No matter what industry you belong to, knowing how to write a testimonial for your product or brand will help convert traffic into leads. Keep in mind that testimonials must be genuine, sincere, and real. Authentic testimonials are an excellent marketing tool – especially since they establish trust by means of a third-party endorsement.
How to Write a Testimonial
In this guide, we will be going over the different types of testimonials, how to write a good testimonial for your business, how to ask for them from customers, and some solid examples. You don’t need to be a professional writer to write an excellent testimonial!
Types of Testimonials
Let’s first break down exactly what a testimonial is. Essentially, a testimonial is what a customer writes when he/she feels very satisfied with the product or service they received. So, they hope to refer and encourage others towards your business as a result of this high quality and positive experience.
It is important that all marketing claims displayed on your website are backed up by social proof: either in the form of testimonials or data and statistics. This evidence must be included on your website in order to prove you are worthy of the customer’s business.
On the one hand, testimonials are focused on qualitative, emotional, and personal reviews. On the other, data and statistics use quantitative appeals to reason. For example, a testimonial would state “thank you so much for the quick food service!” while statistical evidence would state “98.5% food service delivery within 10 minutes on record.” While you should typically include both, for now we will be tackling testimonials.
Here are the main types of testimonials:
Peer testimonials are one of the most effective types due to a concept known as implicit egotism. In short, implicit egotism is the idea that we tend to gravitate towards people, places, and things we feel resemble us most. Research shows that the more familiar something is, the more we admire it. As a result, we tend to buy things that reflect who we are.
For instance, you are more likely to make a purchase from an advertisement displaying a woman or man who looks like you. Moreover, you are more likely to trust a testimonial from someone with the same background and demographic. Peer testimonials are an excellent way to reach your target audience. Ask your most typical customers for a testimonial as they will be the ones to represent your target market (such as young millennials, video producers, master’s degree students, etc.)
Quotes can be a short yet powerful way to point out your most important feature, your unique brand, or an extremely positive experience from one of your customers. A good tactic to keep in mind is actually reinforcing the call-to-action in the client review.
These can come in different forms: either through a Tweet, an Instagram post, a Youtube video, or Facebook post reviewing your product/service. Encouraging a natural conversation about your product/service across social media platforms will add more credibility to your business. This usually occurs organically, and when it does, be sure to publicize, screenshot, or save the direct link. In case of a bad review, here is how you can fight back.
Videos are one of the more trusted types of testimonials due to their live visual nature. It is easy to write a fake text using a random Facebook profile page, but having a customer sit in front of a camera and share their genuine experience does wonder. This will increase your brand credibility – particularly because people often turn to videos when comparing product reviews, so use it to your advantage.
Influencer Testimonials / Endorsements
If you receive a testimonial from a well-known and famous celebrity, you’re in luck! This is some good free advertising. However, this will rarely happen without a price tag. Usually, a high end and famous celebrity is asked by a brand to display public support. This is what is called an endorsement. Testimonials differ from endorsements because they are written by paying customers or clients, providing the same authenticity as a review. However, influencers differ from celebrities because they have authority and influence within particular niches, rather than general fame. So, you should target multiple well-known influencers within your field who can guide consumers towards your brand.
The best kind of interview testimonials are the ones that come off as very natural and allow the results to speak for themselves. With that being said, avoid leading questions (meaning questions that point to the response you are looking for) and instead trust that your customer will be honest, loyal, and open. Also, focus on audio and video interviews, which give you an added layer of credibility.
How to Write a Good Testimonial
Let’s discuss the main elements to include when writing a good testimonial:
- Name/Logo: add the name of the company as well as the logo is the first step to establishing credibility (an essential component of testimonials.)
- Outcome/Result: It would be best if you displayed this with statistical data. For instance, “customer engagement improved by 85% on my social media page” or “I lost 35 pounds as a result of his amazing program.”
- Solution: This differs from the result because it’s the how. This means, how exactly did your business help this customer with their initial problem? Also, mentioning the initial problem the client had is a good way to reel in new customers who are facing similar scenarios.
- Personal experience: Here is where the customer might share their appreciation for one of your employees or just general impressions they had.
- Rating: Although not necessary, asking the customer to state a rating over five stars on your product or service can be eye-captivating for viewers.
How to Receive Good Testimonials
The question then becomes: how do you ask your customers to write a good testimonial about your product or service? Here are a few points you should follow:
- Reach out to your clients via email: Focus on your super fans. These are the customers who are happiest and most loyal.
- Keep it simple and short: Make sure to provide multiple options to your customers providing the testimonial (including audio, written, and visual.) Although you might really want them to send in a video, not everyone has the time.
- Ask questions: Include a set list of questions in case they don’t know what to say.
- Offer a discount code or bonus upon completion: This will encourage your clients to give you their time and it serves as a reminder for why your services/product are so great and generous.
- Create a sense of urgency: This is particularly useful when following up on the previous point – create a deadline for the offers.
- Get approval: Always make sure to ask your client for their approval to publish. Inform them on where it will be posted and the purpose. Allow them to make any edits if they choose.
- Share away!: This can now be included on company presentations, websites, social media, blogs, and more.
- Follow up with a thank you email: Make sure you really thank them with a thoughtful response. There are many unexpected ways to show gratitude to your customer.
- Authoritative Review Sites: This is an alternative to a request via email. Depending on your niche audience, you may register on relevant review platforms and receive testimonials from those users. For example, if you work in small and medium-sized enterprises, you may want to use Yelp.
In general, an example of good testimonial is short, direct, and authentic. Here are three testimonial examples you should use as references:
The following testimonial page by Codecademy is called “Codecademy Stories”. It is an excellent way to display alumni stories, both in forms of an interactive video and text. The text section includes the demographic location of each student, a picture, an inspiring quote of their experience, and a Q&A interview. The important part is that they chose genuine students that their niche audience can relate to.
The testimonial page by 99design takes a different approach by using a five-star rating display. They have a 4.8 average from 37,466 design contest ratings. It includes both a captivating video and customer ratings/ written reviews displayed below that. You can also choose which industry and category you want to see reviews from, which allows them to cater to their wide-ranging audience – an important feature for a graphic design company.
In this testimonial example, we see a clever approach to nesting testimonials relative to the rest of the site. As you scroll through the site, you come across customer stories in the form of quotes and successful results. Moreover, these stories are visually engaging with pictures and diverse formatting. Also, they display key product features from Slack and how each customer used them.
At SEO Design Chicago, we can help you through the process of choosing the right type of testimonial, asking for them from your customers, and incorporating them onto your website and more! If you need it, SEO Design Chicago also provides reputation management services.
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