Testimonials are the swiss-army knife of any business owner's toolkit.
Fundamentally, a form of social proof. If Ron sees written evidence that Harry enjoyed your product, chances are, he's more likely to purchase in the future.
And a form of future pacing. By reading Harry's testimonial, Ron can see what his life could look like after your product.
A great way of highlighting the different scenarios in which your product can work. (You're showing, not telling)
And of course, they help add to your long-term credibility and authority as a business.
While testimonials add the perfect sprinkling of conversion pixie dust to your copy, it takes more than a wave of a wand to get the perfect testimonial.
While the perfect testimonial can sometimes land in your inbox organically, more often than not, your clients will need a little help. In this week's blog post, we're going to break down:
What to look for in a testimonial
How to structure a testimonial
How to ask for a testimonial
What to look for in a testimonial
Your goal with a testimonial is to make sure your prospect trusts you enough to click BUY.
Worst case scenario, your testimonial says an immense lot of nothing: lots of words, zero bite. Space on your sales page is premium real estate so every word needs to pull its weight.
Testimonials with concrete numbers get a ++ in our books.
Numbers look more reliable, sound precise, and inspire trust.
So testimonials like:
‘'Defence Against the Dark Arts helped increase my Death Eater conversion rate by 25%’
Will always do better on a sales page than:
‘Defence Against the Dark Arts was a lot of fun and my Death Eater Rehab business really grew’
Including tangible, concrete details makes your testimonial sound more trustworthy.
Don’t just pull testimonials from one group of people.
If all your testimonials are from white women in their 20s, your audience might think that that’s the only demographic your product is going to work for.
Diversity matters in your testimonials too.
Think about your Ideal Client Avatar. If you're marketing your product towards women, then it wouldn’t make sense to have testimonials from men. But if you're marketing to all women, then it's important that you feature a diverse range of women in your marketing materials.
How to structure a testimonial
Sometimes, you might have to sift through an entire paragraph in a good testimonial and pick out lines and phrases that you want to feature in your sales page for maximum impact.
When trimming down a testimonial, here are some copywriting strategies that come in handy:
PAS (Problem-Agitate-Solution) is a classic copywriting tool (and something that’s drilled into any copywriter right from the beginning) for a reason.
Presenting your audience with a problem, aggravating it, and then swooping in with your product as the solution is simple, effective, and uses human psychology to get that cash.
The perfect storm.
In a testimonial, begin with the problem your customer used to have. Then, present the shift in their lives after using your product.
A great example is this one from Racheal Cook, the founder of Yogipreneur, for the CopyHackers ebook 'The Dark Art of Longform Sales Pages’ (a Scribesmith fave too!)
The testimonial begins with Racheal’s life before the eBook (not great) and the shift in her life after (sales page rainbows!).
2. Future Pacing
Future pacing helps your prospect see their lives AFTER your product enters it.
Using the AIDA formula is super helpful here. AIDA (Attention - Interest - Desire - Action)
In a future pacing/AIDA style testimonial, you don’t open with the problem, you start out with the solution. The testimonial should begin with the wonderful, magical, utopian world your product promises.
And don’t just open with it, really hammer it in.
The goal isn’t just to make your audience feel like your product is the best thing since sliced bread.
It’s to make them forget sliced bread even existed.
Your whole testimonial needs to hype your product up so that by the time a prospect gets to the end of it, they’ll want to add to cart ASAP.
Here’s an example of one of our testimonials:
Shameless plug aside, this testimonial is structured so that the pull-out copy paints a picture of the end results. And the testimonial ends with a CTA, (aka bet on us).
3. Case Studies
Case study style testimonials are usually longer, with a lot of numbers and quantitative data in them.
These are extremely powerful in convincing people to buy, so position them near your pricing.
These types of testimonials are especially useful for B2B businesses since the prospect business can directly scan through quantitative results your product has brought in for a similar business, and apply it to their own. Check out one of ours here -->
4. Video Testimonials
Video testimonials can't be tampered with much so instantly feel more reliable. But the disadvantage is that your prospect needs to actually click on it as opposed to written testimonials which can be read even if they’re just skimming through your sales page.
To work around this, try transcribing the most powerful salient points from the video to put up on your sales page as text.
Just like ChowNow does on their testimonial page:
How to get good testimonials
Ask for them.
No seriously, it’s perfect acceptable to ask your consumers if they can share a few lines about your product/services at the end of your program.
And make sure you’re asking the right questions.
Here are some questions we personally use for our business when requesting testimonials:
What problems or challenges did you face before you purchased our product/service?
What doubts did you have before purchasing our product / service?
Would you recommend this product/service? Why?
What did you enjoy most about our product/service?
What would you tell someone who's considering buying our product?
Why did you choose our product/service over the other options?
Apart from these more general questions, the way you ask for testimonials might vary depending on the scale of your business and the size of your group.
If you have a smaller group, you can really afford to get personal with your requests.
When a customer or client has had a big win in their business and are excited about it, that's the perfect opportunity to swoop in and ask for a testimonial. You don't need to wait until the end of the project.
If they agree, go in with a set of questions. In our questions, you’ll notice that they have a beginning, middle, and an end. You need to ask your customers to paint a picture of their lives before your product, the factors that pushed them to buy, and their lives now.
You can either ask them via video call, get them to record a Loom video, or send in a form or questionnaire.
If you have a larger group, it might be easier for you to send out surveys to your customers/clients and perhaps offer a gift card or discount code in exchange for completing it.
It’s totally kosher to offer incentives in return for reviews. You're rewarding people for taking out time to answer your questions and give you feedback (both good and bad).
Alright to summarize:
Keep testimonials short unless they’re case studies
Make sure you have headshots of the people who give testimonials. This helps your prospects verify the validity of the testimonial
Include company names wherever applicable
ASK for testimonials
Prepare questions before you interview your customers
Choose the right format for your testimonials
Choose testimonials that have numbers
Pick testimonials from diverse sources from within your ICA