It’s one heck of a challenge, isn’t it?

You’ve built a fantastic product, developed the exact solution to your target audience’s major pain point. You’ve done all the testing too and you know that it works.

And now you need to convince potential users to try it out.

You have to find a way to persuade people who’ve never heard of your product before, to sign up, and start using it.

But it gets worse. You also need to deter them somehow from signing up for your competitor’s app.

Some challenge indeed.

Not impossible to overcome, though.

You see, you can use a simple strategy to influence your potential users’ attitude towards your product and convince them that it’s worth testing out.

What’s the strategy I’m talking about? Using product reviews to improve communications.

And here are the 3 ways you could use anyone’s feedback to win new users and boost your tech startup growth.

Ready? Then let’s get right to it…

 

How Reviews and Customer Feedback Affects Conversions

Look:

You might think that your buying decisions are yours alone.

In reality, however, you rely on the opinions of others – reviews, feedback or ratings, for a lot of them.

And you act this way every day.

Just think about the last time you browsed products on Amazon. You probably headed straight for the reviews section to find out what others say about it, didn’t you?

Or picked a holiday destination based on recommendations from friends (or because you’ve heard from someone that it’s a great spot).

And you know:

Your potential users act in the exactly same way.

They use social proof, customer testimonials, reviews, ratings, opinions, and social media posts, to evaluate potential software vendors to try.

As David Skok points out in his SaaS buying cycle model, social proof helps close the Consideration stage of the process.

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He points:

“People that are later in the buying cycle are most likely to be using tools like Google, and review sites to search for vendors and products to solve a problem. Those leads are highly valued because there is a high level of buyer intent. They are usually in the Consideration or Purchase stages of the buying cycle.” (source)

And there’s a lot of data to prove this to be true:

For example, in 1998 David Wooten, conducted two experiments at the University of Florida to determine if the opinions of others have any influence on a way we evaluate potential products or services.

In the conclusion of his study, he wrote:

“[…] when others offer their opinions about the quality of a product, the opinions have the most potential to influence a consumer who has tried the product when the opinions are considered before the consumer considers the evaluative implications of his or her own product experience.” (source)

Zendesk discovered that for 90% of customers reading positive reviews has an influence on their buying behaviour:

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And two separate studies conducted by SaaS vendors also confirmed the effect of customer feedback on conversions.

Capterra discovered that:

“[…] the number of leads that vendors get from Capterra is directly proportional to the number of reviews they have.” (source)

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And Groove’s 2013 SaaS Small Business survey revealed that customer opinions are the second biggest customer acquisition strategy.

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Intriguing, right?

And here’s exactly how you could use reviews to win users and boost your startup’s growth.

 

#1. Use Reviews to Showcase Value and Build Trust with New Visitors

Let’s be honest:

Most first time visitors to your site are sceptical about you.

True, some may have heard about your brand somewhere, but nonetheless, the majority will have their reservations about your product.

And you should aim to make a good first impression on them.

This starts with a headline relevant to their need, communicating a value proposition and the benefits of your product.

But the majority of them will still look for social proof as an evaluation criterion.

Luckily, you can target this behaviour by using reviews and user testimonials to showcase the value your product delivers.

Freshbooks, for example, uses testimonials to highlight their biggest selling points – being paid faster while saving a lot of time a person would normally spend on admin work.

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Wisepops highlights the results users get from using their app to quickly convince first-time visitors of their value.

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#2. Use the Best Feedback as a Foundation for Case Studies to Target Users Deeper in the Buying Process

You know, the effect of case studies on conversions is mind-blowing:

According to the latest Content Marketing Benchmarking Report, 66 per cent of B2B marketers say producing case studies is the most effective means of attracting their target audiences. (source)

And benefits of publishing them on the site are irrefutable:

  • They help attract leads,
  • Build trust in your business,
  • And help you close deals.

Here’s the catch, though:

Many SaaS marketers struggle with finding the best users to approach for a cases study.

  • Whom from all their users should they ask for the case study data?
  • Who could be the best person to interview and provide powerful enough insights to create a compelling case study?

You have only two ways to find that out:

You can start diving into your users’ usage data to identify people who log into your app the most, assume they do so because they see results and approach them for interviews.

Or…

You could simply pick people who openly state how much your product is helping them.

For example, these reviews on SaaSGenius, a SaaS review site could provide a good starting point for a case study:

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So, to identify the best users for case studies:

  • Research your online reviews. However, go beyond the feedback you collect on the site and scout app review sites as well.
  • Identify criteria for selecting users to interview (i.e. they must identify themselves as current users, and state at least some tangible benefits of using the product in their review).
  • Cross-reference the reviewer information with user data and research them further to confirm their results.
  • If all seems fine, approach them, explaining that you’ve heard their feedback and would like to expand it into a case study.

Finally, you can use services like Case Study Buddy to take care of the second part of the process – interviewing users, and creating compelling case studies.

#3. Use Information from Reviews to Make Your Website Copy Irresistible to Users

We’ve already discussed how your first-time visitors are sceptical about your product.

After all, they have never heard of you before. They don’t know whether you’re any good. And based on their previous experiences, they might simply be weary of new products.

Your website copy should make do with most of those reservations.

But to do that, it needs to be laser-focused on the person’s needs and pain points.

In other words, unless your copy tells them exactly what they want to hear from you… you’re done.

And where can you find out exactly how your product helps your audience?

Exactly, in their reviews.

Using reviews to write sales copy is an old trick in the copywriting book.

As Joanna Wiebe points out:

“Let me tell you, there is more gold hidden in legit customer reviews than in any millionaire marketer’s head. All you have to do is head to the creek (i.e., a new tab in your browser), stick your virtual pan in the water, and start shaking it ‘til the gold shines through.”

 

So, go through your reviews and take note of:

  • How your users describe your product? What specific terminology they use to label it or tell others about it.
  • What benefits they highlight (and these might be different from those you’ve identified)
  • What they love about your product the most
  • Sales objections they might have had before starting to use your app
  • The exact problems your solution helps them overcome
  • Any analogies and comparisons they use

Next, review your copy and include the most common ones. For example, if you notice users highlighting a particular benefit, move it right to the top of the list. After all, that’s what makes your users tick.

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