Objectives: To assess whether the addition of a peer testimonial to an informational mailing increases conversion rates from brand name prescription medications to lower-cost therapeutic equivalents, and whether the testimonial’s efficacy increases when information is added about an affiliation the quoted individual shares with the recipient. Research Design and Methods: A total of 5498 union members were randomly assigned to receive 1 of 3 different informational letters: 1 without a testimonial (No Testimonial Group), 1 with a testimonial from a person whose shared union affiliation with the recipient was not disclosed (Unaffiliated Testimonial Group), and 1 with a testimonial from a person whose shared union affiliation with the recipient was disclosed (Affiliated Testimonial Group). Results: The conversion rate for the No Testimonial Group was 12.2%, which is higher than the Unaffiliated Testimonial Group rate of 11.3% and the Affiliated Testimonial Group rate of 11.7%. The differences between the groups are not statistically significant. Conclusions: Short peer testimonials do not increase the impact of a mailed communication on conversion rates to lower-cost, therapeutically equivalent medications, even when the testimonial is presented as coming from a more socially proximate peer.
Beshears, John, James J. Choi, David Laibson, Brigitte C. Madrian, and Gwendolyn Reynolds. "Testimonials Do Not Convert Patients From Brand to Generic Medication." American Journal of Managed Care 19.9 (September 11, 2013): e314-e316.