The art of choosing testimonials

Considering that anyone can publish information on the web, there is a need to influence visitors’ perception of your credibility if you want them to buy, download content and disclose their personal details.

Obtain written or audio testimonials from satisfied customers to build credibility.

A testimonial is one of the best promotional tools available because the recommendation comes from an independent source and therefore is perceived as unbiased.

Testimonials can be either grouped in one page or interspersed throughout the website. You can also use audio testimonials to give satisfied customers the opportunity to voice your merits and reassure visitors.

How to choose your testimonials

  • Include only meaningful and positive remarks.

Comments that are too broad are not persuasive, e.g. “I really liked your (name of product) and can recommend it”.

Potential customers need to discover specific benefits and convincing reasons for buying, e.g. “I saved $…”, “It lasted twice as long as…”

  • Obtain testimonials to cover the various benefits you promote.

For this, you may invite a satisfied customer to provide a testimonial in a particular area you want addressed, e.g. customer service, product quality, on-time delivery.

  • Select carefully the sources of your testimonials.

They must convey credibility and trustworthiness. Add appropriate credentials,
e.g. ‘author of …’, ‘winner of …’

  • Include identifiable information on the person who provides the testimonial, e.g. name, job title, organisation. Anonymous is not a credible name.

Make sure you obtain the customers permission to broadcast their testimonials. A satisfied customer may be happy to give you a testimonial for a flyer, but not for your website.

If you have affiliates, distributors or any other third party who sell your products, supply them with testimonials. This gives you more control on what is promoted whilst supporting your sales force and increasing your sales potential.

For example, HerbaCall supplies resources to independent Herbalife distributors. Paying subscribers can search or browse by categories a database with hundreds of Herbalife testimonials.

Testimonials are a form of recommendation or endorsement. Choose them wisely. They are meant to convince customers of your expertise and trustworthiness and the uniqueness of your products or services not to undermine your credibility.

Adapted from the book 200 Marketing Ideas for Your Website by Henriette Martel.

Posted in website marketing