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Testimonials are critical to launch any digital product. But how can you get testimonials for a product that you haven’t sold yet?
That’s what we’re digging into in today’s episode of the Rebel Boss Ladies Podcast – why testimonials are so important and how you can get testimonials for your new digital products.
What is a testimonial for your digital product?
A testimonial is a quote or an account from a previous customer, someone who has used your product, about their success and results.
Basically, a testimonial is social proof. It’s something that you can use to tell potential customers that your product is real, and actual people out there have used it with some level of success and have been happy with their results.
Testimonials are powerful tools in the sales process.
Without testimonials, potential buyers only have your word that your product works!
Your word is good to some extent, assuming your potential buyers know you, like you, and trust you. The pre-launch part of your sales process is where you should be creating content and engaging with your audience to establish these know, like, and trust factors.
But you can build your potential customers’ trust in your product by including testimonials that go beyond just your word that your product works.
When you think about what makes a sale, I want you to think about it this way. You using just your own word to sell digital products is like hiking up a hill on one leg. You’ll be able to do it, but it might take a lot longer.
To get to the top of the hill, you’ll get there much faster with two legs, right? If your word is one leg, the word of your past customers is your other leg. The combination of those two things will help you close in on the sale so much faster than if you’re just speaking to your customer using your word alone.
How to Get a Testimonial for a New Digital Product or With a New Business
So how do you go about getting testimonials when you have a new product? Even if you haven’t sold your product yet, or if your business is pretty new, it’s actually pretty simple. Here’s a really easy strategy progression to get good testimonials for a new product that doesn’t have any yet:
Phase 1: Give your product away for free to a handful of people you know will benefit from it (your ideal customers)
When I launch a new product, I send it out to a few people to test and play with.
I give them enough time to use and implement it, and then I reach back out to them via email and say, “hey, how’s it going? I was wondering if you’ve had time to check this out and give it a spin. What do you think? Any feedback?”
A quick note – do you see how I use the term “feedback” and the question “what do you think?” I’m not explicitly saying, “Can you give me a testimonial?”
Instead, I’m asking a genuine question because I want to know their truthful, uncensored feedback. People often tense up when they’re asked for a testimonial and it becomes awkward and less genuine. But when they’re just asked for their thoughts, the real magic flows out.
Occasionally I’ll get replies that are something like, “Hey Eden, I actually haven’t even touched it yet – let me get back to you.” In that case, I’ll set a note to follow up in a few weeks.
But other times, I’ll get a reply with real answers. Those answers that I get via email often turn into the very first testimonials that I’ll screenshot and share on my sales page, sales emails, etc.
If you receive a reply that you’d like to use as a testimonial, you need to get their permission first before using it. I always send them one last message saying, “Thank you so much, do you mind if I share your reply on my website and social media? I’m more than happy to redact your identifying information.”
I highly recommend just taking screenshots of your email replies and using those as your testimonials. Remember, testimonials prove that real people liked your product. Showcasing a real email reply from someone further validates the notion that it’s real and not just a fake quote from a made up person that you put on your sales page.
There’s nothing wrong with giving away your product for free. You’re not destroying the integrity of the product and the people are still using it and getting results.
Phase 2: Launch to a segment of your audience with discounted pricing
Now that you have a few testimonials from phase 1, the next thing you can do now is soft launch it to a segment of your audience with discounted pricing.
How you choose to segment your audience is ultimately up to you, but I recommend you do this based on people who are most likely to use it and people who know you the best – this will increase the likelihood they take advantage of this opportunity.
To add urgency and encourage people to buy, I recommend you slightly discount the offer for a limited window of time. Then let them know that you’re going to be asking for their feedback about the product shortly after they purchase it.
The idea here is that you get a larger number of people that purchase your product and take action fast because of the price increase. They’ll also (hopefully!) be more likely to provide you with feedback.
Once they buy, depending on your audience size, you can either manually send out emails reaching out with a call for “feedback” or you can set this up as part of your automated sequence in your email service provider.
Not everyone who purchased will reply to your call for feedback, but some people will. Hopefully because they’re enthusiastic to provide feedback, they’ll have a lot of good things to say. And those are the people who will provide the next level of testimonials.
Getting digital product testimonials on social media
Keep in mind that asking for feedback by email is just one way to go about collecting testimonials. Another thing you can do is send them to a Facebook post and ask them to comment their thoughts on that post – this will allow you to screenshot comments on social media and add those to your sales page and email copy.
I love this approach because it not only builds buzz on social media and fuels the algorithm, but it looks so good on sales pages to have screenshots of social media comments and posts from people. Again, it’s just one more thing that shows, “wow this product must be good.”
The downside to the social post is that some people may not have LOVED the product, and may write their honest feedback for everyone to see.
That’s okay! It’s the nature of business. Your product isn’t meant for everyone and it won’t necessarily work for everyone. So if that happens, take a big deep breath and know that you’re okay, the comment doesn’t define you, your self-worth, or even the worth of your product.
Phase 3: Full on digital product launch
Now that you’ve collected a handful of testimonials to display on your sales page, in your sales emails and throughout social media, you’re ready to launch at the regular pricing to your entire audience.
It may feel like you don’t have enough testimonials, but as I like to say, your sales content is never finished, it’s always a work in progress. As you sell more, you’ll get more testimonials. Everyone has to start from somewhere and this is all just a part of the process!
Don’t stress – in time, your testimonials will grow and get better and better. Eventually you’ll be replacing the old testimonials with newer and better ones, but the only way to do that is to widen the pool of people who can buy your product.
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to not be afraid of launching to your full audience, even if you feel like you don’t have enough testimonials. It’s important and will keep you moving forward, adding to your testimonials, and ultimately selling more products!