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5 Strategies For Writing Powerful Member Testimonials

These tips will help your association write and record incredible member testimonials that audiences love reading and sharing with others.

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Member testimonials can help attract new members to your association. They allow real members to tell a relatable and inspiring story about your association. However, getting your hands on amazing member testimonials can be tricky.

Members may not be giving you enough information to make their story stand out. Members need guidance in the right direction. How can you get the best member testimonials for your website or other marketing materials? What questions should you ask your association members? What information is most important to potential members? Check out five strategies that can take your association’s member testimonials to a new level.

1. Start with the ‘why’

It may seem backwards, but leading with “why” in a testimonial can keep your audience hooked on a story right from the start. “The Golden Circle,” created by Simon Sinek, is used among story tellers and marketing teams alike. The model explains the best way to start a story-- using the “why” first instead of the “who”.

While the model flips the original story telling style, it also promotes the important information first. Think of the “why” of your story as the main course- it’s the reason everyone is there in the first place. Why not give your readers what they want from the very beginning?

According to Smart Insights, Sinek claims that “why” is the most important question to answer because it’s what gives the story meaning. It’s an impactful strategy that allows one to gain trust with an audience. But, at the same time, you can demonstrate your association’s value to its members. It also keeps readers interested from the beginning so you can deliver the “how” and the “what” of the story later when they are already hooked. Start your member testimonials by asking your members why they chose your association. Whether it’s convenience, quality, or customer support, every member has their own reason.

2. Find out your member’s background

Now that readers know why your members chose your association, they need to know more about your members as people. Make sure your members provide a strong background story for the testimonial. Who are they? What do they do for work? What do they do in their spare time? Gathering as many details about your members as possible gives your association the best chance to relate to readers.

Once you’ve collected information from your members, it’s your job to sort that information. You can find out what your audience relates to by researching and understanding your buyer persona. The Association Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, or ASABE, has great examples of member testimonials. ASABE highlights members from all different backgrounds and experience levels. Engineers, professors, and even students come together over a common knowledge of agriculture and biology to give passionate, real-life stories about the benefits ASABE has provided for them.

Many different types of people come to your association for its benefits. Pinpoint who they are and what they all have in common and you’re on your way to writing a killer member testimonial.

3. Ask which features work best for members

Your association offers a plethora of opportunities to members, but some features appeal to members more than others. Do you know which of your association’s offers your members like best? If not, it’s time to find out ask members what aspects  of your association are their favorite. Not only does this add personality to a testimonial, it also gives your association key information on what works well for members and what doesn’t.

This strategy doubles as both a member testimonial question and a mini survey to learn more about your members. Highlight popular answers in your member testimonials. Audiences will know exactly what offers to check first when considering your association. They will also see how these offers work, why they’re highly rated, and how real members use these offers on a daily basis.

The Mobile Marketing Association, or MMA, provides member testimonials on their website that highlight specific features of their association. While one member highlights what MMA does for their advertising efforts, another member finds their events to be worthwhile. Each member has their own opinion on what offers work best for them. Effective offers provide useful information for your testimonials, but they’re not the only information members can provide about your association.

4. Include stories from past events

Event attendee testimonials are a great way to show members and newcomers what your association’s events are like through the eyes of an active member. Ask members who have attended past events to give a brief description of them. What are some event highlights? Which parts of the event did they find interesting and important? Would they go back to a similar event in the future?

Adding attendee testimonials into a member testimonial allows readers an insight on what it’s like to be a highly involved member of your association. It also encourages pre-existing members to attend future events.

The eMarketing Association has an entire website page dedicated to attendee testimonials for their events. They break down testimonials by event dates and provide specific details about each event from members who attended. Attendee testimonials can be added to your association’s website as well as used in event based marketing. These testimonials can also be added to promotional videos, which will gain more online traffic about your association.

5. End with a strong recommendation

A valuable testimonial should conclude with a recommendation from members. You want to make sure your members share your association with others in order to gain more leads. But, how should recommendations be collected? Make sure to ask specific, open-ended questions. Ask your members not only if they recommend your association, but why they recommend it. Lead your members to a clear recommendation in order to strengthen your member testimonial.

Asking for a recommendation from members also reminds members to spread the word about your association. It’s no doubt that your members have a lot going on in their daily life. Maybe your members have gotten used to your association and its benefits. If you ask for  recommendation, it may prompt them to share that information with others in the future. End your testimonial with a recommendation.

Tying together a testimonial with a strong recommendation provides the call-to-action audiences need to become a member of your association. Member testimonials are a great way to engage audiences and encourage them to joining your association. These tips will help your association write and record incredible member testimonials that audiences love reading and sharing with others.