19 June 2006

The Sales Page Critique 1: Testimonials

Filed under: Articles, Tips & Advice — launchpad @ 12:31 am

If you have ever made purchases online, you will be familiar with the term “sales page”. And if you haven’t, it is basically a webpage that introduces you to the product(s) that are being sold at that website.

All sales pages seem to be fairly similar. They have a few elements (besides the obvious - a list of features and benefits) that come up with each sales letter, like testimonials, “proof” and bonuses, that motivate you to make the purchase.

The million-dollar question: How real are they?

Let’s see…

They seem to be a “must” in all sales pages, even products that have not been launched yet! Someone has to try the product somehow, and for a reasonable period - so can see reasonable results, before writing a testimonial (especially before the launch day).

Is that even possible? How is that done?

Were friends or relatives invited? They will, for obvious reasons, give fantastic reviews on your product just because you bought them dinner.

Were a selected group of individuals requested to take the course? Be mindful that this group may not truly represent you, your competency level on the subject and even spending capacity.

#1 Testimonials are not you: Different people have different learning capacities and learning curves. Some people just learn very fast, and can apply the techniques immediately, while others are left in the cold.

#2 You competency level: You may have read about or learnt through experience certain techniques or “secrets”. That makes you one level-up against others. If it is an advanced course, and the people who wrote the testimonials stand at level 1597 exclaiming the course is you-gotta-get-it-or-you’ll-regret-it. Chances are you might just regret it, because you are not ready for it yet.

#3 Spending capacity: Some people make tens of thousands of dollars every month, so spending a mere $5000 admission fee, paying $1000 for an air ticket and $1200 for the entire hotel stay is peanuts. Of course they will attend the course even if it were double, triple or quadruple the price. They can afford it. It will total up to cost less than 10% of their monthly income.

While keeping these in mind, if some gave rave reviews and some gave rock bottom ones, it is ultimately your sales page, so feel free to filter out testimonials as necessary.

My advice? Take all testimonials with a pinch of salt until you are very sure that they are from real people who have used the product, made it big and just has something great to say - out of gratitude to the marketer. Rule of thumb: if it is toooo good to be true, it is.

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