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How to Use Testimonials to Increase Your Conversion Rate

A MOST EFFECTIVE way  to build trust and increase sales of your product or service is by the use of testimonials, brief endorsements by a satisfied customer.

You’d think that since testimonials are so easy to fake, people wouldn’t believe them.

But used carefully, the opposite is true. They work.

The Function of a Testimonial

A good testimonial attracts attention, conveys a benefit, and achieves credibility. If a testimonial sounds so good that you couldn’t have said it better yourself, then it probably won’t sound credible to the reader.

A Different “Voice”

The reason that testimonials work is that they tell about your product in a different “voice” than yours. The more colloquially it is said, the more credible it will feel to the reader.

The more specific the quote, the better.

If someone says, “Yours is the best product of its kind in the whole world,” it doesn’t get much traction.

Much better would be: “I used to be upset about the scar just below my left eye. But since I’ve started using Coveralls Skin Mask, nobody notices.

In fact, no one has asked me about that scar for the past 14 months.

What a relief!”

Placement of testimonials is important, too.

A testimonial belongs at the point in the sales process where you’re dealing with a particular objection. So don’t cram all your testimonials together. Space them out with other parts of your sales copy where they belong in the natural flow of your presentation.

Securing Good Testimonials

How do you get good testimonials? I use two approaches:

1. Unsolicited e-mails. When someone writes a kind note praising my work, I write back requesting to use an excerpt in my marketing. Every time I have asked, I’ve received an enthusiastic positive response.

2. Evaluations. When we’ve completed a client’s successful project, I ask him or her to evaluate the job.

In one part of the evaluation I ask respondents to write a two or three sentence recommendation from which they give me permission to use an excerpt in my marketing.

Most of these comments aren’t helpful, but 5% are just what I’m looking for. It pays to ask. It’s important to note that I ask specifically to use an “excerpt” of their words.

I cut out all the extraneous verbiage and keep just the phrase or sentence that contains the juicy words I want for the testimonial. It’s important that I don’t misrepresent what they intended to say.

But shorter is better. Ask to use an excerpt. Should you try to get a recommendation from someone well-known in your industry? Of course. But carefully selected testimonials from “normal people” can have a powerful positive effect. Don’t neglect them.

Until next time… Onwards and Upwards!


If you want an almost never-fail tip for getting great testimonials, give John a call 0414 955 743 – advice is totally free of charge.

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