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The third most important element of an online sales letter

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Okay, you’ve developed a kick-ass headline for your website’s sales letter and described in detail how your prospects will benefit from your product or service. But is it enough to keep them engaged and to complete the sale?
For some, it may be. A compelling headline or list of ‘can’t ignore’ benefits will drive a few people to act. For others, there will still be doubt in their minds. After all, they haven’t met you personally or may not have heard of you before.
Think about your own situation when trawling the net for information products. How likely are you to pay for something from a website that you are unfamiliar with, especially on your first visit. I’m sure you would agree with me that it’s a lot easier to buy from a site like Amazon than it is from another unknown online book store. They’re a reputable company and they’ve been around for a while. That’s why people buy from them, because they trust them.
Another good example is food. When I first tried eating sushi it didn’t really take with my taste buds. In hindsight, the rice was too sweet! The only reason why I tried it again was because some of my friends raved about this one particular restaurant. If it weren’t for them, I’d be eating overdone salmon steaks instead!
The point is my friends removed the doubt in my mind that I had about sushi. They essentially added the extra push that I needed to take the plunge into the world of raw fish. That’s exactly what you need to do with your online sales letter.          
The key to removing any doubt and building trust is to get previous customers to endorse your offerings. They provide real life examples of how your information can help people. Personal or corporate endorsements represent proof that what you have to offer is worth paying for. It’s a great way to remove sales barriers.
►Enter the testimonial.
You must secure testimonials for your information product or service. Simply ask some of your previous customers for their feedback. If you have just completed your first ever product and don’t have any customers, email some of the top guys in your field and ask them to give you one.
Here’s the catch. You’ll have to give your product away (for free) to solicit testimonials from existing players in your niche. Sound crazy – not at all. You may have to hand out a few copies pro-bono, that’s okay. Don’t stress about the few dollars worth of lost sales. Your testimonials will enable your site to make up for that and more.
Besides, why would a competitor give you a testimonial if your product might take sales away from their business? You may get this question from them, which is why you need to give them a carrot. And by carrot, tell them that you’ll promote their website by including their website's URL in their testimonial. It’s all about give and take, establishing mutually beneficial relationships.
It’s important to present testimonials for maximum effect. You want them to be believable. Stuff like, ‘Your product was great’ or ‘Your service is really helped me with my gingivitis’ won’t fly. Your readers must be able to relate to them. Here are four best practice pointers when presenting your testimonials:
  1. They should be detailed. The more specific they are the better. Ask your customers what challenges they faced and how they benefited from your product or service. What results did they achieve after implementing your information? Facts and numbers will make your testimonials stand out even more.
  2. You must include the source of your testimonial. For example, ‘Your product was great’ Joe Blog, doesn’t come across as genuine. Here’s what you need to do: Include the person’s full name and additional information such as city, company name, URL of his or her website and job title. If the person is willing to give you a photo to go along with their testimonial, even better.
  3. Think about presenting your testimonials in different ways. You could use text, which is the most commonly used format or you could capture an audio or video testimonial. Is there a best format to use? I don’t know. You’ll have to test which one works best for your niche.
  4. Once you’ve collected all your testimonials, you can add them at various points throughout your sales letter. Alternatively, you can group them under one section. There’s no need to include 500 testimonials if you managed to collect that many. Include as many as you feel is necessary to make a good impact. At least 15 to 20 good ones I'd say.
A great testimonial will go along way to remove doubt and make people believe that you are the real thing. That’s not to say that your sales copy will guarantee you sales. It will improve your chances of grabbing more sales.
All the best everyone!
PS: I cant believe it’s almost the end of the year already. Happy holidays to you and thanks again for reading. 

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