Everybody likes a pat on the back. It feels good and tells you that someone values the work you’ve done. In the online world, customer testimonials are like a digital pat on the back — with a bonus. You build brand trust, increase your customer base, and ultimately, get more sales.
There’s a big difference between you promoting your product or service and someone else endorsing it. Wouldn’t you rather hear from real people who have actually used it (or worked with you) to solve their problems and are happy enough to write about it?
Testimonials = Social Proof
On the customer side, people want to know that they’re not going to get ripped off and that they’re making good decisions. On the business side, they’re free publicity and a sales tool.
According to Aleksi Halsas in Your Guide to Using Testimonials for Marketing, “Consumers read 10 reviews before they trust a local business and 86% of consumers read reviews on the internet.” And data from Power Reviews reminds us “that testimonials placed along more expensive items increased conversion rates 380%.”
Let’s face it. Most buyers trust online reviews and consider them to be personal recommendations. So it makes sense that most marketers rate testimonials as one of the most effective marketing tactics.
Here’s How to Collect Testimonials
Collecting reviews doesn’t have to be a chore or feel awkward. You can ask for them through social media, use automated emails that trigger a few days after product delivery, or create customer satisfaction surveys through tools like SurveyMonkey.
Apps like yotpo, stamped.io, loox and shopify product reviews can also help you gather feedback, and reach out to customers who’ve given positive feedback on social media. Creating a system, rather than always having to remember who you should contact, is key.
Once you’ve started gathering testimonials, spotlight them to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck. You earned them, now promote them.
How to Use Customer Testimonials
- Post reviews on your homepage. This is a simple, yet effective way to give visitors a reason to keep exploring your site, and ultimately, your product or service. But don’t stop here. Include testimonials on your landing pages, product pages, contact pages — basically any page that plays a part in driving conversions. Just make sure each testimonial is relevant to the page that it’s placed on.
- Create a customer testimonial page. While having customer reviews on your homepage is a good way to spark interest, a product testimonial page shows how others have benefited from your product or service. It’s a powerful tool for establishing trust and encouraging potential buyers to take action.
- Share testimonials on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — take your pick. If you’re using social media to promote your brand, why not use it to promote customer reviews? On Instagram? Pairing high-quality photos with 5-star reviews might be all it takes to convert potential customers. Is your audience on LinkedIn? Ask for (and willingly give) recommendations,
- Use reviews in case studies. Case studies detail a customer’s journey from the day they realized they had a problem to the moment they discovered your product or service solved it for them. They’re an awesome sales tool in their own right, but testimonials give them an added edge. They’re more detailed than standard reviews, so it makes sense to create a dedicated page on your website to feature them.
- Shoot a video testimonial. Videos are quickly shared and they’re becoming easier than ever to create and publish. The great thing about video testimonials is that they offer brands more creative license to show how enthusiastic their customers are. Video testimonials go far beyond the usual quotes to offer prospects a glimpse at how users are actually interacting with the product.
- Write a blog post around a customer story. Any visitor that lands on a blog post is a potential customer that can be converted. Adding short testimonials within the blog post can influence visitors and increase their trust with your company. Use them in the sidebar or underneath an image, so you’re not being intrusive.
The next step is yours.
Start gathering testimonials. Reach out to happy customers and ask them to share their stories. Reviews are a no-cost marketing and PR tool to get prospects to trust your brand and commit to it.
Be creative. Experiment. See what works and what doesn’t. You worked so hard to have a great business, why not let your testimonials work for you?