How To Get Testimonials

How To Get TestimonialsTestimonials are a great thing for any online business. Something that most people who are interested in buying do, is look at testimonials to see what others have said. You may create a testimonials page for your website, add testimonials into the design of the site, or you may utilise them via text and / or video for your landing pages, as part of your sales copy as well.

Obtaining great testimonials can make a difference to your online success. Here are some tips on how to get testimonials from your customers and contacts…

How To Get Testimonials – Some Tips

Ask end users. When you process an order, ask the purchaser to write back with a customer testimonial. It wouldn’t hurt to include a survey about the product with the shipment or contact them later on through a follow-up email to ask for their opinion and permission to publish their answers.

Ask people in the industry. If you ask people who have a name in your industry for testimonials, this can be helpful to you. If there are ‘celebrities’ that you can approach and know they’d have street credit in your niche market, don’t hesitate to ask them to review your product. A review copy could result in increased sales.

Offer review copies to people who may be able to help you. If you’re selling an e-book, you can give out a few copies in exchange for a product review. If you’re selling a physical product, you can offer a discount or rebate as an incentive for a testimonial.

Call in favours. Do you have peers that could help you? It sure would be beneficial to have reviews that are eager to be testifying that your product is “just brilliant and does everything it advertises to do”. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Offer a discount on a future order for a creative testimonial, such as a video, which could help you get more credit. When people can watch a testimonial rather than read it, it’s even more believable.

Produce a great product and offer outstanding customer service. If you do this, people will probably offer their testimonials.

Create a testimonial submission page on your website. You can do this much like a contact page but go ahead and publish the results. (Do be sure to moderate them before publishing, though.)

Avoid Fake Testimonials

Some internet marketers do create fake testimonials, but it doesn’t really do anything for them, or their online reputation. It’s much better if you can link back to a photo of a real person or a website that’s clickable and belongs to someone. If there are online reviews of your product off your site, don’t hesitate to link to them as well.

Dealing With Negative Testimonials

Negative reviews are something no one really wants but if you get them, you can use them as an opportunity to improve. Improve your product, your customer service, or your customer’s experience. Isn’t it better to know what’s wrong rather than wonder why sales fall flat?

Hopefully this article has given you some food for thought on how to get testimonials and apply them to your internet business in order increase your bottom line and give your future customers peace of mind. If you have any strategies or ideas on generating testimonials that have worked for you, feel free to add them in the comments below.

About Sean Rasmussen

I am a passionate blogger and have been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When I'm not with my family, you will find me doing SEO, building websites for many of my clients, and creating products out of thin air! This is a cool gig and I love it!

Comments

  1. You are completely right about the power of testimonials ! And I use a tool that might be interesting to all you readers !

    Our company (BBC) appealed to Our Clients (www.our-clients.com). Our-clients is an online tool that makes it easy to collect testimonials from your clients and keep them up-to-date.

    The testimonials are completely trustworthy thanks to the fact that not only you but also your clients have control on what is published. And testimonials have to be updated or confirmed every 12 months. So you end up with a list of testimonials that are real and recent. Only those will convince your prospects

  2. I agree Testimonials really do add weight to any sale page, especially if its a video testimonial. Youv’e highlight some great ways to gather Testimonials as well.
    Thanks for the great article.
    Cade

  3. I haven’t had a need to think about testimonials at this point. I am though, so aware of how important it is to have at least one good testimonial for a product or service. Testimonials are important to us all especially when we need to make a decision on a purchase or to choose an appropriate service person. It’s so wise to advise not to use fake testimonials as you have done in this article. It may take a little more time to gather authentic testimonials but, is time well spent in the long run, as you have highlighted, along with some very good ideas on how gather them. Thanks for the valued info here,

    • Glad you liked it Jill. When it does come time for you to gather testimonials, I am sure you will have no problems at all. Keep up the good work ;-)

  4. Hi Sean

    Thanks for the tips on how to get testimonials. Thanks also for raising the issue of negative testimonials. The fear of getting negative feedback can really hold you back. But you’re right, just use it as an opportunity to improve or deal with the situation. It’s a good thing that someone would give you their time and effort to tell you frankly what they think, so best to use it to your advantage.

    Lina

  5. Thanks for this Sean.

    How would you know if a testimonial was fake?

    • Hi Gee,
      That is also my question to how to tell if a testimonial was fake.
      I haven’t believed plenty that I have seen, unless it has been a Video testimonial and even then I have been skeptical.

  6. Hi Gee

    You might not know for sure that a testimonial is fake. But some things might make a real testimonial look suspicious. For example:

    1. Lack of details about the customer (“Bob from Canada” looks dodgy)
    2. Too brief (“This is awesome, you should get it!”)
    3. Too general (“This thing changed my life. I’m so happy with it. It’s really good, I can’t explain why, it just is”)
    4. Too unrealistic (“I bought this thing, and I fell pregnant with triplets within 10 minutes!”).

    That’s why, when you’re asking for testimonials, you should probably ask your customer to address certain points in it. There’s an art to writing testimonials because it’s part of the sales copy and has its own features.

    • Great information Lina

      I was always suspicious about that lady who had the triplets in 10 minutes and she hadn’t even taken the whole packet of whoopee pills! (lol)

  7. I am sure all of you are right and I am just out of step with reality. Testimonials must be important because we are flooded with them morning noon and night.

    Personally I never pay much if any attention to testimonials because I am aware no one is going to publish any testimonial which is not favorable and pitched in the right direction. I am also aware that they in no way represent a cross section of the reaction to the product. They are only from those who are willing to say the right things.

    I guess the testimonial I would notice would be a very well known and respected figure in the target industry doing a video statement. It would be even more convincing is the statement had a barb or two about how it will obviously be improved in the future.

    I am just not gullible enough to consider buying because of what people I don’t know have to say about it. I would much rather the product be presented to me in an exciting and factual way but not forcing me to accept what Joe Blow Me Down had to say about it.

    So, I am sure I will come around to harvesting testimonials one day, but for now I am happy to spend my time and energy otherwise. Of course, all of you will get richer quicker, but I won’t be beholden to anyone for what they have said :):).

    • You might be right, Dobbs. My experience is, having received many testimonials over the years, all of them good, is that so many people have so many different ways of saying something in a positive way that if you get enough of them, such positive testimonials do paint a picture that negate what the occasional negative one might say.

      • Featuring positive testimonials is never going to be the sole deal breaker in having your product/service purchased. It is however another positive element which makes you more likely to continue to read and develop reasons to buy. Testimonials help reduce the risk of purchase, especially if they’re written in a matter of fact colloquial manner. You start to think “These people are facing the same problems as me, and this product seems to have overcome their problem… Hmmm… maybe I should take a closer look.” Testimonials help ‘prove’ your product/service standards.

  8. Jazz Salinger says:

    Hi Sean,

    I guess I need to improve my attitude to testimonials. I tend not to trust them when they’re from people I don’t know. If someone I know endorses a product or service I am much more inclined to try it out.

    I need to find a happy medium because I want my potential customers to be able to have access to my current customer’s experiences of doing business with me. This would definitely help my business.

    • That’s true, Jazz, the vast majority of my new customers come from recommendations from my present customers who are friends or relatives of the new customers. A much smaller number come from people who found me online and were convinced by the testimonials.

  9. I have used testimonials on my sites for 6 years and occasionally I clients say that they chose me because of the testimonials. I have a few testimonials that are a bit over the top, but, because there are more than one over-the-toppers, people find them believable. I would like to try some of the methods listed here to get more testimonials. The method that has worked for me so far is if someone says they had a great session I might ask for one. I am not sure how that translates into a purely internet business.

  10. Hi Sean,

    Great advice on dealing with negative testimonials, I think using negative testimonials as a reason to improve is a great way to turn a negative into a positive & show your customer that you are serious about giving them the best service possible.

  11. Testimonials are a great tool to promote a product and particularly any benefit the consumer has noticed when using the product.

    You don’t want fake testimonials or general fluffy ones either. There are lots of ways to way great product but they don’t always contain a benefit.

    I have always gained from testimonials from users rather than from calling in a favour. But I guess that can also depend on what the product is. In the main the testimonials I have acquired are for consumable products.

    I guess again depending I the product I wouldn’t be as keen to offer discounts or specials as an enticement for a testimonial. Customers may tell you they’ve experienced x or y in a great testimonial to get the offer.

    However having said that these are not wrong options, you may just have to vet more closely.

    This is just my opinion based on my experience in my business.

    • It’s pretty obvious when testimonials are faked – they all seem to read just abit too alike!

      I like the various options for getting genuine testimonials – which I must admit to not bothering to consider.

      In light of that I am willing to give anyone a copy of my e-books on gardening and internet marketing – in exchange for a testimonial!!!! (all written by moi of course!)

      I do have some on depression and suicide prevention, but figure no one here needs those as this comp is a huge pick me up and who could be depressed !

  12. Hi Sean

    I think testimonials are a bit dodgy, probably because they get bad publicity and have often been the source of ridicule from comedians too.

    I have noticed at many seminars I have been to, people often give a written or video testimonial at the event when they are high on NLP or pumped from the workshop!

    When you get home and start unpacking your new homestudy and find it is one thousand times more complex than you were lead to believe, or you buy a share trading package which looks schmick at the time but you can never get hold of the mentoring support that you paid a couple of grand for then it’s too late. I never give testimonials at events for this reason.

    I don’t know what the answer is as I often look at testimonials and wonder if they are legitimate.

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