Testimonials are one of the most common proof elements used in SME advertising.
When done well, they help overcome this big hurdle: getting people to believe you.
Yet most business owners AREN’T squeezing all they can out of their customer testimonials.
And after looking at dozens of ads and websites, here are the most common mistakes I’ve noticed…and what you can do to fix them.
To make your testimonials more effective AVOID doing this:
- Using generic testimonials (e.g., “Great service”).
- Using testimonials that lack a before and after story.
- Using too many character reference testimonials and not enough results testimonials.
- Using too many “sickly sweet” testimonials.
- Making the testimonial giver too anonymous.
- Using all text-only testimonials.
- Running testimonials without a headline.
- Putting your testimonials in carousels (on websites).
- Using testimonials only to back up claims.
Instead, focus on doing this:
Make sure your testimonials have concrete details and use your customers’ language.
HAVE A STORY ARC
Make your testimonials “turnaround’ stories: from a bad situation to a good one, thanks to your product or service.
INCLUDE RESULT-BASED TESTIMONIALS
People want to deal with people they like and trust. But they also want results. So, include testimonials that focus on this. (Just be sure you stay compliant with advertising law).
TAP INTO READERS’ SCEPTICISM
Include testimonials that state your customer was sceptical at first…but was then won over by you, after you delivered the result they wanted.
CREDBILITY OF THE TESTIMONIAL GIVER
Give their first and last name, and location. And if you sell to businesses, their job title and company name.
USE VIDEO OR PHOTOS
Video testimonials are the most powerful. Followed by testimonials with photos of the testimonial-giver. Add these where you can.
ADD A HEADLINE
Most people skim read at first. So, give each testimonial a headline to grab their attention.
USE STATIC TESTIMONIALS
Don’t let your web developer put your testimonials in a carousel on a timer. Display your testimonials fully – and let people read them at their own pace.
ADD OBJECTION HANDLING TESTIMONIALS
The bigger your claims, the more sceptical people will be. So be sure your testimonials handle the most common sales objections you get.
Of course, creating good testimonials starts with getting the right information from your customers.
In my next article, I will give you a quick questionnaire that helps you do just this.
In the meantime, if you are open to improving your company’s marketing…
Go here to request your free marketing health check: