We all want our entrepreneurial endeavors to hit the ground running. But in this global economy of many choices, potential customers may need to be more open to a new business or be inclined to switch over from an established brand. Building a level of trust is, therefore, vital.
You’ll need people who can demonstrate that they’ve actually tried your product or service. People who can attest to its credibility and enunciate exactly why they’ll be coming back for more. In short, you need authenticity. You need testimonials.
There are plenty of statistics extolling the virtues of testimonials, and market researchers are constantly picking apart and analyzing customer feedback to assist businesses in operating as effectively as possible. But perhaps the most telling of these figures is that 93% of customers consult online reviews before making a purchase. It’s clear that consumers need that element of social proof that testimonials can provide.
So, should you seek out testimonials before or after your launch? Our brief summary is that you should look to do both, but we’ll be breaking down either option in this article and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of opting for one or the other. We’ll also be putting together a timeline to demonstrate how testimonials can be acquired. Let’s get started.
What are the pros and cons of collecting testimonials before launch?
You can find out exactly how to do this before launch in our comprehensive guide on the subject here. Your business is well past its embryonic stage, and you’re now looking to seek out some authentic testimonials to display proudly on your website and earn the trust of new customers. Here are a few reasons why gathering testimonials is so valuable early on.
- Time – Collecting testimonials can be a lengthy process, so starting early will help to mitigate the strain on your business down the line.
- Credibility – Kicking off a launch with existing testimonials automatically makes your business appear credible to prospective customers.
- Feedback - Authentic reviews will also help you to get a better gauge of what your customers love about your product or why your services work for them. This kind of helpful advice is imperative in the early stages of a business and can point you in the direction of profitable development.
- Later collection – Starting early makes the process of acquiring further testimonials in the future far easier. You’ll be able to hone your approach and get a feel for who defines your ideal customer for more effective targeting.
- A need for incentives - As a new business, encouraging testimonials may be difficult without providing some kind of incentive. Of course, you wouldn’t want to give your product away for free – paid testimonials are generally legal - but you won’t get an authentic review, and as a new business, you might not be able to afford simply to give your products away. This means you’ll have to find ways to encourage your prospective customer to take a risk. We’ve got more information about how you can go about this in the article referenced above, but some quick ideas include free shipping or a reduced price, among similar perks like coupons or free consultations.
- Strain on resources - The early stages of a business are inevitably among the most hectic, and gathering testimonials can be hard work, especially if you’re only starting with a handful of employees. We’ve written about the importance of targeting your ideal customer for a more involved review, and you’ll have to figure out which demographics are better suited to your product – in short, you need to devote time to market research.
In order to mitigate this second factor, you might look to a third-party service such as Niva.io, which specializes in collecting authentic testimonials for a business. That way, you can focus your time and budget on other areas.
What are the pros and cons of collecting testimonials after launch?
Next, let's focus on collecting positive testimonials after successfully launching your product or service, and let's see what the pros and cons are.
- The ability to allocate resources to testimonials - As we’ve established, the cost and time investment of acquiring testimonials can put a strain on a new business – it may be a more prudent investment to do so further down the line once you’re able to dedicate more resources toward it.
- Richer material - Now that your business is underway, you’ll hopefully have a better gauge of your USP and ideal customer and can use this to generate better testimonials.
- No need for incentives - As people know what to expect from your business, you won’t have to offer incentives for customers to write testimonials.
- Quality out of quantity - Your customer base will also be larger, allowing you to select the best and most authentic testimonials out of the ones you have acquired.
- Uses up valuable time - Though the time preparing for a launch can be incredibly involved, the post-launch period may be equally chaotic, if not more. With customers to deal with, services to provide, and decisions that have to be made extra fast, it may be impossible for you to put aside time to seek out testimonials.
Now that we understand the pros and cons of testimonials before and after your launch, we’ll be looking into how exactly you can acquire them, with a step-by-step timeline of how testimonial services like Niva.io typically operate and why it works.
Research - Several months before the launch, begin conducting market research to identify potential customers who are likely to be interested in your product or service. Learn how to position your brand to reach your ideal customer.
Prepare incentives - Use this research to create targeted incentives, such as free shipping or freebies, to encourage these potential customers to try your product and provide feedback in the form of a testimonial.
Gather existing testimonials – If you have already received reviews that you consider to be authentic and impactful, you might look to consolidate them into a testimonial repertoire. Niva.io can help you with that.
Embed - As the launch date approaches, continue to collect testimonials from early adopters and incorporate their feedback into your marketing and product development efforts.
Keep the momentum going - Once the product is launched, use the existing testimonials to build credibility and trust with new customers. Make it easy for your customers to find your testimonial form by adding a link to your website and sharing it on social media and emails.
Emphasize the most impactful testimonials - In the weeks and months following the launch, continue collecting additional testimonials from satisfied customers and spotlight those with the most powerful ones. Use these to strengthen your brand further.
Expand the radius to review sites - Encourage customers who have left a testimonial if they are also willing to leave reviews on third-party platforms, such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
In these four steps, we have a very basic description of how you can acquire testimonials. That may make it seem unduly simple, however, as each of these steps will require significant time and cost on the part of your business.
In order to mitigate against the potential strain on your new business’ resources – look to Niva.io. They’re able to collect authentic testimonials on your behalf - and do it fast - ensuring that your business gets off to a flying start with the automatic credibility that testimonials provide.