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Testimonials - a quick and profitable marketing fix

Here’s something you can do today that could make a big difference to your marketing’s effectiveness - add customer testimonials to your homepage.

Six quick wins that adding a testimonial can achieve:

  1. Testimonials are very powerful sales tools

    84% of people trust customer testimonials as much as they trust a personal recommendation - and a personal recommendation is probably the most powerful sales conversion tool you have.

  2. People are drawn to them

    Testimonials are primarily about our experience as a customer, so they’re very engaging - and once read, people naturally look around for more information.

  3. They’re inexpensive, quick and easy to do

    Adding a powerful customer endorsement to your site doesn’t cost much and doesn’t take very long.

  4. You gain instant competitive advantage

    A majority of websites still don’t use testimonials – so using them immediately gives your a competitive advantage.

  5. They support your cross-selling strategy

    In many instances, testimonials act as the final piece of reassurance needed to convince your customer that they’re making the right decision.

  6. Your Google search ranking should improve

    Search engines rate testimonials highly because they demonstrate that people are interacting with your brand, plus they are naturally filled with the long-tail keywords that customers are searching for.

If you do have a customer testimonial in mind, be sure to get the permission from that customer or client first to make sure they are happy to have it published.

Learn how to get more Google Reviews

People looking for your services read these reviews to judge the credibility of your business. Use this quick guide to get five or more good reviews.

Some guidance on creating effective testimonials

  1. Make a list

    Agree which clients should be happy to give you a positive endorsement.

  2. Decide where to place the testimonials/reviews

    For example

    • Website homepage
    • Google My Business - reviews
    • Social media (especially twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn)
    • Referral programme
    • Cross sell programme
    • Recruitment campaign letters/emails/brochures, etc.
    • Events, advertising, local press coverage...
  3. Draft the copy for them

    Instead of asking them for a testimonial, it's often easier to write down what you'd like them to say and then get them to approve it for use in a particular situation (e.g. on your homepage).

    Try to angle each testimonial to focus on different aspects of your product/service, e.g. value, trust, reliability, etc.

    Follow the “Problem – Solution – Result” structure

    - Thorn in finger (problem)

    - Thorn removed (solution)

    - Finger is healed (result)

    What was your client’s problem? What solution did you provide? A great testimonial shows potential clients what results they can expect from working with you.

    Use conversational language.

    Don't use testimonials that just say you're great. Instead encourage clients to say why you're great.

    Don't make them too salesy. Keep the testimonial personal, authentic and individual.

    Get agreement to use their picture beside the endorsement. This will make the testimonial more believable.

  4. Tell a story

    Compare these two testimonials. The first is OK, but a bit me-too-ish.  The second tells a story and is therefore much more powerful:

    • "We've used ACME Ltd for several years now and they've never let us down. Their service is excellent and we'd confidently recommend them to anyone."
    • "We were first introduced to ACME the night our server crashed for the second time. It was 11 o'clock on a Friday night and our existing supplier had long since gone home. Our team was flying out for a big, big presentation the next day, and we badly needed the revised files. ACME were there within 20 minutes, fixed the problem and left with a smile. We wouldn't dream of being without the guys from ACME Ltd on our team."

  5. Video testimonials work the hardest

    Ideally use a videoed testimonial if you can. They are eye-catching, engaging, authentic and more believable than the printed word.

  6. Get agreement to use it

    Always get signed approval of specific copy to be used in specified media at a specific time.

Questions to use to generate your testimonials

Here are a few examples, but think through what questions would be most relevant to your business:

  • What would you tell other customers suffering from the same challenges you were struggling with?
  • What makes us different to your previous supplier?
  • What would you say were our major strengths?
  • Why did you choose us over our competitors?
  • What particular element of our service do you particularly appreciate?

See also this advice from the Advertising Standards Authority on using testimonials