Are you wondering how to use testimonials to effectively draw prospective customers to your website? More importantly, are you wondering why you need customer testimonials on your website in the first place? All great questions, so let's dive right in!
Getting the trust of your audience, as well as potential buyers is the most important part of getting more conversions. To do this, you need to use customer testimonials. Below are a few tips and testimonial examples to help your website (and, ultimately, your business):
Testimonials are used to boost the confidence of your prospective customers. Seeing that your products or services are reliable, they will trust your business more and the quality that it has. Testimonials are often used to generate leads and attain new customers for this reason.
Along with this, testimonials build trust with your audience because they back up the claims you’ve made about what your business does best. Anybody can say “my products are the best on the market.” But can everyone prove it? More often than not, no. Testimonials are a way to stand out in an industry with a lot of sales claims and limited data -- or perhaps false data -- to back them up.
Testimonials lead to sales for two main reasons:
They Add a Human Quality
A lot of data can feel very impersonal. While you can prove to the world that you have X number of 5-star reviews, it’s the content of those reviews that really matter to customers. It’s how they can identify with your product or service and see themselves using it.
Testimonials are, of course, not reviews. But in a similar sense, the content of these testimonials will matter to your customers. Providing a human quality will allow them to relate with or sympathize with the experiences of the customers in testimonials, especially if these testimonials discuss pain points. Seeing that someone else found the solution in your business will entice them to do the same.
They Create Social Proof
You’ve probably heard of social proof before, but just as a recap, social proof is when someone uses a product or service, and then creates a chain reaction of people doing the same thing. This does not have to be a celebrity or a billionaire. It just needs to be someone that people respect and trust. Getting a testimonial from a trusted source will inevitably send customers your way looking to be like that person, or be liked by society.
Alternatively, a large amount of testimonials can create social proof, since people will think, “Since everyone else is doing it, I should be, too.” Ideally, you should have a mix of testimonials from people that others look up to, as well as ordinary people that fit your target demographic.
When customers want to see just how honest you are as a company, they will look for two key pieces of evidence — testimonials or data and statistics. In order to build a website that truly captures your viewers’ attention, you will need to have both placed strategically on your website.
This kind of evidence shows the quality of certain products and services, focusing on what appeals to the hearts and emotions of their target audience. As mentioned, testimonials will always come from someone who has already tried the product or service, which means they are speaking from experience.
Data and Statistics
This involves qualitative evidence. Think graphs, charts, figures, and the like. For example, you could conduct a survey showing how many customers are satisfied with your services.
How to Get a Great Testimonial
Now that you understand how testimonials work and just how effective they can be, you probably want some on your own website. This is a great idea but if you don’t have a customer base just yet, this won’t be easy to do. Nevertheless, you can put systems in place to get testimonials in the future.
Do an Amazing Job
This one is kind of obvious, but it’s the most important thing you can do for your company and brand. If you want to get good testimonials throughout your website, you have to deliver a great product or experience for your customers. Not just once or twice, but consistently — doing this each time a customer makes a purchase will lead to testimonials down the line.
Ask for Testimonials
A lot of companies assume that testimonials will willingly come to them, but this isn’t actually true. People will usually have better things to do than take the time to sit down and write something nice about a product they used or a service they booked. The best way to compel people to do this is to have a set of processes to ask for positive reviews with every satisfactory customer experience.
Ensure that you have a team to take charge of customer interactions, such as CSRs or managers, who can follow a clear set of processes. We suggest starting with fans who love your products and services. Because of this, they could already be interested or willing to help you in any way they can. All that’s left to do is ask.
Whenever you’re sending an email asking for a testimonial, it needs to be concise, yet polite. A long email will confuse the sendee, and a rude email will turn them away. As such, these are the two highest priorities when sending an email.
Here is a template email for your reference:
Would you be alright with writing us a short testimonial? We’re looking to update our website, and it would help us out. I can send you something to base it off of, or you can just write us a couple of sentences relating to your experiences with our company.
Please don’t feel obligated to do this, however. If you’d like to decline, that is completely okay. Just let me know.
Naturally, you’ll want to adjust the tone of this template depending on the way your company is branded. You might want it to be more formal than it already is, or more conversational.
Nevertheless, no matter how they respond, following this guideline will allow you to get what you came for nine times out of ten -- a testimonial.
Use Third-Party Sites for Testimonials
It’s a good idea to have your customers use third-party websites where they can leave testimonials or reviews. While these third-party sites can vary depending on the industry you’re in, there are many common platforms that you can rely on, such as:
Doing this will allow you to broaden the exposure your website receives while adding another layer of authenticity for your business. By maintaining your profile on third-party sites, you can show audiences that you are a legitimate business by having recent photos, current information, and top reviews.
Furthermore, having an active account that shows up-to-date information will boost results within search engines. As a result, you’ll gain the attention of more people and attract more visitors to your company and brand.
Along with this, third-party websites will usually display snippets to visually represent your website as soon as search results come in.
Bonus review source - social media! Go through your social media feed to see what feedback previous consumers have shared. This is a great way to collect feedback from real people as well! Just make sure your customer is okay with you sharing their thoughts as you want to continue to build trust for your brand.
Now you’re probably wondering how to write a testimonial. This will be useful when you’re making those drafts inside your emails to send to your customers. Here are a few tips on how to write effective testimonials:
Only Include Testimonials that Have Been Received Ethically
This is probably another obvious piece of advice but we’ll say it anyway: Don’t invent fake testimonials. Every testimonial on your website should be 100% authentic.
This doesn’t mean you can paraphrase something a customer said once, either. It needs to be straight from them, and with their permission.
A Good Testimonial is Concise
A short and concise testimonial is the best way to deliver a message that you want people to know about. Ideally, it will have between 30 to 50 words to ensure that people will read it, rather than find a shorter one that they can easily comprehend.
Avoid using super-long messages — while your customers may love your work, be sure to ask for their approval to edit these down to an appropriate amount.
A Good Testimonial is Direct
As mentioned, you don’t need paragraphs and paragraphs of good words about your company. Upfront and direct messages will have more of an impact on those who read them compared to long messages. Long messages will only drown potential buyers in words, creating confusion. A testimonial that’s straight to the point makes it more understandable for your audience.
A Good Testimonial is Authentic
It only makes sense that the more information there is in a testimonial, the more authentic and credible it is. A testimonial should have a person’s name, title, picture, and in some cases, their company.
Along with this, the best testimonials will show the personality of the person leaving them, conveying emotion and leaving readers to experience their happiness with the product or service secondhand.
Some Aren’t Written At All
Video testimonials are a great way to present the story of how a person truly feels about the service or product you offer. When a potential buyer sees someone, hears their tone, and views their mannerisms, it can truly add a lot of credibility.
Visual endorsements are also more engaging. According to Forbes, viewers are 95% more likely to understand and keep the message of a video compared to text. It is all about tailoring your content to what your potential customers want to know from real people and clients. This increases the likelihood they will purchase a product or service from your business as well as help to boost sales.
While having testimonials is great, you shouldn’t just post them for the sake of having them on your website. You also need to make sure that we have a few key components in place to ensure that you don’t lose your credibility. Here are a few things to consider:
Is it Relevant?
Be sure to check if the testimonial actually talks about your business — it’s easy to fill pages with testimonials but do they actually matter to your business today? Make sure that they capture your audiences’ attention by picking out only the most relevant pieces for your business.
A relevant testimonial will talk about the specific products and services you offer or anything new that you will soon be offering. They will also remain consistent regarding who you are as a company and what you represent.
Is there an Identifiable Source?
As mentioned, a credible testimonial will come from a source that you can identify and shouldn’t be anonymous.
For B2B companies, a testimonial will ideally have:
- A person’s name
- Their job title
- Their company
- Their photo
However, if you find that a customer may not want to include a photo, a logo of their company would suffice as well. Here is an example of what a testimonial for B2B companies with an identifiable source should look like:
For D2C companies, a testimonial will ideally have:
- A person’s name
- Their photo
Here’s an example of these kinds of testimonials for D2C companies:
No matter the kind of industry you belong to or the nature of your business, there are places on your website where testimonials need to be to produce the most desirable results. Here are just a few of those areas:
Key Landing Pages
Placing testimonials on your key landing pages will provide the best area for potential customers or buyers to see just how great your brand or company is. Also, having testimonials on your products or services pages will provide you with the opportunity to back up any claims you might have.
Much like in this example, ensure that your claims are paired with relevant testimonials. Doing this will greatly boost the effectiveness of these claims.
Your Success Stories / Portfolio / Case Studies
This is where you can provide both quantitative data in the form of data & statistics of outcomes as well as qualitative data using customer testimonials. As previously mentioned, having a combination of both will win over your customers’ hearts and minds.
Contact Pages and Checkout
Having a testimonial within your checkout or contact page can be the final touch of persuasion that you need. This could just be what you need to push someone to make the decision to buy your products or services. To make this as effective as possible, make sure to save your best testimonials for last.