Nine proof elements – that aren’t testimonials


“I don’t believe you”.

“What a crock.”

“That’s B.S.”

These are just some of the thoughts going on inside your (potential) customer’s head when they read your ad, website, brochure, or social media post.

In other words, people are super sceptical… and one of the biggest challenges your marketing messages face is being believed.

The best ways of overcoming this?

I can think of three*, the first of which is to simply “pile on the proof.”

Which is where testimonials can, surprisingly, work AGAINST you.

(Not in and of themselves, though).

You see…

While testimonials ARE important…

They are often used as a crutch or default option at the EXPENSE of other proof elements.

And like many things in life, when it comes to proof the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts.

So, to complement the testimonials you do use, here are nine other proof elements that can boost the persuasion power of your messages:

  1. Your qualifications.
  2. The ingredient, process, or technology that makes your product better or different.
  3. Giving specific details: names, numbers etc.
  4. Media coverage, “as featured in.”
  5. Awards you have won.
  6. Using language that shows you are an expert or part of the industry “in crowd”.
  7. Your track record.
  8. Product demonstration(s).
  9. Offering a strong guarantee.

Of course, these aren’t the only ones – a quick Google search will give you plenty more.

But adding these to the mix is a good start if you are looking to  “defuse” reader or viewer scepticism.

So, why not try adding them to your marketing messages today?


* In case you’re wondering, the other two ways to overcome a lack of belief are:

  • Your choice of media: by placing your messages in well-regarded publications, you can “borrow” the prestige or relationship they have with their audience.
  • Toning down the strengths of your promises or claims, so they don’t sound too good to be true.

Simon Farrar


Simon Farrar

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