Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on optimizing a sales page. The second part, in the Feb. 15 edition, will focus on how to obtain and manage clients’ testimonials.


As a savvy marketer, you know what goes into selling a new product online: an awesome product, an outstanding sales page, lots of traffic and good conversion rates. Having the awesome product is probably the easiest part, while getting good conversion rates may be the hardest. So how can you convert prospects into loyal customers?

Proof. Social proof, that is.

One of the best ways to tell the story about your product or service is to demonstrate the benefits. Show people that what you promise is what you deliver.

When prospects know other people have used your product and can read about the results, they’re more likely to click on that “buy now” button and make a purchase.

How do you convey social proof on your sales page? Here are five ways to demonstrate how your product/service solves your prospects’ problems and makes their lives easier:


Power of testimonials

I strongly believe in the power of praise that comes from your customers and satisfied clients. As ad man David Ogilvy said: “If you include a testimonial in your copy, you make it more credible. Readers find the endorsements of fellow consumers more persuasive than the puffery of anonymous copywriters.”

What types of testimonials should you use? Ones that illustrate how your customers successfully put your product/service to work for them. You want more than “I loved it.” Here’s an example of one that I received from a client:

“If you are looking for an excellent copywriter, Debra is the one. She is simply outstanding. The process she takes you through is painless and thought-provoking. She gets to the core of what your product or service does for the prospect … and she puts it into words that motivate the buyer to take action. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire her again.”


Case studies offer details

These are a form of a testimonial, but more detailed. A case study shows where your customers were before the purchase, how they used the product, how long the results took and what the results were.

People like the specifics, and the before-and-after story paints a picture they can relate to.


Provide a video tour

Video does more than tell prospects about your product; it gives them an insider’s view. People spend more than 63 percent of their time watching videos, so they are a great marketing tool that is growing in popularity. There’s a reason YouTube has become the second-largest search engine.

A video demonstration of how to use your product shows prospects exactly what to expect. Give viewers 10 tips or five pointers that catch their attention and create desire.


Flash your credentials

Are you a published author? Have you been an expert in the field for more than 10 years? Have you been quoted in a newspaper or interviewed by other experts in your field? Write about it on your sales page. These credentials help you build credibility and paint a picture of you as an authority on your subject.


Give free trial period

Sometimes you can get the “tire-kickers” to buy if you get them behind the wheel for a test drive. If it makes sense for your product or service, consider offering a 14- or 30-day free trial. Encourage prospects to try out what you have to offer.

Touch base with them during the trial period to see how they’re doing and answer their questions. Deliver good customer service and, at the end of the trial, a happy prospect may become your next loyal, paying customer.

To convert prospects into customers, take advantage of social proof on your next sales page. Or, if you already have one, go back and incorporate one or several of the above techniques and see what a difference it makes.

Are you offering your prospects social proof? If so, which tools do you use? Please share them in the comment section of my blog at http://www.writedirection.com/social-proof-sales-page. I’d love to hear from you.

Debra Jason, owner of The Write Direction in Boulder, has more than 25 years of experience in direct marketing. Contact her at 303-443-1942 or debra@writedirection.com.