Testimonials are like puppies - they melt our hearts and make us go "Aww...".
Behavioral research shows that social proof aka client testimonials is often more important to online buyers than low prices. 92% of people say they trust reviews and testimonials more than any other form of advertising.
And just like puppies who go from cute to a monster in a second when they chew up your new suede boots, testimonials don't always work as intended. All too often, they just take up web space, without being seen or making an impression.
Testimonials absolutely can be sales magnets. All they need is a little bit of training.
Here is a list of DO's and DONT's for testimonials that help you get more sales:
DO EDIT YOUR TESTIMONIALS
Ask your clients permission to edit their testimonials. Don't feel obligated to post them "as is". It is never a good idea.
DO MAKE THEM SHORT
Most of testimonials out there are way too long. Unless they belong to a detailed case study, edit your testimonials down. The shorter they are, the more likely they are to be read. Keep them 2-5 sentences long.
DON'T MAKE THEM TOO SWEET
Testimonials that mostly focus on how much your people love you leave your website visitors unimpressed. Simply because the new people don't know you yet. They don't see how it's relevant to the problem they want you to solve.
DO USE REAL NAMES AND PHOTOS
Ask your happy clients if you can use any of the following: their name, their photo, their dog's name, their dog's photo, or all of the above. This will add credibility to your testimonials.
DON'T HIGHLIGHT ONLY HOW GOOD YOU ARE WITH DOGS
When selecting testimonials to publish on your site, don't primarily choose the ones that highlight how good you are with dogs. Dogs are your passion. You are supposed to be good at it.
DO CHOOSE TESTIMONIALS THAT DESCRIBE THE EXPERIENCE OF WORKING WITH YOU
Ideally, you testimonials should answer some of these questions:
- Why was your client reluctant to hire you initially
- Why did she decide to sign up for your services
- What was her experience like overall
- What has changed in her life because of working with you
The goal of testimonials on your website is not to only show how much your clients love you (even though it's nice) but to demonstrate what the experience of working with you is like.
They are meant to reassure your new people that signing up with you is a good idea, by showcasing experience of others who have already been through it.