If you’re not using testimonials in your marketing, here’s the bad news… Customers are sceptical creatures.
Trust in brands is disappearing.
And that’s a problem because you can use all the clever marketing tactics you want, but customers won’t buy from you unless they trust you.
But it’s not all marketing doom and gloom. The good news is that customers still trust other customers.
As Jay Baer says, “Trust matters more than truth, and the truth is that customers don’t trust you as much as they trust each other.”
… and that means testimonials are one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. They:
- Highlight the types of customers that are buying (and enjoying) your product
- Help squash objections
- Create “herd mentality” ie if all these people are doing this, I should too.
- Boost credibility
- Humanise your brand and create emotional connections.
- Build trust
In short, if you aren’t proactive in getting testimonials – you should be!
Two ways to gather testimonials
You’d think that if a client was happy with your product or service that they’d leave you a glowing review. Sadly, often this isn’t the case. It’s best not to leave getting testimonials to chance.
So, if you’ve got a client who you know is happy with what you’ve offered, the best way to get one is simply to ask. It’s a case of “don’t ask, don’t get.”
Feel embarrassed about doing that?
You shouldn’t be.
Provided they’re happy with the service you’ve given them, most clients will be more than glad to say a few kind words. And actually, they’ll probably feel great about being able to do you a favour. So that’s a win for you both!
Remember, the best time to ask for a testimonial is when clients are gushing about the great work you’ve done or the results you’ve helped them achieve.
The second way is to spot the opportunities when they arise. Trust me. They’re all around you
(if you just know where to look).
- Email messages thanking you for all the hard word you’ve done
- Social media messages and comments
- Real-live conversations.
Now you may be lucky, and these testimonials are “print” ready. But the chances are you’re going to have to dig a little deeper to build the trust-winning testimonials you’re looking for.
The questions to ask your clients so you get a great testimonial. Every time.
When you ask clients for testimonials, it’s best not to simply ask for a testimonial and hope for the best. Be specific about the sort of recommendation you’re looking to create. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What problem did you have before you found our product/service?
- How did our product/service solve that problem?
- How did you feel when working with us?
- What would you say to someone considering using our product/service?
- Was there anything about our company that surprised you?
- In what ways do you think we are unique and different from other companies?
Final question – and it’s a biggie that you mustn’t forget:..`
– Do you give us permission to share this testimonial on our marketing materials? (You want to get the answer to this in writing).
These questions will help you gather the kind of detailed, actionable information that will be most useful for your business.
Not all testimonials are created equal.
Follow these guidelines to make the most of your testimonials:
- Keep testimonials short and to the point.
A short paragraph or two is all you’re looking for. People don’t want to (and won’t) read a rambling message. Short and sweet is the key. If your customer rambles, simply trim their quote into a more manageable length and ask them if they are happy to re-approve.
- Embrace authenticity:
The best testimonials are often the ones that are unmistakably authentic. Embrace this – it adds additional personality to your brand.
- Add a subhead:
An easy way to add impact to your testimonial is to add a strong sub-headline above it. This could be as simple as using quoting a few of the most impactful words or succinctly summing up the words that your client has given you.
This works because the subhead will draw your readers eye to the testimonial and reinforce what should be one of the most powerful pieces of copy on your website.
Then add a name, job title, photo and company logo. The more of these you can include the more relatable and trustworthy your testimonial will become.
- DON”T use a scrolling carousel.
You may think that adding your testimonials to a moving carousel is a good idea. That movement catches the eye, right? Well yes. But there’s a couple of downsides to this too.
– people don’t always read at the same rate. And there’s nothing more frustrating that being halfway through reading something and it disappearing before your eyes.
– there’s a strong probability that people won’t keep watching after the first one or two. So that all that great testimony that comes next… it never gets seen. Far better the have static text that prospect can read at their own pace.
… so what’s the anatomy of the perfect testimonial?
If you’ve followed my steps and now got a great testimonial, congratulations!
Now to make sure it’s placed in the right spot. You want your testimonial where it’ll do the most good.
… avoid the testimonials page…
Now, this part may surprise you. But I don’t recommend creating a testimonials page.
Why not? Because they’re not often visited (certainly not as often as you’d think). And as testimonials are such a valuable piece of marketing collateral, you want to put them where they are most likely to be seen:
- Homepage Almost every user will see your homepage it’s often the very first page they visit and are likely to be where first impressions are made. Want to make a great one? The well-placed kind words of a customer can help win hearts from the very beginning.
- Services or Product Pages Placing customer testimonials on product pages helps puts them in context, while portraying the products in a favourable light. This is particularly effective if the testimonial mentions any one product specifically.
- Other places:
-About Us page
-Social Media Channels (organic and paid)
– Ask customers to leave a review on Google My Business (added benefit of giving your SEO a boost)
So, here’s what to do next:
- Start looking for opportunities to gain testimonials and be proactive in getting them.
- Use the right questions to guide your customers to give you the strongest testimonials which tell a great story
- Post your testimonials in all the right places.
Testimonials are the social proof that customers are looking for. They humanise your brand and build that all-important trust in a way that other forms of marketing just can’t. But if you don’t have a process for collecting them, opportunities are missed and sales lost.
Want to grow your business with marketing that works?
Getting it right is easier than you think. So, book a FREE 45-minute strategy session, and you can start growing your business today.