Copywriting - using testimonials

A lazy or inexperienced copywriter will often major on a tired concept such as “An excellent reference book….very useful for busy managers”.

Or, as is often the case, he will list the features of the magazine, website, newsletter or book — who the author or editor is, how many pages or chapters it contains and the subjects covered.

None of these features would appeal because they merely explain what the publication is and not what it will do for the reader.

An exception is when the author, editor or writer involved is widely known and respected as an authority on the subject. But that won’t apply if the same information is readily available elsewhere for less cost, e.g. published on the internet or in newspapers.

A Handbook of Management Techniques
Nor will quoting testimonials from well known sources necessarily sell the publication. Here are some typical examples for a management book titled “A Handbook of Management Techniques”:

“An excellent reference book….very useful for busy managers” Accountancy

“An ideal reference for all managers, whatever your discipline” Working Woman

“Timely and informative…well written concise and accurate…can certainly be recommended” Export

How to use testimonials
The problem with these quotes is that they could be applied to almost any management book published! What is the point of using them if they don’t sell the particular product you are promoting?

The answer is use a testimonial only if it can be applied to your product. That way you will reduce the chance that the reader will think he can get the same thing cheaper elsewhere
(or free on the Internet!)

It may take a bit of extra effort to get unique testimonials, but why not gather them within your system? Other publishers are doing it with great success.

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