I’m sure you’ve all heard of the bandwagon effect in some shape or form – it’s a psychological phenomenon in which people do something primarily because other people are doing it, regardless of their own beliefs. This is the reason, to some extent, why customer testimonials work so well to get more business. If your product or service lends itself to customer testimonials, you should most definitely be using them on your website. There’s nothing wrong with asking a happy customer for a testimonial you can put on your website – in fact, if your product and customer service are up to scratch, people will send you testimonials of their own accord.

Once you have a bunch of testimonials, here’s how to use them best:

  • Choose the ones that are from customers most similar to your prospects. Business owners believe other business owners, housewives believe other housewives – the more similarity you can show, the more weight they will carry.
  • Select the ones that are specific, that mention details of the product or how it worked for them. Generic testimonials that say the product is wonderful, but nothing else, are not that valuable.
  • Edit carefully – you should keep testimonials verbatim, unless they are too long or awkward in wording. If you do edit them, don’t change the tone, or you’ll lose the original flavour (and annoy the person who sent it in).
  • Use lots of short testimonials for greater impact – if so many people like something, it must be great!
  • Long testimonials work well too, especially if they’re authoritative or emotional. You may consider putting a really good testimonial in its own box, or in a side bar, where it will get read more.
  • Include the names, titles and locations. A first name is better than an initial, more believable. Titles give credibility, while locations make the testimonials seem more real.
  • Enclose each testimonial in quotation marks. Research shows that people are strongly attracted to quotes – it draws the eye and makes reading easier. People are endlessly fascinated in what other people have to say.
  • Use a powerful or catchy message to introduce your testimonials, using the product(s) mentioned, like “Thirty smooth reasons why you should buy the Star Home Hair Removal Kit” or “Twelve good reasons why you shouldn’t be taking our word for it”.

While some people consider testimonials to be cheesy, or fake, they do work to get more sales. Try it on your website or email marketing material and run tests with and without – you’ll be surprised at the power of these little sentences. For more on websites and online marketing, contact us.

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