Testimonials are a valuable form of social proof that help establish your credibility, build trust, and overcome skepticism and doubt. They give you the opportunity to prove claims about your products and services.
Consumers constantly seek word-of-mouth references from family, friends, and even complete strangers on social media and review sites. That’s because we tend to trust word-of-mouth information from fellow consumers more than the same info from a business.
That’s why testimonials act as powerful, word-of-mouth marketing on your website. Once you know how to collect testimonials, the next step is figuring out how to use them effectively.
3 key elements to effectively using testimonials on your website
There are three things to keep in mind that will help you make the most of testimonials on your website.
Vague testimonials can actually do more harm than good. Here’s an example of a vague testimonial:
“Jane is the best! I loved working with her!”
This testimonial might stroke your ego, but it doesn’t provide any details to substantiate your claims. Worse yet, website visitors often see those types of testimonials as generic, fake and insincere.
In contrast, specific testimonials can be highly effective. Here’s an example of a specific testimonial:
“Before working with Jane, I felt stuck and confused. I was a little nervous about working with someone in another country, but our online sessions were super helpful and my career has really taken off. Using the methods Jane taught me, I finally got my business of the ground and doubled my income.”
Wow, big difference! Let’s go over why the specific testimonial is more effective.
- It’s more relatable. Potential clients can identify with that story. They’re most likely in that “before” stage feeling stuck and confused just like the person who wrote the testimonial.
- It overcomes objections. No matter how amazing your product or service is, potential clients will always have doubts. This client was worried about hiring someone in a different country, an objection that other potential clients likely have. The testimonial addresses that objection and works to counteract it.
- It quantifies results. The testimonial reinforces the benefits of working with Jane by giving specific results—she doubled her income. Specific results (my sales increased by 27%) are more convincing and believable than general language (my sales increased).
Ideally, each testimonial should be accompanied by the person’s full name, business name or location, and their photo. These three elements give the testimonial credibility by showing that the endorsement comes from a real person. The more real the person seems, the more your website visitors will trust the testimonial. Simple as that.
Don’t limit testimonials to a dedicated testimonials page. Thoughtfully selecting and placing testimonials throughout your website is essential to maximizing their effectiveness. Here are some examples:
Testimonials on your sales page
Place targeted testimonials throughout sales pages to increase your credibility, drive home your message, and overcome objections.
For example, if you have a paragraph on your sales page that talks about a specific benefit, add a testimonial that mentions that benefit directly below the paragraph. The testimonial acts as proof that the benefit you’re claiming is true.
Let’s say you’re selling a high-priced course. The hefty price tag is likely to be an objection. Place a testimonial that addresses and overcomes that objection where the client mentions the price. Website visitors might still have a “holy crap, that’s expensive” moment. But they’ll also see the testimonial, which helps alleviate their objection.
Testimonials on your checkout page
Testimonials on your checkout page help instill confidence and eliminate last minute doubts.
Let’s say the testimonial about your high-priced course did the trick. I click the buy button and am ready to pay...until some last minute doubts swoop in. Is this course really all that it’s cracked up to be? Am I going to regret shelling out all this cash? Adding a testimonial to the checkout page can help assuage those last minute doubts and fears.
Testimonials on your home page
Include your best testimonials front and center on your homepage.
When a new visitor lands on your homepage, they quickly scan it to determine if they want to stick around or not. Testimonials will help reinforce your credibility and encourage visitors to stay on your website.
Applying these methods to testimonials on your website might take some extra work, but the rewards are well worth it.
Ask clients to rewrite testimonials, giving them clear guidelines that gently lead them to write the type of specific testimonials you need. Don’t be scared of bothering them. Most will be more than happy to help. Then sit back and relax as your effective testimonials start converting more website visitors into paying clients.
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