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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Thank You Letter and Testimonials (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

helder
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Hi, I'm reading some books about marketing and some authors recomend send to the clients thank you letters after the shows and get testimonials.Some of these books have more than ten years so my question is, do you do this by mail, or email? By mail we can send a hand written letter, wich looks better, I think. But by email is much practical , faster and it's also easy for them to reply with a testimonial. What's your opinion/ experience about this?
Mindpro
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The best testimonials are the ones that are unsolicited and that you receive without prodding or solicitation. I think testimonials are not effective enough on their own and are often non-effective without the proper understanding of their proper and specific use and application. There are MANY different types of testimonials, each serving a different purpose, appeal and effectiveness. I do understand the concept of social proof, but also feel they are over-rated and less effective that most people would like to believe. Their are a few specific exceptions, but these are the exceptions rather than the rule.

The reason physical letterhead testimonials were so desired was because of the graphic of their letterhead. This is still nice, but this now can easily be accomplished electronically or graphically created. Hand written and personally signed are usually the most desired in this vein.
charliecheckers
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Great topic -
I use hand written thank you letters because I believe they are more permanent and memorable. I do see the argument for email though.

I agree with Mindpro regarding testimonials. Unless the testimonial is from someone specifically noteworthy to potential clients, soliciting testimonials is not particularly productive. Their are better ways to leverage the appreciation of past clients.
MichaelDouglas
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Helder, you are right to question the information shared on marketing in a book that is 10 years old. Culture changes so quickly and our marketing strategy must reflect what is happening in contemporary society or we can easily be ignored and forgotten.

With that said, the social proof offered by our past clients testimonies or reviews is huge. What is the best way to share that feedback? Having them email you with feedback is fine. You can copy and past that into your sales emails and quote them on your website. However, a better method is to have them review you on an independent web site that you can't edit. Examples are Google +, Yelp, TravelAdvisor, or any sites that are used by clients in your part of the world to find out about entertainers.

I commonly hear clients tell me that they called because they read about what other people said about me online.

And the others are right in that various types of quotes from certain types of people have different uses. When marketing to birthday mom's I'll quote another birthday mom....likewise with my corporate show.

Helder, I agree with the comments that sending handwritten thank you card is best. I also like to send them an email with the subject "One Last Thing..." Then in the email I share how important their opinion of my show is to other potential clients. I then provide a couple of links to my profile on other places and ask that they leave an honest review.

Good luck my friend.
Dannydoyle
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Is social proof huge? I never thought so personally.

Yelp and TripAdvisor are a better incarnation of social proof that is for sure.

I have to admit I do not do Internet marketing. I have always booked work from work.

I do not do one night deals or birthday parties for kids. But social proof as in quotes always made me wonder. Does anyone think you are going to put up a bad quote? I mean does it really mayer what some random mom another mom has never met says? She can't call this person and check.

I just know it wouldn't matter either way to me. Now a person I know saying it would matter.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
MichaelDouglas
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Main stream retailers use social proof also. Look at Amazon. They collect reviews on everything they sell. Book publishers put quotes from notable people on the dust jacket.... same with magic trick publishers. One way we as a species decide if something is good or bad is whether other people like the thing or not.
Dannydoyle
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You have far less in common with Amazon than you seem to think. Book publishers put quotes from generally other authors or from media outlets not random people. Magic trick sellers use magician you might likely know. None of those are just random people.

I am afraid too many do it because it has become the accepted way of doing things and never think it through.

I am not saying abandon the idea, but I an saying it is not huge in the way everyone seems to think.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Donald Dunphy
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I'm a big fan of sending a handwritten thank you card (with a small gift in it) in the mail, and I send a separate request for a reference letter. Sometimes I send the reference letter request via email, and sometimes I send it via regular mail. I've mentioned this on a few threads.

Some of the reference letters I get are via email, and some are a regular letter on letterhead. I've even had customers write a letter on their letterhead, convert it to a PDF, and email it to me. I put the testimonial quotes on my website and use them in my mailings.

It is a numbers game. Not every customer is going to take the time to write a letter (or even a brief email) giving feedback, even if they are happy and even if they are a repeat client. Your odds will be improved by doing a great show and offering great customer service, and also by asking at the right time.

- Donald

P.S. I know that some customers read the quotes, because they mention it when booking the show. But reference quotes / testimonials are only one form of sales evidence, and it's wise to use multiple forms of evidence.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Dannydoyle
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As I said not doing kids birthday parties I have no idea if it is good or not.

People hire me, not a magician. So the way to sell that is far different.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On Oct 31, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
People hire me, not a magician. So the way to sell that is far different.


I think this point is at the crux of this discussion. It really depends on ones business model, what role testimonials might play. Even though I am in the children's market, I also operate a business based upon clients hiring me and not a magician, so likewise testimonials only play a limited role in specific situations.
Dannydoyle
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Absolutely.

Now if the idea is to book on the Internet with as little contact as possible with the client, then I have no idea what to do.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Thsi is why "terimonials" are such a blanket statement.Onlyt specific types of testimoials are tryly effective beased on, as charluecheckers said, business models, markets, credibiity within these and several otehr elemets. So many mis understand and misuse testimonals and what they believ is social proof.

True results come from validity and credibility. In my recent book I explain this is why press and media can often generate much more credible, more credibly perceived and specific positioning results, more than almost any testimonial could. Testimonials are not referrals. And of course referrals are much more beneficial, effective and positive.

I would take a great press feature and referrals any day over any type of testimonials. In my book I believe I touched on testimonials I had from Oprah, my time with All My Children and celebrity friends Tony Danza, John Stamos, Michael Jordan many rock stars and others. Then I explain specifically how I used them and why I deliberately stopped using them.

I still say testimonials are over rated, only partially believable (in today's day and age as opposed to previously) and carry only minimal credibility. And typically, like other forms of "social proof" serve the performer instead of the actual intended targets.
55Hudson
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I've seen a number of studies/surveys that suggest online reviews have become very important in the decision making process.

http://searchengineland.com/88-consumers......s-195803

A link to one such study.

I've also read (don't have source handy) that about 80% of Millennials trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

If you are looking to gain new clients, online reviews could be an important part of the picture.

Hudson
Dannydoyle
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An online review such as YELP or TripAdvisor you mean?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
55Hudson
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Quote:
On Nov 1, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
An online review such as YELP or TripAdvisor you mean?


Yes, reviews like that, although I don't believe either are relevant for magicians. Gig Masters and Gig Salad have a review section - I ask people to put in reviews if the gig is sourced there (low yield for me). The Knot, Wedding Wire, Event Wire all have review sections. Reviews (testimonials) on these third party sites are better than ones on you own website (trust issue) but may be equal in weight to a hand-written letter that you've scanned and put on your website.

For particularly important gigs (recurring/high-dollar) I like to provide a person they can call - and I try to make it as current and as unprepared as possible. For example, last week I had a very important meeting for an ongoing engagement. I offered up the possibility of talking to a client (if they were willing) for a show I was doing on the weekend - yes, a reference for a future show! Okay, a bit risky on my part, but clearly communicated to the potential client I was meeting with that I had complete confidence in my work and didn't need to resort to a hand-picked list of references.

My take is that for one-off, personal events, like wedding, house party, birthday party, these online reviews can make the difference. For long-term engagements and corporate events, a live reference may be required.

Hudson
eatonmagic
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Video testimonials by far are more powerful than written ones. And yes! Social proof is essential in today's marketing.

I actually make the video testimonial part of the agreement. I work it in near the end along with getting three (3) referrals. This is typically brought up to the client BEFORE the event so they know it's part of the package.

It's usually 30 to 60 seconds of their time and I get it as soon as I'm finished and right before I walk out. This is when the amazement is still fresh.
makulit974
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I'd like to re-ignite this thread. I do a lot of weddings and I am planning on asking bride and groom for a short video testimonials.
Does anyone have any advice on what to ask them? How to prep them so they are camera ready?

Patrick
Mindpro
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Patrick,

Since it seems no on else is willing to help you I'll give some thoughts for consideration. Since you are working the wedding market your testimonials are going to be targeted towards other brides and grooms-to-be, so they will ultimately be bride & grooms speaking to brides and grooms.

To me these kind of videos always seem so coerced anyways, but I don't think you should have much problem getting them "camera ready" on their special day. They have been preparing for it for weeks or months and by the time you have them do it it will be well towards the latter part of their day so they should have no problems being on camera by then. My only suggestion is be aware of the drinking factor. Many brides and grooms today drink quite a bit at their reception, especially later in the night, so be sure they are not sloppy or drunk when they do this or it will likely remove any credibility.

I suggest you simply just ask them a few on camera questions (you off camera but your voice will still be heard) such as "I'd appreciate it if you could say a few words about having me and my performance at your wedding reception?" or "Have you received any feedback from your guests about my performance here at your reception?" or "What moments or tricks did you or your guests enjoy the most from my performance at your reception?" (this can get them talking about specifics of your performance), or "what would you say (or would you refer me) to other brides and grooms considering having me for their wedding receptions?"

In reality you only need to ask 1-3 quick questions and then of course you'll pull out (edit) their answers for your testimonials. Have them look directly into your camera. This is one reason why it is best if you are the cameraman as they begin to look and speak at you they are actually looking into the camera. If someone else is operating the camera and you are say off to the side, they will tend to look at you and direct their answers to you (since you are asking them) rather than the camera.

When editing them, just don't have them too long, as there is nothing worse than long, ineffective testimonials. I hope this helps you.
makulit974
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Thank you so much mindpro for taking the time to write this. All great advice. I had not considered the drink factor! The whole post is very helpful.

Thanks again Smile
Patrick

Quote:
On May 7, 2017, Mindpro wrote:
Patrick,

Since it seems no on else is willing to help you I'll give some thoughts for consideration. Since you are working the wedding market your testimonials are going to be targeted towards other brides and grooms-to-be, so they will ultimately be bride & grooms speaking to brides and grooms.

To me these kind of videos always seem so coerced anyways, but I don't think you should have much problem getting them "camera ready" on their special day. They have been preparing for it for weeks or months and by the time you have them do it it will be well towards the latter part of their day so they should have no problems being on camera by then. My only suggestion is be aware of the drinking factor. Many brides and grooms today drink quite a bit at their reception, especially later in the night, so be sure they are not sloppy or drunk when they do this or it will likely remove any credibility.

I suggest you simply just ask them a few on camera questions (you off camera but your voice will still be heard) such as "I'd appreciate it if you could say a few words about having me and my performance at your wedding reception?" or "Have you received any feedback from your guests about my performance here at your reception?" or "What moments or tricks did you or your guests enjoy the most from my performance at your reception?" (this can get them talking about specifics of your performance), or "what would you say (or would you refer me) to other brides and grooms considering having me for their wedding receptions?"

In reality you only need to ask 1-3 quick questions and then of course you'll pull out (edit) their answers for your testimonials. Have them look directly into your camera. This is one reason why it is best if you are the cameraman as they begin to look and speak at you they are actually looking into the camera. If someone else is operating the camera and you are say off to the side, they will tend to look at you and direct their answers to you (since you are asking them) rather than the camera.

When editing them, just don't have them too long, as there is nothing worse than long, ineffective testimonials. I hope this helps you.
Mindpro
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My pleasure.

Also keep in mind the visual if you feel that is important to you. Most bride and grooms stay fully dressed (jacket on, tie on, headpiece on, etc.) through the cutting of the cake and the first dance or specialty dances (mother/son, father/daughter, parents, bridal party, etc.), however shortly after that there is a turning point in a reception where jackets and ties come off, headpieces and usually her shoes come off or are changed, and it becomes less formal (looking) and more of a party. So if you are looking for more of a dressy, formal bride and groom, keep this in mind, if your looking for more of a sweaty, casual, party-type bride and groom, then later is fine.

Also be aware if it is a cash bar or an open bar, as this too can make a difference, especially if seeking testimonials from attending guests.
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