How to storify every customer success in 5-mins without costing you a penny ?

Do you “storify” each and every of your customer successes ? Why ? Why Not ?

Lets see why it is important to write a customer success story for every customer. And what is the #1 challenge and how to address it ?

How to write a customer success story for every customer, do it in 5-mins and without costing a penny !  Sounds unreal ? Read on…

 

A. Why is a customer success story important ?

Because it is A-1 Marketing content. The research by Marketing Sherpa lists customer success stories among the top 3 in terms of effectiveness.

customer_success_stories_are_high_on_effectiveness

Also read my earlier detailed article on Why Customer Success Story is a #1 Kickass Marketing Content ?


 

B. What is the #1 challenge that is stopping you ?

Lets accept it. It is lot of work !

No wonder the research done by Marketing Sherpa ranks case studies (aka customer success stories) way below in the ease of creating content index.

 

customer_success_stories_are_high_on_effort

 

Yes. Creating a customer success story needs a lot of effort, takes time and costs a lot of money !!

It easily takes a few weeks to many months to get a publishable story ready.

Cost-wise it costs anywhere from $1,000-5,000 depending on how long is the story. Videos are much more expensive costing $5,000-$10,000.

 


 

C. How to make it easy on ourselves ?

Now that we know the value of a customer success story. How can we make it easy to do a story without having to wait for weeks/months and do it without breaking the bank.

Now without disappointing my writer and agency friends –

The idea is not to say that you don’t need a writer agency to create a professional story, but to show how easy it is to write a basic story. Of-course, having an expert writer on-board definitely has its plus in terms of professionalism.

So the idea is to do the basic story with all customers. And you can always do a step-up on some of those stories to add more meat and professionalism to the story depending on the availability of time, resources and on-need basis.

 


 

D. Use this simple template

We spent a lot of time going through many many different examples of well written stories, and if we had to come up with a blue-print of a story – It would be the one you see below –

blueprint of a customer success story

We bucketed the different components into 3 buckets – low hanging , must-haves and nice-to-haves.


 

1. Add logo, images and introduction (low hanging)

Start with the low hanging fruits. It is easy to find the company’s logo, and a brief introduction about the company from their website. It is also easy to find the appropriate photo from among the existing public photos of the company by just using google image search.

It is also easy to plug-in the solution part.

 


 

2. Add challenges and benefits (must haves)

Any story should have these 3 must-have sections.

i. Benefits

and

ii. Challenges

and

iii. Title of the story

You need to work this backwards. Start with benefits first.

The core of the benefits should be in-line with the benefits of the product or service you are trying to sell. You could add additional benefits as per the customer’s scenario.

The challenges would be opposite of the benefits. Think of the challenges and benefits as a BEFORE and AFTER scenario, with the solution being that magic wand.

The title of the story would be 1 line summary of the story. “How xxx company accomplished yyy with help from zzz company’s expertise”.

Of-course, the best person to provide inputs here would be the Sales or Customer Success person.

Tip:

1. I  would suggest would be to have a standard list of benefits and challenges, and then pick the ones that are relevant to this customer case. Now rephrase it by adding the customer specifics  to personalize it to this specific customer situation.

2. Use the rule of three. 3-benefits + 3-challenges.

 


 

3. Add testimonials and metrics  (nice to haves)

If you can manage to get a testimonial or quote from the customer, it is awesome because it adds more credibility to the story. If you manage to get the quote, then including a photo of the person would be super awesome. Typically people do not hesitate if you say that you want to include their photo along with the testimonial.

Metrics are much more tricky.

But if you are in a SaaS business then you have access to the operations data and metrics, and it makes it a lot easier to state the facts. And you already have it with you is a Big win !

 


 

4. Make it engaging, not boring.

How ?

After reading through 1000’s of stories – one thing i can say for sure is that i hate to read through texty stories. It is so damn boring !! Now imagine the same if not a worse feeling by your to-be-customer who is supposed to get “convinced” after reading these stories  🙂

You can make it more engaging by a simple trick – By having more images than text.

There are numerous studies that show how we engage more with images versus text. Apparently human brain processes visuals 60,000 X faster than text. (source: The power of visual storytelling – Ekaterina Walter)

A recent study by SHIFT shows how tweets with images are 5X more engaging than the ones with just text. This is very relevant here because twitter is a platform for instant gratification. You get it or not. There is no second chance. No-one searches for old tweets.

Engagement_of_images_versus_text

(Source: Jan 2014 Twitter Engagement Study: Photo vs. Text – by SHIFT)

From the customer success story perspective – this means cut down on the text and have more visuals. Even if you want to provide the details break it down to bullet points.

Someone will read through 4 pages of boring text is a myth. Does not happen in today’s world. If you need more than 1 page to convey the story then something is missing ?

Moreover it is relatively easier to get images than content for text.

You can use any of the following – customer head shots, workplace/factory/product photos shared publicly by customers, screenshots of your product-in-use, charts, and more – you can get very creative here 😉


 

5. Quicker email approvals

Once you have the story drafted pop it into an email and send it to your customer for approval.

Try to keep it simple, and minimal on legal jargon so that there is less scope for delays and rejections.

Below is a standard email text for the approval.


Dear Jane Doe,

Thank you for being an amazing customer. We have put together a short write-up about your success. Please review and let us know if you would want to add anything more ? 

We would like to use this in our marketing communications and it would be nice if you could read through the below text and provide your consent.

ABC would like to distribute these materials. This includes posting them on and making them available for download through the ABC Web site and social media sites. In addition, ABC would like to use portions of these materials, including your corporate logo and quotes attributed to your employees, in ABC marketing materials.

Please confirm that XYZ approves by responding to this email saying that you approve.

Thanks & rgds

John Doe, XXX Company


(disclaimer – I am not a legal expert. In case of any doubt please consult your legal person for the right verbiage as per your industry, country and company risk profile. But the idea is to keep it simple such that people don’t have to run to their legal department to decipher what the hell you want them to sign on)

Tip: It would work best if the sales or customer success person sends it out, and follows it up with a phone call. Of-course. 


 

You are done !

Now that you have customer success story – there begins the most exciting part – promoting them !

Always remember customer success stories are #1 as a marketing content – do a favor to yourself and your customer by NOT piling them somewhere in the corner.

Paint the town red by promoting them everywhere.

Check out this earlier post by me on 25 Ways to use your Stories in Marketing

Now over to you. What has been your experience ?

Do you have other tips to make story writing easy, yet powerful ?


 

Rivet.ly (http://rivet.ly)  is an “intelligent marketing hub” for your customer success stories and social proof content. In addition to helping you automatically manage your ‘our-customers’ tab, It also helps you to put together a story using any kind of customer proof point, using cool templates. Rivet.ly helps you to spend more time with your customers, while helping create and promote their stories. 

If you are interested in an “exclusive” private beta – contact Anupam


 

8 Reasons Why Customer Success Story is #1 Kickass Marketing Content

Customer Success Stories are a “special” kind of content, and it is unlike any other kind of content. I can think of 8 reasons for it being kickass special and why it is (and should be) the #1 marketing content.

When i say customer success story –  i am referring to all kinds of customer/social proof content – case studies, stories, videos, testimonials, customer names, logos, reviews, ROI studies, audio/podcast, and everything in between.

8 Reasons Why Customer Success Stories are number 1 marketing content

8 Reasons that make Customer Success Stories #1.

Lets start with the most obvious

1. It is 10X more expensive than other content.

It is not just the cost of interviewing and writing, but the overall cost involved in acquiring the customer and making them happy in the 1st place. Add to it the cost of writing the story and finally publishing the end product.

It costs much much more than any other piece of content in terms of the effort, resources, money, time and people involved.

measure-ROI-customer-testimonials

If we go with the market dynamics which says cost is directly proportional to the value of a product/service, then customer success stories ought to be at #1.

50-80 % of a typical customer reference/advocacy program budget is spent on content creation alone (source: Customer Reference Forum)


Doesn’t just this say it all ?

Not convinced yet ? 🙂

Lets see if the other 7 reasons can convince you …


2. It is the 2nd most effective tactic in content marketing.

65% of B2B users feel that case studies are very effective as a content marketing tactic. Whereas 70% felt that the same for in-person events. This is huge to know – how users see customer success stories as comparable to in-person physical events in terms of being an effective tool.

effectiveness_of_customer_success_stories_in_content_marketing

(Source: 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends—Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)


3. It is among the top ‘must-haves’ for any B2B website.

Case-Studies (at #3) and testimonials/client list (at #5) are on top of the top-10 things that users feel are a must-have in any B2B website. It is right below important things like pricing (at #1) and technical support (at#2).

customer_success_stories_is_must-have_in_B2B_website

(Source: 2014 B2B Web Usability Report | Huff/KoMarketing)

In-fact, the same survey says that case-studies are #1 when it comes to what users feel as “lacking” or needs improvement today., which is something to think hard about.

customer_success_stories_testimonials_lacking_in_B2B_website

(Source: 2014 B2B Web Usability Report | Huff/KoMarketing)


4.  It helps influence the buyer decision early-on, and that is “super important” today.

By now we all know enough about how buyer decisions are being taken early-on in the buying cycle . More than 57% of buying decision is taken even before talking to the company sales.

Purchase_decision_early_on_in_sales_cycle

(source: The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing 2012 – CEB/Google )

And this is a 2012 figure. The figures being quoted in recent discussions is upwards of 70% !

Here is a huge opportunity for marketing to help tilt the scale, and positive voices from existing customers can play a big influence.

Testimonials and Case Studies are the most influential content types both in the awareness stage and the evaluation stage

customer_success_stories_most_influential_early_stage_content

(source: 3 Keys to B2B Success 2013 – Hawkeyee.com)

Promoting and advocating your customer success stories through various channels is a sure shot way to get there.

Marketing should amplify and promote customer successes to help win in the early discovery and engage stages of customer life-cycle. Waiting for the sales team stage would be too late. (source: Tip The Balance From Reference Customers To Advocates – Forrester/Influitive)


5. It is among the top ‘must-haves’ for any Landing Page.

Any landing page or marketing copy without a customer/social proof is seen by users as just marketing fluff due to the 1-sided nature. Experts recommend social/customer proof as one of the must-haves in any page whose end objective is conversion/lead generation.

anatomy-perfect-landing-page_testimonials

(Source: Anatomy of Perfect Landing Page – NiceLandingPage.com/Unbounce)

And adding customer/social proof increases credibility, thus improving conversion drastically as proved by all the experts. unanimously.

34%_increase_in_conversion_with_customer_testimonials

(source: Social Proof Tips to Boost Landing Page Conversions – Aschottmuller/Unbounce/Visual Optimizer)

Adding social proof helps increase landing page conversion between 5-500% (source: Unbounce, CrazyEgg, Kissmetrics, Optimizely, Visual Optimizer, Kickoff Labs, Hubspot, and other marketing optimization experts)


6. It has an extended shelf life.

Typically a detailed story like a case study has a life of 2-years at the minimum. Many stories stay relevant for a longer period of time and hence can be used for more than 2-years.  Shorter proof points like testimonials and logos have an indefinite life span.

46% of companies said they use customer success content for up-to 2 years. 43% said they could use it infinitely !

high_shelf_life_of_customer_success_stories

 (source: 2012 InEvidence Global Customer Reference Survey)

Which means you can re-use it like crazy. This is very important given the fact that producing enough good quality content is the #1. challenge for marketeers today.

producing_good_content_is_a_challenge_1

(Source: B2B Content Marketing Spotlight Report Nov-2014 – Technology Marketing Group LinkedIn/BrightTalk/IDG)


7. It can be added to other content to make them do more selling.

The #1. end goal of any content marketing initiative is lead generation.

customer_success_stories_check_all_boxes_against_content_marketing_objectives

(Source: B2B Content Marketing Spotlight Report Nov-2014 – Technology Marketing Group LinkedIn/BrightTalk/IDG)

Adding customer success proof in the form of customer names/logos, testimonials, proven benefits metric, story snippets, videos, etc into other content like best-practices articles, blog articles, whitepapers, discussion forum topics, ebooks, etc not only makes the content more interesting with real-life examples, but also adds a dab of marketing into them – thus helping you get more traffic to your website, more conversions and leads into your marketing funnel.

In-fact it helps check almost all the boxes against the content marketing goals.

As an example – An awesome example of using it in the blog would be this one

quicksprout_neil_patel_blog_testimonials_1

(source: Quicksprout/Neil Patel Blog)


8. It is valuable in all stages of the buying cycle.

Many people still believe that customer success stories are only needed in the last 2 stages –  i.e vendor comparison, and sales closure stages. This is incorrect.

The below research shows that it is in-fact useful in all the 4 stages. And it is the “most helpful” content in the stage-2 (understanding the problem) and stage-3 (Identify solution, consider vendors) in comparison with all other types of content.

 Customer_success_stories_for_all_stages_in_sales_cycle

(Source: B2B Tech Buyers – Which Assets Are Most Influential, and When? – MarketingCharts/Eccolo Media)


Conclusion:  You need-to believe in your Customer Success Stories.

Irrespective of any of the following –

You believe in Customer Success or not.

You believe in Advocate Marketing or not.

You believe in Content Marketing or not.

You believe in Digital Marketing or not.

You believe in being Online or not.

You do need-to believe in your Customer Success Stories.

Why ?

Because it is the most effective marketing content out there, without any doubt !

So what are you doing about your Customer Stories ?

Customer Testimonial Examples: 25-Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ best practices)

The most popular usage of customer testimonials is posting them in your Testimonials page or Our-Customers page, and you are done, which in my opinion is a gross under-utilization of this valuable asset. In this article you will see 24 more ways to utilize them well, along with examples and bonus tips on best practices.

Customer Testimonials help in making your marketing credible, increasing conversions from your calls-to-actions, increasing traffic from your content marketing, and getting you more leads as an end outcome. Therefore they are super valuable, and you can definitely do a better job of utilizing them.

For the purpose of this discussion, when i say customer testimonials, it includes all the formats of customer proof points – name droppings, logos, quotes, photos, success stories, case studies, videos, user reviews, ROI studies, snapshots, spotlights, business benefits and metrics achieved, tweets, social mentions, pins, and what not. (see my recent post to see all the 21 types of social proofs that you can use in your content marketing)

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25 Ways to Boost your Marketing using Customer Testimonials

Includes examples/templates/best-practices of testimonials, case studies, reviews, success stories, videos, photos, tweets … or any customer proof point usages

1. Home Page

Displaying your customers on your home page not only means you are showcasing credibility to your claims, but also gives the impression that customers are central to your business. It kills (rather saves) 2 birds in 1 shot. Lets look at an example

Example – About.Me’s Home Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - About.Me Home Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - About.Me Home Page 2

The Home Page of About.Me showcases the about me pages of its customers. Its so cool ! Makes you want to get your about.me page right away.

Bonus Tip: Understand everybody will not have the luxury of using all the real-estate on your home page for customer testimonials. Wish every product and service was so simple that you didn’t have to explain it beyond your testimonials. In reality home page 1st fold is super premium real-estate, and it is a compromise with many priorities. I would recommend at-least having a small area for testimonials.  you could be displaying just 1 that says it all.

also check out this earlier post by me with some cool examples of Customers as Hero Images

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2. Products, Services & Features Page

The page where you are explaining the benefits – features is a very good place to show case some relevant testimonials. It helps assure your prospects that people are using those features and are benefiting from them (like you claimed). Lets look at an example.

Example – Square Trade’s Iphone (product) Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Square Trade IPhone Products Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Square Trade IPhone Products Page 2

See how the strategic mention of the reviews from Apple App store fits-in to the context. The videos at the bottom are very relevant as well. If you are insuring your phone against damage, nothing is more convincing than testimonials from people who ended up breaking their phones and hence made claims, and got reimbursements – the biggest mental hurdle for buying any insurance policy – will they pay up ?

Bonus Tip – 3 things you need to keep in mind – relevancy, relevancy, relevancy. Testimonials in a product/service or features page makes sense only if it is contextual to what you are trying to sell.

also see this earlier post about contextual testimonials. yet again the example is that of a features page

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 3. Landing Pages

The single only objective of any landing page is conversion. Every A/B test proves 1 thing for guaranteed – adding testimonials to a landing page increases conversion. period. If you don’t take my word for it, go ahead and test it, and come back to me if it is not true.

Example – Neil Patel’s (Quicksprout) Landing Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Neil Patel's Quicksprout Landing Page

Neil Patel is the guru of SEO and Conversion. If he is using a customer testimonial in every landing page of his, then you know that this is something you should copy blindly ! I am a big fan.

Bonus Tip – Landing Page experts always say one thing – do not distract the visitor away from the CTA (Calls-To-Action) Button. Therefore make sure the testimonials don’t take away the spotlight from the CTA, yet help add credibility to support your claims.


4. Pricing & Plans Page

The Pricing page is very strategic from a sign-up perspective. In addition to addressing all questions and concerns related to cost of ownership, it is an opportunity to provide additional assurance in the form of testimonials from existing customers. Lets see 2 examples

Example 1 – Unbounce’s Pricing Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Unbounce's Pricing Page

In this Unbounce example, the testimonial from Hootsuite tries to assure that choosing Unbounce is a good decision overall by reinforcing the USP of Unbounce.

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Now lets look at another example.

Example 2 – 3D Cart’s Pricing Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - 3D Cart's Pricing Page

In this example from 3DCart, the testimonial from Mike & Karen is trying to assure you that this is a good deal from a cost-package perspective, which also makes sense. Therefore both are good examples.

Bonus Tip – What is the best one for you ? – that’s something you need to test because every case would be different.


5. Sign-up Page

Sign-up is the last stop before someone signs up. Therefore an opportunity to give that extra assurance boost. Lets see an example

Example – Present.me’s Signup Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Present.Me's Signup Page

Nice clean page with the right pinch of customer testimonial.

Bonus Tip – Just like the Landing Pages, do not take away the spotlight from the main CTA – to sign-up. 


6. About Us Page

About-Us page should in-fact be right the opposite. It should be about the customers – it should say why customers should do business with you. Showcasing what other customers say about you is just the right thing to do. Lets see an example

Example – Optimizely’s About-Us Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Optimizely's About Us Page


7.  Testimonials & Our Customers Page

Testimonials or Customers page is where you would consolidate all your customer proof points. This page is still very important because it is one place where your prospects can see the strength of Social Proof – The voice of the crowd.  Testimonials and Our-Customers are used interchangeably.

The key here is to organize everything such that it is engaging and helps drive the message across, without being boring. This is one of the top premium pages on your website from a traffic perspective, and it does make sense to use it well.

Lets see an example of a good testimonials page.

Example – Guidebook’s Testimonials Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Guidebook's Testimonials Page

In this example from Guidebook, the page is well organised – it is not too overwhelming, but at the same time makes it interesting with the right mix of brands and quotes.

Now lets see an example of an Our-Customers page.

Example – UberConference’s Our-Customers Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Uber Conference's Our Customers Page

I love the tiered approach taken by Uber Conference here. At the top tier is this testimonial from BeatsMusic that says it all. The 2nd tier is 2 testimonials, more detailed but compelling. The 3rd tier is a bunch of logos. Very engaging way to present your customer testimonials.

Bonus Tip – It is a bad idea to have an A-Z list because this is not a telephone book ! no-one will search for a customer by name. It is a good idea to provide categories at-the-least – like by solution, by products, by industry, by customer segment, by country, etc. and display the search results by relevance (not A-Z). see more in my earlier post on why you should not have a A-Z list


8. Success Stories & Case Studies Page

Success Stories or Case Studies Page is essentially a subset of the Our-Customers or Testimonials page, but limited to those that have a detailed story.

Similar to the Our-Customers page, The key here is to organize everything such that it is engaging and helps drive the message across, without being boring. This is one of the top premium pages on your website from a traffic perspective, and it does make sense to use it well.

Lets see an example.

Example – MongoDb’s Customer Success Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - MongoDb's Customer Success Stories Page

Bonus Tip – Another important thing in design of these pages is making them conversion friendly. It is a waste if the pages are a dead-end. They need to be designed such that it helps you accomplish that one and only objective of any customer proof point – generate leads. see examples in my recent post about best practices for case studies – Case Study Tips: 5 Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices)


 9. Contact-Us Page

Contact-Us page is very similar to the sign-up page. It is an opportunity to provide that extra bit of assurance so that your prospects can contact you. Lets see an example.

Example – Sarah Rudinoff Realtor’s Contact-Us Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Sarah Rudinoff Realtor's Contact-Us Page


 10. Blog Posts

Blogs are the most popular tactic in content marketing. The top objective of any content marketing is to get more conversions from your CTA (calls-to-action) buttons or links. Using customer testimonials provides assurance, and adds credibility, thus increasing conversions. Therefore it is a must have to add testimonials to your blog posts. Lets see 2 examples.

Example 1 – TINT’s Blog Pages

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - TINT's Blog Page

In the TINT example above the Kudos Tweets widget helps to entice the visitors to the blog to convert and visit the website.

Now lets see one more example.

Example 2 – Hootsuite Blog

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - HootSuite's Blog Post Page

In this example a customer case study is used as a blog post in itself.

Bonus Tip: You can do both of the above. Use the case study as a blog post, but also use snippets of the case study across rest of the blog and content.

see one more example of the Quicksprout Blog –  Content Marketing: Testimonials help increase blog conversions, and get more leads.


 11. Press Releases & News

Using Customer Testimonials as a press release or news article is a good way of reaching out to audience beyond your immediate circles. Lets see an example.

Example – Oracle’s Press Releases

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Oracle's Press Release Page

Bonus Tip – You can also use testimonials in other press or news releases where you are talking about other things like product launches, new features, etc


12. Webinar

You can do Webinars with customers, which is very popular. But in addition, you can also use testimonials to get more sign-ups and attendance for your webinars. Lets see an example.

Example – Unbounce’s Webinar Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Unbounce's Webinar Page

Bonus Tip – It is nice to have the testimonials to be relevant to the CTA (calls-to-action) like the Unbounce example above where people are not talking about Unbounce’s product, but they are talking about how the past webinars were useful to them as attendees. Very contextual.


13. Newsletters

Newsletters are another important content marketing tactic. The top objective is to get more click-through back to the website. Customer Testimonials help do exactly that – get you more conversion. Lets see an example

Example – Rackspace’s Newsletter

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Rackspace's Newsletter

In this example from Rackspace, they are showcasing a snippet of the case study with Data Morphosis and the CTA button is to see the complete case study.

Bonus Tip – You can also have CTA buttons that link to a landing page.

see one more example from the B2C space here –  Content Marketing: Increase email newsletter click through and CTA conversions using testimonials


 14. Emails – (Auto-Responders, drip campaigns, transactional, etc)

Emails are used for many purposes. It can be for drip campaigns where you keep dripping your target audience with a series of emails with a desired CTA. It can be auto-responders that are setup as a response to specific actions by the user. It can also be transactional emails related to on-boarding, billing, renewals, etc.

Whatever be the reason, there is a good opportunity to include testimonials. Including testimonials would basically help provide that extra assurance for the user to take that next step you desire them to take (aka CTA -calls-to-action). Lets see an example

Example – Influitive’s Email

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Influitive's Emails

I got this email from Influitive after i downloaded a white paper. The desired action that Influitive’s team would like me to take would be to visit their products page. The mention of popular names like Act-On, Eloqua, etc adds that extra bit of assurance and prompts me to check out their product.

Bonus Tip – It is a good idea to make the testimonials stand out with logos, photos, etc. Knowing that emails have a tendency to not show images, it is still worth the chance because visual components are much more compelling than plain text. Also email servers like gmail do show images because they pre-screen for malicious images (the primary reason for not showing images), and they also cache the images in their CDN servers (performance being the secondary reason for not showing images)

also see more examples of testimonials in emails here –  Email Marketing: Testimonials help increase click through rate, get more CTA conversions.


15. Whitepapers & eBooks

You can club together groups of customer success stories and case studies in the form of eBooks or whitepapers. Lets see an example.

Example – Workday’s Whitepapers

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Workday's Whitepapers

Here in this example, Workday presents 2 of its customer stories in the format of a whitepaper, where they are trying to explain a topic but with the use of a customer as an example. It not only makes it feel more easy to understand, but it also make it credible from a practicality and feasiblity perspective. You sound less preachy when you can relate it with examples.

Bonus Tip – In addition to discussing customer stories in detail, you can also use snippets of testimonials in any whitepaper, very similar to product/service features page.


16. LinkedIn Updates

Social Media is an opportunity to go beyond our know circles in order to reach out to the larger audience and get more visibility.

Lets star with LinkedIn. Post your customer testimonials as updates in LinkedIn. Lets see an example

Example – Tegile’s LinkedIn Updates

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Tegile's LinkedIn updates about Customers

The cool thing about the updates by Tegile is that the images are self explanatory.

Bonus Tip – In addition to getting the word out, you should also think about getting traffic back to your website. From that perspective, it would be a good idea to provide back links to your Our Customers page or even your Home page, if not a landing page.


17. Facebook Pages

Similar to LinkedIn updates, post your customer testimonials on your Facebook pages.

Lets see an example

Example – OfficeVibe’s Facebook Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - OfficeVibe's Facebook Posts about Customers

I love the CultureSpeak videos by OfficeVibe. They are recordings of interviews with the HR person (or whoever is responsible for the company culture) at the customer side, over google hangout. Very interesting.

Bonus Tip – Like i said earlier for LinkedIn updates – the idea of any posts in social media would be to get traffic back to your website, therefore you need to post just the teaser and people need to click on the back links for the main course .

Correction : I got a clarification from OfficeVibe –  saying that the CultureTalks video interview series is not necessarily with their customers, and hence they are not intended as testimonials for OfficeVibe. I stand corrected, but I would still like to retain it here because i think this is still a best practice, and a valuable social proof as such. And nothing stops someone from doing similar interviews with their customers, using them as testimonials, and posting them on facebook.

read more about it here – Best Practices in Video Testimonials


18. Tweet It (Twitter)

Tweet out your customer testimonials. Lets see an example

Example – Microsoft Education’s Twitter Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Microsoft Education's tweets about Customers

19. Pin it (Pinterest )

Pin the images and photos. Lets see an example

Example – Wine and Design Australia

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Wine and Design Australia's testimonials we pinned

20. Instagram It

Post it on Instagram as well. See an example below

Example – SideKicker’s Instagram Pages

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Side Kicker's Instagram photos


 21. Slideshare

You can convert all your testimonials into a slide deck format and post it on Slideshare. Lets see an example below

Example – Genesys’s Slidshare Pages

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Genesys's Slideshare posts about customers

Bonus Tip – You can also post your case studies and success stories as slides on Slideshare, and then embed it into your pages everywhere.


22. YouTube

Create videos of your customers and post it on Youtube.

Lets see an example

Example – Rockwell Automation’s Youtube Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Rockwell Automation's Customer Videos in youtube

Bonus Tip – You don’t need to always shoot professional videos that come at a big price. You can do user generated videos. You can also convert your case studies and success stories into a video like the example above.


23. Advertisements

Advertisements are a big area in itself. You can do a lot – traditional media ads, PPC ads, Native ads, Sponsered ads, etc. Here i am just giving some traditional media examples.

Example – SAP Ads

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - SAP Customer advertisements

Example – Oracle Ads

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Oracle Customer Advertisements - Ironman

Bonus Tip – Stay tuned for a followup post with more details about Customer Testimonials in Advertisements. 


24. Analyst Interview (Analyst Relations – AR)

Industry analysts are always tracking and evaluating companies. Testimonials from existing customers help make your case strong. Check out this example

Example – Marketo in Gartner Magic Quadrant (for CRM Lead Management)

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Gartner's Magic Quadrent for CRM Lead Management


25. Earnings Call (Investor Relations – IR)

Name dropping of recent customers is the best way to showcase credibility during earnings call. check out this example.

Example – Salesforce’s (SFDC) Earnings Call

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Salesforce (SFDC) Q4 earnings call


These were the 25 ways. I am sure i have missed some more. If you have other examples please share via commenting.

Summary – You can do a whole lot more with your Customer Testimonials than just posting them in your Testimonials Page. Above you could see 25 ways of using them. Go ahead and make your marketing kick ass with your customer stories.

If you feel this is valuable, please LIKE and SHARE it with your friends. Appreciate it.

thanks & regards, anupam


anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet – The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn