How To Use Testimonials To Increase Your Sales

Sep 11


Albin Dittli

Albin Dittli

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

... are ... from ... ... and clients. They are one of the simplest and most ... ways of adding punch and power to web site sales ... do you get and use testimo


Testimonials are quotations from satisfied customers and clients. They are one of the simplest and most effective ways of adding punch and power to web site sales letter.

How do you get and use testimonials? Here are some tips for using testimonials:

1. Always use real testimonials instead of made-up ones. Even the most skilled copywriter can rarely make up a testimonial that can match the sincerity and credibility of genuine words of praise from a real customer or client.

If you ask a customer to give you a testimonial, How To Use Testimonials To Increase Your Sales Articles and he or she says, “Sure, just write something and Ill sign it,” politely reply: “Gee, I appreciate that, but would you mind just giving me your opinions of our product in your own words?” Fabricated or self-authored testimonials usually sound phony; genuine testimonials invariably have the ring of truth.

2. Long testimonials are usually better then short ones. Many copywriters are hooked on using very short testimonials. For instance:

“truly funny...thought-provoking...”

I believe that when people see these ultra short testimonials, they suspect that a skillful editing job has masked a comment that was not as favorable as the writer makes it appear. In my opinion, longer testimonials, say two or three sentences versus a single word or phrase come across as more believable. For example:

"I can't say enough good things about the quantity and quality of products at such a low cost. Not to mention the super service and fulfillment of our purchase requests. I think I'll stay! Thank you again."

Sure, its longer, but it somehow seems more sincere than a one-word superlative.

3. Specific, detailed testimonials are better then general or superlative testimonials. Upon receiving an email of praise from a customer, our initial reaction is to read the email and find the single sentence that directly praises our company or our product. We extract the words we think are kindest about us, producing a bland bit of puffery such as:

“We are very pleased with your product.”

Actually, most testimonials would be stronger if we included more of the specific, detailed comments our client has made about how our product or service helped him. After all, the prospects we are trying to sell to may have problems similar to the one our current customer solved using our product. If we let Mr. Customer tell Mr. Prospect how our company came to his rescue, hell be helping us make the sale. For instance:

“Hi Brian,
I just signed up for your "RESALE RIGHTS COOP".
I've been searching the net for almost a year looking for something that combined value and affordability. Your package is truly the best of both worlds. Keep on keepin-on.
Wow what a package.”

Again, don't try to polish the customers words so it sounds like professional ad copy. Testimonials are usually much more convincing when they are not edited for style.

4. Use full attribution. We've all opened web sites and direct mail packages that contained testimonials from “D.W. in Nevada” or “Ron V., Self-Made Millionaire.” I suspect that many people laugh at such testimonials and think they are phony.

To increase the believability for your testimonials, attribute each quotation. Include the persons name, city and state, and (if a business customer) their job title and company (e.g., “Ada Dittli, President, Cedar Ridge, Inc.”).

People are more likely to believe this sort of full disclosure than testimonials which seem to conceal the identity of the speaker.

5. Group your testimonials. There are two basic ways to present testimonials: You can group them together in one area of your web site or ad, or you can scatter them throughout the copy. A third alternative is to combine the two techniques, having many testimonials in a box and a smattering of other testimonials throughout the rest of your copy.

I've seen both approaches work well, and the success of the presentation depends, in part, on the skill of the writer and the specific nature of the piece. But, all else being equal, I prefer the first approach: to group all your testimonials and present them as a single block of copy. This can be done in a box or on a separate web page. My feeling is that when the prospect reads a half dozen or so testimonials, one right after another, they have more impact and power than when the testimonials are separated and scattered throughout the piece.

6. Get permission. Make sure you get permission from your customer to reprint his words before including his testimonial in your copy.

I suggest that you send an email quoting the lines you want to reprint and ask permission to include them in ads, web copy, and other materials used to promote your firm. Notice I'm asking for a general release that gives me permission to use the customers quotation in all current and future promotions, not just a specific ad or letter. This lets me get more mileage out of his favorable comment and eliminates the need to ask permission every time you want to use the quote in a new ad or letter.

7. Soliciting Testimonials. If your customers don't send you emails of praise (and many won't), then you can ask them to give you a testimonial. How? Simply send an email to your customers who are happy with your product or service and ask for their comments. Heres a sample letter (feel free to copy or adapt it):

Mr. George Drake
Dear George,

I have a favor to ask of you. I'm in the process of putting together a booklet of testimonials-a collection of comments about my services, from satisfied clients like yourself.

Would you please take a few minutes to give me your opinion of my consulting services?

There' no need to dictate a letter. Just email me your comments. If you want to you can just reply to this email.

I look forward to learning what you like about my service, however I also welcome any suggestions or criticisms, too.

Many thanks, George.

Regards, Albin Dittli


Note that I am asking for an “opinion” instead of a testimonial, and that I urge George to give me criticisms as well as positive comments. In this way, I'm not just asking for a favor, I'm getting information that will help me serve my customers better in the future. Thus, I'm not the only one who profits; we both do.

If you solicit testimonials from your satisfied customers, and you always get permission to use any unsolicited testimonials that people send you, you will soon build a thick testimonial file. Because you have gotten people to give you a “blanket release” to use their comments any way you choose, you can use these testimonials in any or all of your marketing materials, from ads and sales letters, to catalogs.

Always give a list of your full testimonial file to any ad agency, copywriter, or marketing consultant you hire. It will be tremendously helpful to them when they create ads or web copy for you.

With the wise use of testimonials you can increase your credibility. And with your increased credibility you should have an increased sales conversion rate.

You may freely distribute this article, post it to your or other web sites (where permitted), and publish it in an ezine, as long as you keep the resource box as is with the article.