Wednesday, May 13, 2009

5 Rules for Effective Testimonial Use

In researching for this post I laughed when I saw this article: “How to write really believable testimonials!” Yikes – isn’t that an oxymoron? It’s no wonder we’ve become so suspicious!

Rule #1
Don’t fake them. We can tell.

Rule #2a
If you can’t get permission to use it, don’t just leave their name off. Even if it is real, leaving the name off makes it immediately fake.

Rule 2b:
Even worse, don’t just sign the testimonial. –CEO, Energy Company – [FAKE, FAKE, FAKE, FAKE…]

Rule #3
Don’t use it just because you have it.

“I thought your product did a good job.”
-Ernie Mattox, Pensacola , FL.

Wow, that would make me run out and buy it – NOT.

Rule #4
Use testimonials sparingly and strategically. If you have a bunch of testimonials on your website, keep in mind that their value tends to get diminished by quantity. Instead of posting them everywhere, ONLY post them on pages that are likely to cause anxiety – pages like form submits or shopping cart pages (thank you Marketing Experiments).

Rule #5
Make sure the testimonial is relevant. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen testimonials for product A on a Product B page.

It’s one thing when you say how great you are. But when someone else says how great you are (and it’s true, and you have their permission, and they are used sparingly. and they are relevent) that’s gold!

Steve Kellogg
-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant

1 comment:

  1. You are completely right about the power of testimonials ! And I use an online tool that might be interesting for all you readers.

    Our company (BBC) appealed to Our Clients ( Our-clients is an online tool that makes it easy to collect testimonials from your clients and keep them up-to-date.

    The testimonials are completely trustworthy thanks to the fact that not only you but also your clients have control on what is published. And testimonials have to be updated or confirmed every 12 months. So you end up with a list of testimonials that are real and recent. Only those will convince your prospects.