The ins and outs of testimonial marketing (and how to get the best ones)
Author: Philippa Lowe
Published: 7 August 2018

The ins and outs of testimonial marketing (and how to get the best ones)

As you traverse the expanse of the internet, you are bound to come across quite a few testimonials. Whether a business has space on their website for testimonials to be displayed or whether it’s the reviews on a Facebook page, you won’t find many businesses without a space for testimonials and reviews. We’re exploring why testimonial marketing is so effective and what you can do to make sure you’re using testimonials to your advantage.

Why are testimonials so good?

Word of mouth marketing has always been the best way to promote a product or service and it makes sense – most people trust the opinions of the people they know, whether it be family, friends or even friends of friends. In fact, according to Nielsen, 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know. All of us like to have some kind proof that the product or service we’re choosing will work; we want validation that we’re making the right choice.

So, who should you ask?

Clearly, reviews and testimonials hold value full stop, but there are certain people you can ask to make sure they really pack a punch. Make sure the testimonials you’re showcasing are from your ideal clients. Is your target market teenage girls? Perhaps a testimonial from your very supportive and well-meaning Grandma is not the one to really highlight on your website.

Overall though, get as many testimonials as you can – each of your customers will say something slightly different or maybe even say something you didn’t expect to hear! All of your potential customers are looking for something different too, so give them as many opinions as you can.

No matter who you ask, make sure you get explicit permission to use their words publicly and ensure that they are aware that their name will be appearing next to their testimonial. In some cases, they may not want their full name to be disclosed or perhaps they work in a sensitive industry. Be sure to discuss this with them before you publish your testimonial.

When and how should you ask for a testimonial?

The when question is easy to answer – the best time to ask for a testimonial is while you’re still fresh in their mind. Are they using your product or service currently? Now’s a great time to ask! Of course, if they haven’t been your customer for very long, it might be worth waiting until they can have a fully-formed opinion of you before you ask. If you run a program of some kind, sending them an email or giving them a call at the end of the program will mean that they have the opportunity then and there to give their testimonial.

Deciding how to ask for a testimonial is a little more difficult and it can change depending on your customer. Some people may be more comfortable with just an email while others would prefer a phone call. Still, some others might even be up for recording a video with their testimonial. Gauge how comfortable your specific customer would be with each of those options and just go for it. Typically, we like to begin with an email and follow up with a phone call if they’re comfortable.

What does a testimonial need to say?

This is the tricky part … how do you get someone to give you a glowing review? It starts with picking the right people and it ends with asking the right questions. Instead of the short and sweet “Loved the product, would buy again”, you need to find out what it was that they loved about working with you and what they think sets you apart. There’s no need for it to be an essay but it does need to have some meaningful details.

Ask them:

  • Why they chose you over everyone else
  • What their expectations were before they started working with you
  • How your product/service/approach helped them
  • What they found to be the three biggest benefits to be of working with you
  • Who they would recommend you to

There are hundreds of combinations of questions that will get you an amazing testimonial, but these are a great place to start. Remember, once you have their testimonial, it is perfectly okay to condense it or change spelling/grammar to suit. Just make sure you let them know of any changes and get them to sign off before you publish.

Once you’ve got the testimonial, where can you use it?

The answer is anywhere and everywhere. Put them in emails every now and then, display them on your website where everyone can see and put them in your flyers and brochures. Once you’ve got the testimonial and it’s finalised, you can use them anywhere you like to give your marketing that extra boost.

Getting testimonials can be daunting, let Incredible Communications help you out by sourcing testimonials for you, email phil.lowe@incrediblecommunications.com.au or call 0414 711 107.