Right now you’re thinking I’m full of crap.
It’s true though! The key word here is can. You see, many small businesses just blindly throw up a page on their website listing all their testimonials. That, or they ask all their friends to review them on Yelp or Google Places (don’t look away in embarrassment! You’re probably not the only one).
I’ve been writing a lot lately about the mistrust consumers have in advertising (keep an eye out for an e-book release soon), but it recently occurred to me that as a default, visitors to a website don’t trust the content on there.
It makes sense too. Logically you would, after all, think that the content on this site is designed to sell my company’s services (which for the most part it’s not by the way).
Copywriting to not sound like an advertisement is a whole animal of it’s own (maybe another e-book down the road), but let’s talk about how you can use testimonials to your advantage and make them sound real…er.
Tips To Keep Your Testimonials Credible
Well, yes. Ask for them. Just disguise the question. Instead of asking for a testimonial, ask your customers to fill out a “short survey” of their experience with you.
At the end, have a box labeled “Please describe your experience with us in three sentences”. That way, you’re asking for true feedback rather than a testimonial. Also make sure to ask their permission to use their comments in your marketing materials.
Not only will you receive more natural and honest testimonials, but you’ll also get some valuable feedback on how to improve your business.
It might seem counter-intuitive to use a testimonial that doesn’t make you sound like a saint, but it isn’t. An over-edited testimonial just sounds fake. Check out 5 Tips for Knockout Testimonials on Copyblogger and How to Effectively Use Testimonials on Entrepreneur.com for more tips on these first two tips.
Use Them In Context
To me, testimonials always seem more credible if they’re in a case study. At minimum, you should certainly follow the tips from both articles that say to use full names and companies. A great resource on case studies is 8 Tips For Creating a Great Case Study on the Kissmetrics blog.
The main point that I’m trying to get across is that you should keep the testimonials as authentic as possible (and convey it in the presentation).
How do you use testimonials in your marketing?