Day 22: How to use fan mail to increase credibility

Today’s lesson is all about credibility.

This is the real difference between a purchase and a “No thanks”.

Let’s take the rise of the ‘Guru’ as an example.

There’s literally a ‘Guru’ for everything now.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a toilet paper guru who taught you how to wipe your ass.

In 2020, talk is cheaper than ever. And keeps on getting cheaper and cheaper.

I don’t know about you, but the real dealmaker for me is whether there is PROOF that what is being offered to me is legit.

So, what are some ways to PROVE you are the real deal, and not another one of these bullshit ‘Guru’ ‘Ninja’ weenies?

There are many ways to build credibility:

  • Case study
  • Demonstration
  • A ‘how-to’
  • Expert review
  • Thought leadership

But today, we’re not going to talk about any of those.

We’re going to talk about the one credibility element that is the easiest to obtain, and that has a high impact on any sales page, email, webpage, anything…

Testimonials – the bread and butter of credibility.

Why are they so powerful?

They tap into one of our 6 psychological influences – consensus. Or, more specifically, social proof. When we see that other people like us are using a product or service, it makes us trust it more.

You’ve been in that situation where your friends are all doing something you’re unsure about, like drinking in the park, and you go along with it anyway because everyone else is doing it.

That’s the same influence you tap into when you share testimonials of your customers on your website. But they’re so much more than just that…

Another useful way to view testimonials is as “objection-countering” tools.

Let’s look at two examples from Convertkit:



In the first example, notice how the testimonial is specifically tied in with the preceding paragraph. This helps overcome a potential objection a reader may have: “What a load of bullhockey!” (if your reader is from a cheesy 90’s kids film).

Notice how it’s perfectly placed, as soon as the promise is made, the social proof is there to back it up – and that’s a lot of what copy is about, making a promise then backing it up.

The second example is a lot more specific. Testimonials like these are ideal for answering the question: “Is this product/service right for my situation?”. In Convertkit’s case, their product must be popular for use in evergreen funnels.

On the other side of the coin, testimonials are useless if all they talk about is how happy a customer is, or how nice is to work with you. You can find loads of these examples on platforms like Upwork, and that’s because clients there are not really invested in the relationship with freelancers:



Your visitors want to read about customer experiences they resonate with, and that mention the same problems they are currently facing. And how your product or service solves them.

The author and marketer Sean De Souza in his book “The brain audit” (highly recommended), mentions:

It’s the seeming lack of reality in a testimonial that makes us doubt its genuineness. So the way to bump back the reality is to give a testimonial a before/after effect”.

That’s why it’s important to craft your testimonials (and not just to ask for them) by asking the right questions to your customers.

Questions like:

  • What would have prevented you from buying from us?
  • What did you find as a result from using our product/service?
  • What specific features do you like the most / find most useful?
  • Would you recommend product / service? Why?

These help you create a compelling story arc that your visitors will resonate with, and that will be way more convincing than a simple “Thank you, it was nice to work with you.”.

So go ahead, send an email to your best customers today asking for feedback the right way.

You can use this email template – remember to make a copy 🙂

And don’t worry, asking for testimonials shows that you care about your customer’s opinion and that they matter to you.

That’s all for this lesson.