Swami Moochananda Speaks on Testimonials – July 25, 2008

Swami Moochananda Speaks on Testimonials

This is Swami Moochananda again. If you followed my last post, hopefully your had a chance to review the website http://www.selfawareness.com/, which focuses on selling “virtual enlightenment courses”, for around fifteen hundred dollars. Today I want you to go to the testimonial link at http://www.selfawareness.com/testimonials.html. Notice that they are a mixture of written, videos, and audio clips. If you are a bit of an Internet technology guy, you can go to “View Source”, and see the audio clips are from a site www.playaudiomessage.com, which is really a URL redirect to http://instantaudio.com/. I am not sure how good this service is, and he could also do his own audios with Adobe, but to work with bandwidth, it is best to have a third party hosting service.

But let’s focus on copy (layout, writing, etc.) of this particular page. What is missing is a catchy headline, to engage you to read further. And it is missing copy, interspersed between the testimonies. We can cover this topic another time, but let’s focus on the testimonies themselves. Do you believe these testimonies? Are you convinced they are from real people? Do you trust the caliber of the testimonial? I might think – for example – that the testimonies given were from folks talking too many recreational substances, and not give them any real credence. It might help if this person had gotten a professional cross session of people – lawyers, business executives, teachers, and small business owners – to give testimonials. And they might just give the folks something for giving the testimonials – like discounts on future courses. He just needs to present it in such a way, that the testimonial givers don’t feel they are being given a bribe. Wouldn’t it be nice to focus on one avenue for the testimonials – like video, audio, or written?

Do you believe these testimonials? If I go to the website http://www.spiritualskyincense.com/testimonials.htm, notice the testimonials are similar to what is done in the self-awareness site. Sometimes you are given just a name, with a state. “Do you think these people are real?” Give the full name, city, state, and country. If a person is real and loves what you offer, they don’t mind doing this. Just get their permission first. And are these “good” or “bad” testimonials?

  1. The incense is great.
  2. I liked how the meditation flowed.
  3. You have a wonderful sales staff.

Good? Bad? BAD! Why? No benefits. Good testimonials are directly related to benefits. Let’s take an example. “By taking your course, and doing the meditation as directed, I noticed my blood pressure went down twenty points, my relationship with my wife improved, and I am now able to work a full time job, while taking a graduate course at XXX.” If possible, target a testimonial for each major benefit. So what should a testimonial do?

  1. Put the customer at ease, since they see other people benefiting from the product or service
  2. Build the excitement for the product or service.

Well, I could say much more on testimonials. But next time, we will look at the offer at the website http://www.selfawareness.com/.

Randy Kemp

www.randykempcopywriting.com

 

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2 Responses

  1. Great reminder about the importance of benefit-oriented testimonials. In the arena of my speciality, promo videos, I see producers coming out with flashy videos full of the special-effect-du-jour while deliberately skipping testimonials? I don’t know if they just think it’s “old school” or what. But they should look around and notice that effective (label that MONEY-MAKING) marketing pieces still use testimonials as a staple of their copywriting toolkit. Thanks, Randy.

  2. Glen:
    You are quite welcome. If folks like Clayton Makepeace and Dan Kennedy still use benefit related testimonials – and it can be argued that they are currently among the highest paid marketing consultants and copywriters in the world – then whom I am to change course with what works well?
    Randy

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