Your business could be losing out on thousands of dollars in revenue. Why?
As a business, you sing praises about your offer. You tell the world how great it is and how its features will improve everyone’s lives.
What convinces a prospective buyer is seeing how you’ve helped previous customers. Your audience wants to see people whose lives are better off because they bought what you’re selling.
Testimonials are one of the best ways to convince customers to buy your product or service. That’s what makes them so powerful. They help readers imagine the positive outcomes of your product or service.
In some ways, testimonials describe your offer even better than you can. They come from real and meaningful customer experiences.
Now, think about the testimonials on your website.
Are all your testimonials showing these things? Are they beneficial to your business? In other words, are they helping you sell?
This article will give you the tools you need to answer these questions if you’re not sure. Learn what makes testimonials "good" and how to position them to increase conversions.
If you’re eager to make your testimonials in your copywriting generate more sales for business, read more to start using these tips today.
The right testimonials help you persuade readers to buy your product your service.
As humans, we’re reluctant to part ways with our precious resources, such as our money, time, and attention. This is because we want to be sure that what we get in exchange is worth it. We want things that help us achieve positive outcomes and avoid negative ones.
Imagine buying a banana-slicing tool that mashes bananas instead of cutting them.
Wouldn’t you feel angry, cheated, and scammed? Wouldn’t you feel like it was a waste of money?
That’s why testimonials are so valuable. If, for example, this banana slicer got 0 stars and bad reviews online, you’d know not to buy it.
Customer testimonials are also a great way to build trust with new, potential buyers. People are more likely to trust real people over a business entity after all. If readers see that your product or service works and how it’s improved peoples’ lives, they’ll trust your brand.
But are all testimonials created equal? The short answer is no.
Here's how you can build credibility and trust with your dream customers.
Do you know the difference between a good testimonial and a bad testimonial?
I’m not talking about positive or negative comments and reviews. I’m referring to what makes testimonials helpful for your business.
Testimonials are endorsements of your product or service. They signify to people whether your product or service is one of the good ones. You might think that as long as the comment is positive, it works, right?
Well, that’s not exactly the case...
Imagine your business sells an app called Banana Tracker. It counts how many bananas you eat and monitors your potassium intake for the day to help you lose weight.
Now think about if interested buyers visited your website and only read comments from nameless and faceless testimonials that say “It’s good,” or “It does the job,” or even “IT’S AMAZING!!!” Is that going to convince them to buy it?
Sure, these comments are favorable. The problem with these testimonials is that they don’t illustrate the benefits.
Was it easy to use? Did it help them lose weight in a short time? There’s not enough detail that shows why their experience is so positive.
Also, your audience doesn’t know who these testimonials are from and have no way of relating to them. Since these comments are so vague and generic, how can your readers even be sure they’re from real people?.
There's no reason to believe your offer is the best or will help interested buyers reach their goals.
That’s what your testimonials should show.
Testimonials should help readers visualize the positive outcomes of your product or service. That’s the push they’ll need to try out your offer.
There are a variety of ways you can show testimonials on your website:
You can show your testimonials however you like. No matter what, they need to highlight how your offer improved customers’ lives.
If you’re starting to feel less confident about the testimonials you’re using, don’t panic. That doesn’t mean your product or service is terrible. The problem is that you might not be gathering as much feedback as you could.
To start, try giving customers more ways to share how they feel about their purchase.
For example, you could include a link on your product page so that past customers can leave a review. Or you could send them a follow-up email asking about their after-purchase experience.
It’ll also help to include a strong CTA. You could write something like, “Let us know what you thought about X product,” or, “Share your experience with us.” You could even add an incentive for them, such as a coupon for their next purchase or store credit.
If you want to feature testimonials, ask your customers for permission before you put them up. You may also want to tell them what information you’ll display and where to find it on your website.
You might not find any useful testimonials or don’t have enough to choose from. Try offering your product or service to a select group of customers for free. In exchange, get their honest opinions and feedback about their experience.
Excellent testimonials should come from customers who have paid for your offer. If the right comments and reviews come from this exchange, the loss of revenue will be worth it in the long run.
Remember, effective testimonials will do the selling for you. Use the criteria below to help you decide whether not you’re featuring the right ones on your website.
A good testimonial details specifics about your offer's benefits or positive outcomes. They should include two main points: a customer’s specific achievement and the time it took for them to reach it.
Let’s go back to the banana tracking app example from above.
A convincing testimonial for Banana Tracker could read, “After using the app, I’ve been eating five bananas a day while maxing out my potassium intake. And it’s helped me lose 15lbs within my first month of using it!”
Can you see how persuasive this testimonial is? It details what the customer achieved, by how much, and in what amount of time. Because of that, it’s easier for potential customers to imagine achieving the same things. That can persuade them more to buy the product.
Again, people tend to be skeptical before they buy something new. Without real-life examples of your offer's benefits, customers will be reluctant. If you can get them to visualize past customers' outcomes, it'll put those worries to rest.
Learn how to use "benefit-centric" copywriting here.
Testimonials also compare your offer to others in the market and show why yours is better.
These comments don’t have to trash your competitors by name. In fact, they shouldn't. Instead, they should highlight how much better your product or service is.
An example for Banana Tracker could read: “I’ve spent years trying every fitness tracking app on the market, including (example A) and (example B). So when Banana Tracker first came out, I admit, I was skeptical. But this app has everything I’ve always wanted in a fitness app.
Other apps have clunky interfaces filled with ads. Banana Tracker focuses on the essentials. It’s helped me focus on the important things and optimize my gains. Don’t bother with the other apps. Get this one.”
This testimonial works because this person has done the work for your audience. They don't have to spend their own time and money trying every fitness app themselves. This testimonial can push them to choose your app right away.
Bottom line: testimonials like these help prospects narrow down their list of options. The best ones will make them choose your brand over others. These are the ones you need to highlight on your website.
Testimonials should help your prospect needs to relate to your past customers.
Let’s refer to Banana Tracker. Let's assume your target audience is people starting their fitness journey. They want to see examples of past customers at similar stages who reached the goals they want to achieve.
Suppose all your testimonials come from Olympic athletes who are already in shape. In that case, your target customers might feel discouraged or intimidated. Then, they might look for other options that seem better suited for their level.
Your testimonials should come from people with whom your ideal customers can identify. They might be from the same place or are in the same industry. What they should share are the same goals, desires, and concerns.
If prospects see similar people use your product or service with success, they’ll be more likely to buy it.
Learn how to do proper audience research here.
Speaking of concerns, good testimonials also handle objections. They expect and mitigate any potential concerns or questions potential customers have.
Again, it’s natural for people to be reluctant before buying something. We want to be sure that our purchase is worth it. If interested buyers see their concerns addressed, it'll put their worries to rest.
An example for your Banana Tracker app is, “At first I didn’t get why it was important to eat so many bananas a day. But after a week of maxing out my banana intake, I had more energy, was less stressed, and felt happier than I had in years!”
Imagine a potential buyer who is skeptical of this app reads this testimonial. They also don’t understand the benefits of bananas and potassium. It might be hard for them to imagine the point of using a banana tracking app.
Of course, on your website, you’d have listed out all the positives of eating bananas and potassium. But hearing it from a real person is more impactful for a reluctant reader. That’s why it’s essential to make sure you’re addressing these worries.
If it's challenging to think of potential concerns, take a look at customer feedback. See if you can find comments that mentioned the worries they had before their purchase. Find out if they talked about any negative experiences with other brands.
If you can’t find these kinds of comments from your past customers, try looking online. Check social media sites or public forums to see what your target audience takes issue with. Find out what they wish for from what you’re selling. They might want more color schemes or for you to add a brand new feature.
From this research, you should've come up with some common FAQs about your offer. Once you have these questions, make sure your testimonials address them.
Make sure the testimonials you feature on your website come from credible people. This means people who are real and recognizable to your reader.
A credible testimonial includes a face, a name, and background information. This information should be relevant to your ideal customer. It could also be from a public figure who is well-known to your target audience.
Referring back to Banana Tracker, let’s say a new actor (who’s not very fit) got cast to be the next Marvel superhero. Then, they decided to use your app to get in shape. That would be a great testimonial to feature on your website. People will flock over to your app.
Again, people are more likely to trust another person over a business entity. The testimonials on your website should act as proof that your offer works as advertised. So be methodical about the testimonials you choose.
It’s important to note that no one testimonial is going to meet all the criteria above. That’s why it’s so important to gather a wide range of comments from your customers. Once you have testimonials that meet these standards, you use them to generate more sales.
Now that you have a collection of useful testimonials, it’s time to feature them at the right place on your website.
On your homepage, put your most emphatic testimonial at the top, front, and center of your website. This includes testimonials from industry leaders or public figures known to your audience. Your audience will see right away that your business is top quality.
Try placing other testimonials in a way where your reader will see them. You could show off the logos of recognizable businesses or brands you’ve worked with in a visible spot.
Put testimonials at the center of your homepage. Feature highly-credible customers, such as CEOs, co-founders, or influencers in your industry. Make sure to include the person’s name, picture, and social links to their profile if possible.
Often readers will only skim through your website to get the gist of what you’re selling. So, you want to make sure they get the best impression possible by seeing how happy your customers are.
To make sure your testimonials work, use tracking software like Google Analytics or Spectoos. Doing this can determine which testimonials are most helpful for you. These tools will help you decide which testimonials are the most effective.
Make sure to show a testimonial on every page of your website. Use a strong CTA that encourages your customer to try out your product or service. This brings us to the most crucial pages on your website for conversions.
Testimonials get your customer to convert on sales and landing pages. The difference lies in the processes.
Sales pages target new customers. Imagine a new customer has never heard of Banana Tracker before and wants to see how it works. Your testimonials should show what your product is and how it will help them.
Show a myriad of testimonials that describe how Banana Tracker benefitted your customers. The more detailed your testimonials are and the more they follow the above criteria, the more convincing they’ll be.
You can also add testimonials near the pricing or checkout page to address concerns.
Your testimonials on sales pages begin building trust, reliability, and credibility.
On landing pages, testimonials work in a different way. Landing pages are also a great place to use testimonials because they focus on a single buyer. By the time someone arrives on your landing page, it means they’re about ready to make a purchase.
A testimonial here is like an extra nudge customers need before they push the “buy” button. Here, your testimonials can also overcome any last-minute objections your customers could have.
For example, what if your new customer gets cold feet? Your testimonial will be there to reassure them that they’re making the right decision. It can also entice them with the promise of the same outcomes as your past customers.
On both your sales and landing pages, make sure your testimonials don’t overshadow your CTA.
If you position testimonials well on these pages, you'll raise your conversion rates.
Now you know what makes a good testimonial and how to use it the right way to improve your sales.
Even if the feedback is positive, it needs to follow the criteria you learned in this blog post. Otherwise, it won’t convince potential customers to try out your offer.
Your testimonials need to prove the positive claims your brand makes.
Your readers should be able to imagine the specific benefits of your offer.
They need to see how you’ve helped past customers achieve their goals or fix their problems.
Find the right testimonials and position them in the right places on your website. Your new customer will see the right thing at the right time and click the buy button.
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