Testimonials from real customers are powerful. Here’s a small article about why they are useful and how you can use Outlook to get feedback from your own customers to help with your sales.
Testimonials build trust, credibility and a sense of security for the prospective customers when they visit your site.
When a customer who has not had the pleasure of working with you before comes to your website… all marketing messages directly from you will be viewed with some suspicion… after all you have a vested interest in selling your product.
But… testimonials from existing happy customers are different… it’s no longer just you saying how good you are… it’s other people (who have nothing to gain from the sale) saying how your product or service has helped them.
I personally find that it makes me feel safer to buy from business with happy customers.
You need a system to ask for testimonials
Here’s what I recommend…
- Ask for testimonials as soon after the sales as is reasonable but…give the customer sufficient time to actually use the product first.
- Do not assume that all customers are happy. Some customers may actually be having problems so ask for their feedback as well. This may help you improve your offerings and you can always ask again once you have helped solve their problems.
- If you’re requesting for testimonials using email, make sure that you PERSONALIZE the email with at least the customer’s name and the name of the product purchased. We all know that people use automation tools but it still is much nicer to receive an email which speaks specifically to us.
Using Outlook to Request for Testimonials
Depending on the number of sales you make, you may be able to write and send each email individually. Personally I think that testimonial requests can be done once a week.
- Maintain an Excel file with a list of sales. At the minimum the spreadsheet should contain the customer’s name, email address and product purchased
- Create a prewritten email that you will use to request for testimonials. The advantage of a prewritten template is that the quality of your request is not dependant on how you feel or how much time you have.
- Use a product like EmailMerge for Outlook to create and send out your testimonial requests. Email Merge PRO will work directly with your Excel spreadsheet and send personalized individually addressed emails to each person.
Finally… here’s the template that we use to request for testimonials
I hope you find this post useful to getting great feedback from your customers. If you have a lot of customers, download a trial version of Email Merge PRO for Outlook from our website today.
Everyone is talking about Social Media these days… so is email marketing a thing of the dead. NO!
Email marketing on average generated $43.62 for every dollar spent on it during 2009 (Source: Direct Marketing Association). This probably makes it one of the most cost effective forms of marketing you can use.
But you need to use it properly… inform and educate and (sometimes) market/sell to your list… don’t spam them.
A few simple guidelines…
- Make sure that you are only emailing people who have given you their email addresses.
- If possible, segment your list into logical groups
- Send out emails to each group based on its interests.
- Personalize each users email with their own email addresses and possibly names. (Don’t stuff a lot of names in the CC and BCC fields)
There are online email marketing services that you can use but these generally incur monthly fees and are more applicable if you have larger lists.
If you have a small list and you would like to do your email marketing directly from Outlook, then you may want to look at Email Merge PRO for Outlook.
EmailMerge Pro lets you send out your emails directly from Outlook, it can personalise each email and it can even maintain different marketing lists for you (making it easy to segment your list).
But remember… whatever tool you use… only email people who have given you permission to email them!
This is the first in a series of articles that we plan to do on using Outlook as tool to effectively market your business.
This article applies to ALL users of Outlook who are sending out emails for sales and marketing purposes. If you’re using our EmailMerge for Outlook addin to send out personalized email promotions from Outlook then this post is especially important to you.
Do you send out newsletters, sales emails or any other type of bulk-email from Outlook?
Then you need to be aware of legal requirements such as the CAN-SPAM Act. One of the aims of this Act is to provide standards for sending out promotional emails while limiting the amount of spam.
Over the next few weeks I plan to highlight some of the parts of this Act as they may relate to your business (This is NOT legal advice. We are NOT legal experts. This is simply our view on how to write better more compliant emails… you will need to see your lawyer if you want legal advice on the Act)
This week, we’ll start with something very simple.
One of the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act is that the Sender must clearly identify himself/herself by providing relevant contact information
What does this mean to you… If you are sending out promotional emails then you probably need to put the following contact information at the bottom of all emails at the very minimum:
- Your (the Sender’s) Name
- Your Email Address
- Your Postal Address
It is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT that all promotional emails include the above at a very minimum.
If you’re not already doing this, make sure you include your contact information on the next promotional email you send out.
Do you need to know if an email you have sent has actually been opened and read? Here’s a simple way to do this.
- Create a new email and write it as you normally would.
- In Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 click Options on the Ribbon (In earlier versions, click Options on the toolbar)
- Tick the box labelled Request a Read Receipt
- Send your email.
Now when the recipient opens the email, Outlook will give him/her the option of automatically sending you an email that says that your email was opened.
If you do not receive confirmation that your email was read, your email may still have been opened and read. The recipient does have the option of clicking NO and thereby not sending you notification.
Asking for Read Receipts by default
In Outlook 2010:
- Click File (on the Ribbon)
- Click Options
- Click Mail
- Scroll down to the section titled Tracking
- Tick the box labelled “Read Receipt…”
- Click OK
In earlier versions of Outlook
- Click Tools –Options
- Select the Preferences tab.
- Click E-mail Options, and then click Tracking Options.
- Tick the box labelled “Read Receipt”
- Click OK