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Testimonials and How to Use Them

by Nina Menezes

Which one carries more weight with you?

A newspaper ad for a web design service or your good friend who’s telling you about the company which just designed the site for her small business?

Obviously your friend because you know and trust her opinion.

Why do testimonials work so well?

Testimonials work on several levels.

• They create an element of trust between you and your customer
• They establish you as a legitimate business
• They prove claims made in your ad copy
• People are more likely to believe their peers

How to present a testimonial

Throwing testimonials onto your Web site isn't enough to guarantee good results. There's actually a proper way to present and write testimonials for them to be perceived as authentic.

Effective testimonials grab the readers’ attention. One way to do that is to set it apart in a block quote or in bold letters within your site's body copy. Or -- if it's a great quote from a big name client -- you can make it a headline on a landing page.

Use natural sounding language

If a customer says "ABC web designs are a leader in their field" it might come off sounding like disingenuous fluff.

However if you're customer said, "I’ll be damned! ABC web designs helped me get more customers online", it sounds more like something a real person would say.

So when it comes to getting quotes from your customers make sure that you tell them to be honest and use their own language. And if you get a nugget like the example above, don’t edit it down.

Use customer names

Use the customer’s first and last name with their testimonial as well as the city they live in. This helps to prove to your readers that this was in fact a real customer who hired you for a project.

If your customer is shy about giving their full name go for the first name and the beginning letter of the last name such as: Jimmy B.

Use a customer photo

Combining a photo of the person who gave the testimonial with the quote helps to bolster believability and adds more power to the testimonial.

This technique is popular when using the quote as a headline, but can be used in a smaller, block quote format.

Remember to get testimonials that establish trust, build credibility and prove the claims you make in your marketing materials

Just having someone say, “ABC web designs is great”, isn’t going to cut it.

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