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9 Tactics For Autopilot Social Proof: How To Get Testimonials On Automatic

In another article, we talked about how to get social proof without testimonials. Now, let’s talk about actually getting some testimonials.

In fact, let’s set it up so that you can get testimonials automatically without you having to do much.

What I’m going to cover here is, quite frankly, just super obvious and should be done as part of any business. But, I admit straight up… I wasn’t doing it. As long as I’ve been building and running online businesses, I have never had an automatic system for gathering – and using – testimonials.

In this post, I’m going to show you 2 great solutions to get testimonials, manage testimonials, display testimonials as well as automate the system so they keep coming to you all the time without you having to do it manually.

So, let’s do it…

The Old Way Of Getting Testimonials

For most online businesses, gathering testimonials is a rather haphazard thing. Maybe customers submit a success story… maybe they don’t. Whatever happens – happens.

In some cases, you may ask for one. But, it might feel a little unnatural. Or you forget.

It might come off as weird to ask people for testimonials for your business, so you simply… don’t.

Perhaps you have a launch or promotional event coming up and suddenly think, “I need some testimonials.” So, you email your customer list and ask for some. Maybe hit up a few of your best customers privately. Either way, you’re fishing.

Or perhaps you just find them as they happen and you take screenshots. I mean, people will say good things on Twitter, Facebook, or even in your blog comments. If you run a local business, you might get reviews on Google My Business or a number of other third-party sites. You can grab a screenshot of it and file it away for later. That’s what we used to do. We’d clip them into Evernote and keep a file.

But, sometimes we’d just forget to ask. Often, in fact.

It’s often weird to ask, too. I mean, I am confident in my products here at the Blog Marketing Academy. But, I’m a modest guy. I’m not one who brags. And it just feels weird to hit people up for testimonials. 🙂

But, I realized I could totally systematize this. I could put it on autopilot.

To really automate testimonials, it helps to have an intake form people can fill out with their testimonial along with a system to display them on your website.

One such tool is WP Social Ninja Pro. You can read my full review of WP Social Ninja here.

Manage social testimonials with WP Social Ninja

This tool serves a few different purposes, but one of the major ones is the ability to pull and display social reviews from sites such as Google, AirBnB, Amazon, Yelp, TrustPilot and more. It will pull these reviews off those sites automatically and keep things in sync.

Then, using templates, you can display those reviews on your own site. It allows your social reviews to serve double-duty and even be more obvious to your site visitors that they can leave reviews on these third-party sites.

WP Social Ninja TemplateWP Social Ninja Template

But, you’re not limited to social reviews. WP Social Ninja Pro also has the ability to display custom reviews. This means, you can enter testimonials manually if your customer submitted to you directly. You can also integrate with Fluent Forms and create a testimonial-gathering form that will take their review and enter it right into your system.

By creating templates with the plugin that look the way you want, then you can insert them around your site into the right places using either a Gutenberg block or a shortcode.

WP Social Ninja allows you to manage all of these reviews and display them on your site regardless of where the review came from.

If you want to get a little geekier without a specialized plugin, then another approach would be to use Fluent Forms to insert testimonials into a newly created custom post type. I usually use Advanced Custom Fields to create custom post types, custom fields, etc. Then, you can set up a post grid using your page builder or block builder to display testimonials by querying right out of the custom post type. You can even use custom taxonomy to provide the option to filter and categorize your testimonials among multiple products.

How To Get Testimonials On Automatic

What you want to do is systematize the gathering of testimonials so that you’re not having to manually reach out and ask. Plus, by automating it you will get more of them.

So, here’s a few things I would recommend you do:

#1 – Display The Form Prominently In Your Member Dashboard

Wherever your customers log in to access the product they have purchased, display the testimonial form (or a link to it) right there in front of them.

Old member dashboard design with link to submit testimonialOld member dashboard design with link to submit testimonial
This is my old member dashboard design. No longer exists. 😇

This at least makes it easy.

#2 – Have An Obvious Testimonials Page With A Call To Action To Leave One

Include a navigation menu item on your site for testimonials. Show those testimonials so that they do you some good! But, also important…

Put a call to action on that page so that they can easily leave a new review for you. Make it really obvious.

Google reviews on siteGoogle reviews on site
Notice the button to write a review. In this case, it points directly to Google.

This would be especially important for a local business that performs services. If you need to, you could link them to a page on your site which gives instructions for leaving a review. For instance, many people don’t really know how to leave a Google review and it would never have occurred to them.

#3 – Embed Testimonial Form At The End Of Your Product

Most information products these days are delivered via a website. Courses are usually broken up into modules and different training units. So, make the final training unit a testimonial form.

You’re actually accomplishing two things when you do this:

  1. You’re making it a standard part of the product itself which increases the likelihood they’ll do it.
  2. You’re getting them to acknowledge their own wins. This is as much for themselves as it is for you. It solidifies to them that they actually have gotten somewhere.

Look at it this way…

Any training product is a cycle of action. It starts, it changes, it stops. And, I think you should set up your product so that it isn’t actually completed until they’ve submitted their experience to you – via your testimonial form.

If you have multiple products, you can set up the system to categorize the testimonial depending on the product. WP Social Ninja has a category system, for instance.

#4 – Build It Into Your Automated Email Sequences

Surely, your customers are put into a customer email list. And surely, you have some pre-written automated emails that are sent out to them as new customers. This is called an onboarding sequence. We talk about how to do this in our course, The Email Followup Engine.

Well, you can build in emails in your onboarding sequence to check in with their progress and, yes, ask for their experience. You send them to your testimonial form for their answer.

You can even repeat this periodically so that your customers are asked several times. Especially if you run a membership site where people may be there for several months. Perhaps once a month or so, you email them just to check in and link to your testimonial form.

Point is…. you build this into your email automations so that you’re not having to do it manually.

If you use a marketing automation tool like FluentCRM, then you can enhance this even more.

By setting up certain triggers around your site where it makes sense, you can set up automatic requests to ask for a testimonial at just the right time where it would make the most sense to your customer.

#1 – Follow Up With Active Customers

If you see that one of your customers is logging in quite repeatedly, you can trigger an automation to send them an invitation to submit a testimonial. After all, they’re kinda hot. 🙂

FluentCRM has an automation trigger on user login, for instance. If you are using WP Fusion and use their Login add-on, you can do any number of things triggered by login.

So, using such tools, you set up an automation that will keep track of how many times they log in. After a certain number of logins, you can automatically trigger an automation to ask them for a testimonial.

Using WP Fusion’s Login add-on, you could even automatically route them to your testimonial form page right after they login. Or be a little less overt and just silently trigger an email to their inbox to ask them for one.

#2 – Use Testimonials In Your Sales Emails

This one you can’t automate, but it’s a good idea. Have somebody in a promotional email sequence for a particular offer? Show off testimonials in those emails!

Now, you’ll have to do that manually by updating your email sequence periodically. However, now that your testimonial gathering is on automatic, you’ll have a lot more to work with.

Instead of showing testimonials right in your emails, you could alternatively just link them to your testimonials page. If that page is being auto-updated to show new ones as they come in, then this puts the whole thing on autopilot.

#3 – Run Abandonment Sequence If They Leave Without Posting A Testimonial

One of the more effective tools to increase conversions is the cart abandonment sequence. If people come to your cart/checkout page without buying, you automatically follow up with them to see how you can help.

You can use the same logic for testimonials. It would just need to be coupled with a rule which tags people when they submit a testimonial. When they fill out your testimonial form, be sure to add a tag to their CRM profile to indicate they’ve submitted a testimonial.

But, now you can use that tagging for segmentation. For instance:

  • Anybody tagged as having submitted a testimonial are your faving fans. Treat them accordingly.
  • You can tag people who have visited your testimonial form but have not submitted one and then send them an abandonment sequence.

Using this logic, you can email people automatically when they visit the testimonial form but don’t submit it. Tell them you really value hearing from them and really want to hear about their experience… and send them back to the form.

With WP Fusion, it is easy to set a tag when a page is viewed.

This makes it pretty simple to build an email segment which contains people who visited the page, but didn’t submit a testimonial.

This will increase your conversion rate on the testimonial form.

#4 – Automate Post-Delivery Sequence

Up above, I mentioned putting testimonial gathering at the end of your product. However, taking this to the next level, you can set up automated systems to do that after you have delivered any product or service.

For information-based businesses, you employ marketing automation. When they complete a course, for instance, you automatically tag them as having completed. You then trigger an automation to send them emails asking for feedback via your testimonial form.

For service businesses, the same concept applies. Many service businesses finish delivering and… that’s it. They don’t ask for testimonials as a matter of routine.

All service businesses should have a customer database. They should be using a CRM with some automation capability. So, you set up an automated process (and probably a procedure checklist for yourself) so that whenever you’re done delivering a service to a client, you add a tag to their profile which, in turn, triggers a feedback sequence.

Basically, it comes down to this…

Your business is a FLOW. It is an assembly line. From the moment your customer first enters your world… to the moment they buy…. to the moment you’ve delivered on your promise. It is a process. But, after delivery should be an automatic step to get a success story from them.

Asking for feedback should be the next natural step after you’ve delivered to your customer. And it should be automatic and not reliant on your memory.

#5 – Run A Regular Net Promoter Score Survey

The net promoter score (or NPS) is a management tool developed by Fred Reichheld to figure out which customers are most likely to be promoters of your business. It all boils down to one question:

How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?

The result is a grade between 0 and 10. The average of all the responses is your net promoter score.

Net promoter scoreNet promoter score

In this system, the 9’s and the 10’s are the people most likely to be your promoters. So, how could we apply this?

Let’s say that every time you have a customer support interaction with a customer – or even in every email you send to them – you ask that question. If they answer 9 or 10, you automatically follow up with them with your testimonial form. If they answer a 7 or 8, perhaps you would as well. Lower score, you’d probably follow up with something different to find out how you can make their experience better.

You could automate this using a marketing automation system. Send them an email with the NPS question. Make the numbers 0 through 10 links which are tracked by your system. If they click on the 9 or the 10, send them to your testimonial form.

You Will Get What You Systematize

The reason most of us don’t have enough testimonials to draw from in our marketing is because we don’t systematize it. It gets left to luck or your customers being in the mood.

If you want it to be a regular thing, you must build it into the systems that run your business.

It may include some procedures executed by humans (like your VA with canned responses), or it may involve some marketing automation and pre-written emails.

Either way, setting up a system to do this automatically will help you get more testimonials.

And that, in turn, will help you make more sales.

If you would like our help in setting up your automated testimonial system, you can learn more about our ala carte tech services… or book an implementation session.

Got A Question? Need Some Assistance?

Have a question about this article? Need some help with this topic (or anything else)? Send it in and I’ll get back to you personally. If you’re OK with it, I might even use it as the basis of future content so I can make this site most useful.

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