The b direct logo Hive

But Don't Take Our Word for It


​No one appreciates great marketing copy more than we do here at B Direct. But, sometimes copy alone just can't cut it. 

You may be addressing a particularly risk-averse audience (the public sector, for example). Or, you may have a new and exciting — but also unproven — product or solution that you're trying to sell. Or, your product may be the newcomer or underdog in a mature and crowded marketplace. There are lots of reasons why a prospective customer may have doubts — and may not be willing to take your word for it.

After all, if what you're selling isn't the latest and greatest, and the best thing since sliced bread ... are you really going to admit it?

We thought not.

Consumers are more wary than ever before. And, advertisers are among the least trusted people on Earth (I think we fall just ahead of politicians and just below used car salesmen). So, what's a creative team to do? The answer is to find someone else to plug your product. Someone more believable. (No offense.)

There are several options that can help make a piece of respectable marketing copy more persuasive:

• Reviews from third-party experts

• Research results

• Customer surveys

• Analyst insights

• And — best of all — customer testimonials

Testimonials are especially valuable, and you should ask for and collect them as often as you can (be sure to get permission to use them in promotional materials). Prospects will be particularly interested in testimonials from their peers or from people in roles that they aspire to fill themselves. And studies have proven that recipients will read a quote or testimonial before they read the actual body copy.

Here are just three examples from the hive:

We were asked to develop an integrated marketing campaign for a workforce management software company. The audience included K-12 schools, colleges and universities, government agencies, and social services. Although we presented multiple creative concepts, we agreed with the client that the strongest approach was the one built on testimonials from satisfied customers. The creative didn't just use testimonials though, it made actual quotes from actual customers the star. Components included two different direct mail packages (an oversized postcard, and a large square brochure sent in a clear cello envelope); emails, and digital banner ads. In every case (there were four sets of creative with multiple offer cells), the testimonial was front and center.

Another program that took advantage of the power of testimonials was an integrated campaign for a major Boston newspaper. Regional advertisers were under the impression that they couldn't afford our client's rates. By promoting cost-efficient regional versions — and highlighting testimonials from local advertisers — we successfully changed perceptions. And increased sales exponentially.

One more example. We were asked to develop a credit card solicitation for a teacher's union. Testimonials from other educators served as a much more engaging way to present FAQs. Not only were the prospects' concerns addressed in believable, real-life language, but they felt like they were part of a community. Because other teachers vouched for our client's card, there was a greater level of credibility. 

And, that meant greater response.

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