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Common Copywriting Blunder Makes Your Glowing Testimonials Work Against You

By Author: John Williams
Total Articles: 37

Recently a sales letter came across my desk for me to critique. This letter was excellent in almost every single way, except for the way the testimonials were positioned on the page. Maybe that seems like a small detail, but it's not. In fact, it can actually make a huge difference in your response.
Here's why:
This letter, while excellently crafted, had testimonials sort of tossed in there, randomly. You know, where there'd be a paragraph or two, then a testimonial. Another couple paragraphs, then a testimonial. Only problem with this is that it totally interrupted a sales pitch that was captivating and interesting to read. The testimonials were actually kind of annoying to look at, because they were in the way.
Now, look, I realize everyone has a different opinion on this. And if you've tested this, and find the random approach works for you, then just ignore what I'm about to say. But most people I've questioned, and tests I've seen, show people rarely read testimonials when they're just sort of inserted in the middle of the pitch "helter skelter", with no context.
In fact, they're ignored.
And if they're ignored they aren't doing you any good whatsoever. Especially if your ad is totally captivating (as it should be anyway) and your readers are enthralled by what you have to say.
If you think about it, inserting testimonials randomly in your ad is like giving a face-to-face sales presentation, and every few minutes -- even when the prospect is in a "trance-like" state by what you're offering -- interrupting your pitch (and thus, yanking him out of this "trance") by pulling out a testimonial and reading it to him. When in reality, he wants to hear more about what you're offering him.
There are exceptions to this, but they're mostly for ads selling a professional service where there's a lot of competition -- and people are basically comparing two identical things to another, trying to figure out which one to buy.
The two best ways I've seen to use testimonials is to either (1) work them into the pitch -- just as you'd use a bullet point, a subhead or any other element of the ad -- or (2) use them at a point in your copy where you need some credibility to back up any outrageous claims. Like after a pile of red-hot bullet points or even at the end of the ad, after the "P.S."
Again, some copywriters insist on having them scattered throughout the pitch and, in some cases, it probably works. But if you want to use them as a part of the sales pitch, working for you as strongly as all your other sales points, then you can never go wrong by putting them in strategicall

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