1. Don't be shy
If you don't have any or many testimonials on your website, then get them! Simply email your customers and ask for their feedback on your business and/or service. If you've done a good job, provided a good service or your product is useful, you will find that most customers will be more than happy to give you a recommendation.
2. Talk about the benefits
A comment like, "This product is great!" is nice to hear, but it doesn't tell readers what your product can actually do for them. The benefits of what you offer should be the highlight of every testimonial. Look for recommendations like these: "This product doubled our profits in a month!" or "This product made the pain in my back disappear completely - and did it fast!" or "We've never seen any product that could get the rust off our car without damaging the paint - until now."
3. Substantiate your claims
If you say your product can do something, your testimonials should back up your promises, complete with actual facts and figures. How much money did your customers save by using your product? How much time did they save by using your service? How did it solve their problems or improve their lives?
4. Something to relate to
You want your readers to see that your product/service helped someone just like them. Make sure your testimonials come from someone with whom your target market can identify. If you sell primarily to seniors, for example, ask your customers if you can include their age along with the testimonial. If you're selling to Mums with children, ask if you can mention how many kids they have or include a photo of their family.
Accompany each testimonial with the first name, last name and hometown of each testimonial-giver to show that your endorsements come from real people. Always try to include a photo as well. And if you can, take it to the next level by including audio or video testimonials for maximum effect. Do anything you can to help your readers connect with your testimonial-givers on a personal level.
When people read testimonials they gain confidence in your products and services and are far more likely to buy from you. Think about your own experiences - are you more likely to hire a plumber or a builder when you read their brochure or when a friend recommends them?
Marion Jackson is an accomplished Executive Assistant who has identified a gap in the local New Zealand market for providing affordable websites and business support.