How To Put Testimonials To Work For Your Business

Consumer testimonials. You either love them or hate them. But regardless of how you feel as a business owner, they have become an integral part of our everyday decision-making.

In the mood to try a new restaurant? You turn to sites like Yelp! to read reviews. Searching for a new doctor? You make an appointment with the one your friend or neighbor recommends.

We rely heavily on the input of those we trust in order to make these commonplace decisions, and the decisions people make about your product or service are no different. Your potential customers want to know that the people who have used your product or service before not only enjoyed it, but recommend it as well.

And that can be great for your business.

According to Demand Gen’s recent study on consumer’s B2B content preferences, 97 percent of respondents said they give more credence to content that includes user-generated reviews– which means that the more positive reviews your brand has, the more likely new customers will come walking through your door.

Even LinkedIn’s 2013 Survey of B2B Marketers says testimonials are one of the most effective content marketing tactics. And if LinkedIn says so, then you better get moving.

Testimonials = More Customers

How exactly can testimonials get you more customers?

Well, when a customer sees that someone else has had a positive experience with your product or service, they’ll be more comfortable in their decision to trust you and engage with your brand. In this way, testimonials have the ability to help eradicate the worries that are common among many first-time customers.

So, How Can I Collect Testimonials?

To begin collecting testimonials, you’ll first need a place for customers to send you feedback. Your email newsletter, for example, is a great place to invite comments. Or, send personalized postcards to customers thanking them for working with you and ask for thoughts on their experience. You may even want to offer an incentive, for example, “First 25 Customers to Give Their Feedback Are Entered to Win a $25 Gift Card.” (Just make sure they fall within the FTC guidelines!).

Finally, create a dedicated section for reviews on your website, such as the homepage or checkout page. This will give your audience a place to read all of the awesome things about your brand.

Don’t Forget To Spread the Good Word

Whenever you get a new testimonial, be sure to share it with others via social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great for celebrating your wins and showing potential customers that your brand really is cool. Who knows, it may even encourage other customers to share their own testimonials as well!

Remember, no one tells your story better than your customers. People want to hear what it’s really like working with you, and your existing customers can describe the experience better than anyone else – even you!

6 Comments

  1. Adam Sweeny

    9/14/2014 1:44 pm

    Thanks Allie for a good read. I’m currently debating whether I should include testimonials on my home page or not as I thought its a bit cheesy, but I’m definitely leaning towards yes now, plus a bit of social media sharing too.

  2. Gidon

    9/17/2014 4:42 am

    you’ve _got_ to be kidding! “FTC rules”, as if they are simply “play fair.” It’s 21 small typed pages!

    Can you give a bullet list of the main points?

  3. Lynette Young

    9/19/2014 10:34 am

    Thanks Gidon for the comment. I’ll actually give you another link to check out some distilled content of the FTC guidelines. — Lynette Y.

  4. Jeff

    9/19/2014 3:20 pm

    I have a number of testimonials through email responses, my blog, and through social media. Since I’ve never placed testimonials on my website, I’m not sure what is OK for using these testimonials. Can I use what they’ve already shared with me, or do I need to ask for their permission?

  5. Hunter Boyle

    9/24/2014 11:58 am

    Great question, Jeff. You definitely want to confirm permission before using testimonials. Not doing so will likely upset great customers. One tip: As soon as you get good feedback, ask if they’re okay with you using it in your marketing. And include this question in surveys as well. Then, let them know you plan to use the feedback, and when it’s live — some people may even share it and/or your site.

    Cheers — Hunter

  6. Christian S

    9/20/2014 2:41 pm

    Hi Allie,

    Thanks for the informative article!

    Testimonials are SO important to every business – they are the heart of the social proof of the business. We try and put testimonials on every page that we sell on, as we have found that by doing that, our sales are dramatically increased.

    It’s really amazing what social proof can do, and how people rely on word from others so that they can trust a product and/or service from somebody!