Pop quiz: What one thing most strongly influences purchasing decisions?
Imagine yourself planning to buy a pricey laptop. Which recommendation would you trust – the network administrator at your office, who’s responsible for keeping dozens of PCs running smoothly, or a blurb on a reseller’s website, extolling the laptop’s virtues?
Unless your office PC hangs up a dozen times a week, you’ll trust that the techno-geek at work knows his stuff, and you’ll be more likely to take his advice.
Over Half Your Customers Prefer the Advice of Family, Friends, and Experts
It’s been shown that 57% of folks place the greatest trust in the recommendations of other living, breathing humans. But since those troublesome postal regulations say you can’t just slap a stamp on a techno-geek or Aunt Sally to let your customers know how great your product or service is, you’ll need to persuade them that other flesh-and-blood consumers love what you do.
Here are four great ways to add the human touch to your claims:
It’s surprising how often messages of appreciation are overlooked. Frequently communicated in passing, they’re found in emails, scribbled on invoices, or included in letters where other business is being conducted. Look for phrases like: “Thank you for shipping my widget on such short notice!” or “Great catch! I am so glad you called to clarify my order. What service!” And most customers are thrilled when you want to reprint their spontaneous praise.
These testimonials back up an advertising claim or otherwise give proof that your product or service is superior. And remember — a client who says your product lasts longer, works more efficiently, or has otherwise measurably improved his or her life or business may well be speaking over the phone. People love to feel their opinion is important, so don’t be afraid to ask if you can jot down their testimonial for use in your next direct mail piece.
This one is obvious: a customer wants the world to know they would recommend your product or services to anyone. Keep your eyes and ears open for this type of testimonial, and don’t forget to train your employees to catch them, too. Be sure to get written permission from anyone you plan to quote.
If your business has received any awards, they should be prominently displayed on your direct mail piece. Try to get permission to reproduce the seal, symbol, or logo that might accompany the award, along with a brief caption explaining its significance.
Finally, remember that you are trying to show that real, live people love your stuff. For authenticity, avoid correcting spelling or grammar errors, and include the customer’s full name and location (and perhaps the name of their business) whenever possible.
If you keep your eyes and ears open, your next marketing effort can come alive!