Testimonials are what many of us rely on when we begin sourcing a provider for a product or service. We want to know the experience of the existing & past customer so we can better judge the brand(s).

From the opposite end of the business owner we can see the same value in terms of gaining new leads and customers. However, it’s often difficult to cull a testimonial from people even if you’re delivering a great experience.

Sometimes people simply forget to leave feedback. Other times people don’t truly care to take that time doing so. Worse is when your business only seems to pull negative or mediocre testimonials when you know there have been many satisfied ones.

Since testimonials lead to greater reputation they really should be part of your daily routine as an affiliate marketer. How do you go about it? Try these strategies…

  • Exit Pops – There are many shopping carts that allow you to create surveys after the point of purchase; these carts also have features where someone may leave a piece of feedback (or testimonial). The exit pop is great for capturing the thrill of having made a purchase so it’s likely you will receive high praise (and avoid missing out on the opportunity versus waiting it out to hear back).
  • Follow Up Call – A small business can put a CRM into implementation which will allow them to import customer data and schedule follow ups. One of the activities you should do is set a time (perhaps a week or two) after a purchase to call the individual and ask if they wouldn’t mind leaving a testimonial (whether it’s recorded right there or pointing them to a page that allows so).
  • Follow Up Email – This one is similar to what you’d be doing with a phone call but with half the effort. All you need to do is segment the customer list to those that have recently purchased (or test further out), point people to a testimonials page, and hope they take the time to submit their thoughts.
  • Reverse-Psychology via SM – In this you could begin posting regular updates to your social channels which shares customer testimonials. Followers may read them and remember they have forgotten to leave one of their own. You could go the extra mile and include a CTA to point people to where they can submit these testimonials whether it’s on your site or through a third-party.
  • Point-of-Sale – Some small businesses now have tablets at the front of the counter where an individual can easily leave feedback through the device. Many of these devices allow them to log into their social accounts, hop right to the review websites, and share their thoughts. Otherwise it can go low-fi and be simply something where people can write it down on the way out.
  • In the Box – If you ship physical items you can use that experience of opening the box to include a small letter asking for a review/testimonial. This can be done through digital means, too, as easy as including a document that encourages them to like, share, and leave feedback once the digital item has been received.

There are many different ways to go about culling testimonials from individuals. The more you gain the more well-rounded your brand will be to the industry and marketplace. Some may not be great but if you are able to pull out mostly positive it will have a significant impact on brand authority/awareness which leads to greater sales.

… and all you really need to do is take the time to get in touch with customers.

A VERY Important Note (Don’t Skip)

It’s absolutely important that you avoid trying to incentivize culling testimonials from people for a gain.

It’s one thing to provide some form of gratitude to those that do leave testimonials (such as a coupon after the fact) but it starts to skirt the grey (and unethical) line when you use incentives in exchange for positive feedback.

The issue being is that you’re essentially buying testimonials.

Testimonials can certainly be culled from the customer base and when it’s natural it is very authentic and aids with building a brand. Testimonials that are “bought” through incentives for leaving good feedback give a false representation to new leads which can harm your business in the long-run if the practice is exposed.

In short: Ask (and use strategies) to gain the testimonials but don’t skirt the line.

How does your business gain feedback from the audience?


Image by Alvimann