6 Powerful Tips for More Effective Testimonials

Did you ever see the classic movie “When Harry Met Sally” with actress Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal? In the infamous restaurant scene, there was a customer deciding what to order. After she watched Meg Ryan apparently enjoying what she was eating, the customer told the waiter “I’ll have what she’s having.” Hilarious. But it speaks some truth as well. Meg Ryan’s testimonial, if you want to call it that, was certainly enough to persuade the customer to order the same thing in hopes of enjoying the same fulfilling result. 

You can say all you want about your product or your service, but it will pale in comparison to what others are saying. Those testimonials are what your customers are paying attention to. Regardless of the business that you’re in, your website needs to not only have these testimonials but they need to be done right to be effective. 

Tip No. 01: Your Target Audience and Pain Points
The testimonials you share on your website need to be aimed at your target audience. Not only that, but they need to address the pain points that your customers have. For example, if your customers suffer from lower back pains then a testimonial regarding how your services alleviated their lower back pains is spot on. A sweet testimonial from a customer about how your services helped them “feel better” isn’t quite as specific or effective. 

Tip No. 02: Your Biggest Hurdle
What is the biggest hurdle that your customers have in doing business with you? If it’s the price to hire your services, find a past customer that can address how the cost of doing business was worth because of their return on their investment. If you can address these hurdles by having someone else speak on your behalf, in their words, you’ll have a much easier time gaining the business of those that are on the fence.

Tip No. 03: Placement
You know your website needs testimonials but where do you put them on your site? There’s two general rules to keep in mind: 1) Don’t put them on their own page. Few people will navigate to a page devoted to just testimonials. Instead, place them in context to what they’re about. Going back to the previous example, if you have a pricing page, place the pricing testimonial right there on the pricing page where the viewer can easily see it. 2) Place some testimonials on the homepage as well where viewers are sure to see them. One near the top and the other towards the bottom close to the call to action. 

Tip No. 04: Video vs. Text
There’s an argument and reason for both video and text. For those that are quickly scanning your site, a simple sentence might be sufficient. But don’t underestimate the power of video. That’s when you get to “see” what someone else is saying. You see their body language, their intonations, their excitement and their authenticity. 

He is not satisfied until you are 100% satisfied and you will end up with a very effective and professional web page for yourself or your business.”

Testimonial from Knut Hoelstad of Ravalli Fun Center

Tip No. 05: Keep Them Short
In regards to text, nobody’s going to read a testimonial that’s a paragraph in length (unless it’s a well crafted story … we love to read stories). Remember, people like to scan a website not read a website. Keep it to a few powerful words or a sentence. If the customer gave you a full paragraph, find the most compelling sentence and use it. If you’re using a video, keep it to around 60 seconds if possible. Keep in mind that people have short attention spans.

Tip No. 06: Customer’s Name
For further credibility, use the name and title of the person sharing their testimonial. A name like “Real Customer” doesn’t have as much credibility. But at the same time, I like to offer some privacy by using their first name and their last name’s initial … along with the title and business they’re associated with. Props if you have their permission to include their picture too. 

When our customers are speaking on our behalf their voice is 10 times louder and more likely to be heard than if we’re tooting our own horn. Let them speak for you through their words in a testimonial and you’ll soon see others speaking up and saying, “I’ll have what she’s having.”  

Here are two examples of video testimonials for my business:

Knut Hoelstad from Ravalli Fun Center regarding his new website.
Heather Appel from Bitterroot Bouncers regarding her website and videos from Touch Point Designs.

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