and let the underlying persuasion principles do the work. Plus, you need only do the work once, but the payoff is forever. Once you finish, you can move on to the next strategy to grow even more.

And here’s the best part. Imagine for a minute that the Second Closer grows your sales by 10% (like it did for me). Then imagine you add a few strong testimonials to your product page, and that grows conversion by another 10%.

What’s the end result?

1 x 1.1 x 1.1 = 1.21

That’s 21% growth. From two simple strategies you can implement then forget about.

Entrepreneurs like to believe growth is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. If you understand where you have the most leverage in your business, you can often grow much quicker than most think possible.

You’ve received a lot of info in this post, and I realize it might feel overwhelming. You might even be skeptical these work. And while I’ve already shared my results, the best next step is to pick one case study and replicate it. Put it to the test and see what happens. If you like what you see, try the next one.

What’s the worst that could happen? What’s the best that could happen? Again, I can’t guarantee your results, but if you put in a solid effort I suspect you’ll be extremely pleased.

I will be available for the next 2 days to answer questions in the comment section below.

Plus, if you fully implement any of these strategies, I’ll be happy to do a postmortem review with you. Email the results to mike@mementum.org, and we’ll talk about how to grow even more.

About the author: Mike Williams helps the web’s best entrepreneurs with conversion optimization and sales growth. He also helps business owners learn copywriting at home.

P.S. If you want help growing your business click here.

Comments

  1. Ken Hammond @MarketingMaverick.com :

    Hey Mike… you have given us the 3 “Golden Keys” to doubling profits fast. Love it!

    Your testimonial example is perfect and desperately needed by so many people online… social proof is so important in this skeptical age.

    I’ve recently been reaching out to current customers for testimonials and it’s been a definite sales booster.

    Thanks again, you are now an official “Marketing Maverick”!

    – Ken

  2. Mike Williams :

    Thanks Ken! The Testimonial-Getter is indeed useful.

    It’s funny, I was recently explaining it to a guy who runs an 8 or 9-figure business and we found a few ways to tweak his own testimonial acquisition process. No matter how successful we get in business, we can all use a good review of the fundamentals now and then 🙂

  3. Thanks for the great road map Mike!

  4. BounceExchangeâ„¢ {via Ryan} :

    Neil,

    I was just going to share this on LinkedIn, but you don’t offer that share option {surprisingly}

    Adjust your share float plugin—->and I guarantee [3-to-1 odds] that “LinkedIn Share” will be your #2, if not #1 share tool, blowing away FB +G+ combined.

    If that’s not the case, I’ll my sister’s poodle either a mohawk or a haircut like a Stegosaurus.

  5. Mauro Mazzocchini @TwizzyWeb.com :

    Wow Mike, what a post! Really a great one!

    I love the “Second Closer” case study and I’m definitely going to use it more consistently, since I agree that one of the best and most effective things is to provide an efficient follow-up to potential customers.

    – Mauro

    • Mike Williams :

      Awesome. Yeah, you can see really nice growth if you spend just a little time coming up with a great follow-up offer for those on the fence.

  6. Wow, what a fantastic post! I stress everyday how important the follow-up is, but this post clearly states WHY better than I ever could. Great post, looking forward to more!

  7. Hi Mike,
    Excellent article – case studies. I will definitely use it. I very much appreciate this kind of article – case study with real world example and explanation. Thank your sharing this. I am definitely checking out your landing page… You just got a new potential client.

    • Mike Williams :

      Rock on.

      • Me too… Mike.. !
        Its really a wonderful cycle..
        I came to know about Seth and Ramit through Neil..
        I came to know about Neil through Micheal (ID),
        I came to know about Micheal through Nick Tart,
        and About Nick.. thanks to Lary.. (Google)
        And now I came to know about you through Neil again..
        Awesome people..

  8. Sheyi @ Ivblogger.com :

    This post is not getting the type of response its suppose to be getting. I mean this is an epic write up and its marvelous in my sight!

    Sheyi

    • Mike Williams :

      Thanks for the kind words, Sheyi. What is more important is folks use it to get and help more customers.

  9. you brought some great points, but this will only help if you have a large emailing list.

    You say you broke monthly records, but how many email subscribers to did you start with?

    is it possible to make some good money if I only have 1,000 email subscribers?

    thanks

    • Mike Williams :

      Edgar, this stuff will work with 10 people on your list. In fact, if you get it implemented now, you should have a solid conversion strategy in place. And getting more traffic is easy when your conversion rate is high.

      When I broke those records, it was with the same list (and list size) my predecessors had worked with. I’d suggest directing your focus to implementation, rather than reasons it might not work. Only 1 way to know.

  10. Montana Flynn :

    Epic post, thanks Mike! I Really like the quote “The strategy outweighs the tactics.”

  11. Paul Kirtley :

    Mike,

    Incredible post full of awesome material, all of which can be implemented quickly and easily.

    Thanks for sharing this stuff, you’ve made my week :o)

    Keep it up!

    Paul

  12. Mike,

    Wow, what a incredible post, i believe these are so helpful for many people online. Thanks for sharing with us, good stuff.

    Best wishes for you.

    Catheine

  13. David - Crane :

    Thanks Mike,

    Your strategies look very easy to use so I will definitely keep them for using in future. I will definitely test one of these techniques very soon.

    Thanks a lot for sharing, this was a very good post.

  14. Great, Neil how do you do it? Excellent Article, handy and useful, ‘straight to the point’ approach.

    Some suggestions:
    Your blog is a great place for Entrepreneur’s meetup, a chat tab or forum could be added where they can chat together, discuss and share ideas.

    Trending: like twitter, if you can create a list where you add topics that you think are trending (connected with your blogs related to that topic) that will be helpful as well.

    • Thank you Umayr, I am glad you enjoyed this guest post. I appreciate your suggestions and will take them into consideration.

  15. This was just awesome. I think the first one was the most powerful. IT maintains the value of your product.

    • Mike Williams :

      Thanks Faisal. It’s like a tool box. You don’t need all of them every day, but each one has its time and place where it is most useful.

      • Rightly said. But then one of your strategies creates a perception. Like a theme site I was going to buy from, I held my purchase because I know one fine day they will come up with a limited time discount. While others who never give discount, I chose not to wait. That aside, I feel the people who pay the full price get disappointment too.

  16. Mike- fantastic post on so many levels. Thanks for sharing and I’ll be checking out your services. Kudos to Neil for allowing you to share.

  17. As usual, a wealth of excellent information. Would like to see more from Mike Williams.

  18. best restaurants in manchester :

    Great post. I have great difficulty in getting may staff to follow up. It seems that once the initial task is complete they just switch off.
    I am going to print your flow chart and wave it under a few noses.

  19. Web Design Resource :

    The second case study is absolutely worth for growing sales. Because if customers show their interest in specific products while doing online shopping so after that following them by explaining its benefits and show testimonial of other customer for the same products is the best idea for any of the business to improve the confidence level of the customer for buying products.

  20. Hi.. Mike..

    Very well written article..
    3 golden rules…
    I think I would go for 2nd one.. It does happen lot of time people reach till checkout and for whatever reason they opt out. It should be easier to sell somebody who’s already liked your product.

    Thanks..

  21. Internet Business Promoter Software fre Download :

    ooohhhhh awesome, and thanx for videos i really like when see a video tutorial in blog because it safe my time

  22. Crixtien Chukwu :

    Customer engagement by whatever means will definitely make sales push up. Understanding, the customer, your product and various comparative market advantage. Thanks Neil.

    • Yep, you have got it.

    • Hey,

      I used a similar strategy. Customer response is a very powerful tool as it can give you amazing ideas on how to expand your services and since they come straight from the buyer, you know your idea will sell.

      Right Neil?

      • Absolutely, I think feedback is the best and most efficient way to improve and grow. Especially when it comes from those using your product or services.

  23. Nice way to Grow sales. Case Studies! I never tried it while marketing my product but now i will for sure. I sell Vacation Rentals and should do Case Studies

  24. solicitors Manchester :

    Douglas B is absolutely correct, word of mouth is worth gold. My husband had a very successful career in sales and marketing in the electronics industry. I want him to tackle this question for you, so I’ll be getting back to you in about 9 hrs, okay?

    • Sounds good, I love to get my readers feedback especially if they have any experience with the subject.

  25. 9to5 Blogger :

    Testimonials, I think should be given first place in growing our sales as better customer testimonials always tend to have positive note on our business. What do you say?

  26. This article is very helpful Neil.
    Thank you so much!

  27. I would like to read a post where you describe how any of these tactics are of benefit to the customer?

  28. Great marketing tips. Expecting more articles from Mike.

  29. datamining and making reporting these facts are also help to increase your future sales.

  30. emobile_developer :

    Thanks Neil for the brilliant case studies. Every case study presents an excellent marketing advice and depending on it shows the proper procedure of how the business can get a result oriented and quick selling growth. Pleased to read all these. Hope more to read from you.

  31. eBook download :

    I liked the second case study “The “Second Closer” that Permanently Grew Sales 10%” most. I think that the case studies are the best way to understand the different possible faces of something. Thank you for this informative and educative post.

  32. hey Mike,
    all three strategies are too good to help every one of us.
    Really a great article indeed.

    Thanks.

    Matt

  33. I like the Case Study 2 of 3: The “Second Closer” that Permanently Grew Sales 10% thoughts. Nice.

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