Digital marketing is a pillar for success for any modern business, but far too many businesses fall short in a key area: testimonials.
Without compelling testimonials, your digital strategies will not reach their full potential.
Far too many companies dedicate all of the time and effort to get people to their site and on their social pages only to face frustratingly low conversion rates.
Testimonials are the difference maker, and they can help you transform leads to sales.
There’s just one tiny challenge associated with testimonials, and that is acquiring them.
You could have the best business in the world, but if you are not asking you won’t get testimonials.
Read on to learn more about the most effective testimonials and how to ask for them.
The Importance of Testimonials
Testimonials are one of the most powerful tools you can use for your business. Social proof is key for optimizing your digital marketing efforts and boosting conversions. Testimonials are the modern version of word-of-mouth marketing.
Potential customers trust their peers. They want to know about the experience of people like them. While quality branded copy is important, nothing has the same impact as a high star rating and abundance of helpful testimonials.
Qualities of Useful Testimonials
All testimonials are helpful and powerful, but the best testimonials have some qualities in common. Here’s what great testimonials have in common:
- Genuine and Natural. Testimonials should be believable and authentic. If customers question the validity of testimonials, then they will not be authentic. While you can edit for minor grammatical errors, don’t over-edit. Display the author as well.
- Fit the point. Use testimonials to bolster your points. For example, showcase testimonials about a certain product or service on that product page.
- Specific. Testimonials are incredibly helpful when they are specific. General feedback is better than nothing, but specifics are what convince potential customers. Percentages, timelines, and specific examples are incredibly helpful.
- Visual focus. Visual elements are very powerful for testimonials. Photos and videos help to illustrate the point that the writer is making and are very compelling. Even including an image of the person who wrote the testimonial can help.
- Concise. While details and examples are great, readers only have a short attention span. Ideal testimonials are concise and organized in a visually appealing way. Bullet points and short paragraphs are key.
The Best Strategy for Getting Client Testimonials
While people will tout different strategies for getting stellar reviews, there’s really only one method that takes the cake.
Simply asking for testimonials makes all the difference.
Without asking, you may get a review here or there, but you won’t be leveraging testimonials nearly as much as you should be.
When you ask for testimonials, you can consistently generate powerful social proof for your business.
Ways to Ask for Testimonials
When it comes to asking for testimonials, there are many potential ways to do this. Here are some of the key ways to ask for them:
It’s fast and easy to request testimonials via email. Keep the message simple. Use a compelling subject line like “Could you do me a favor?” or “can you help me out?” to intrigue the customers. You can ask for the testimonial as a response to the email or send the link for where to submit testimonials on your site.
Send the email promptly. Don’t wait until the project is months away to reach out about testimonials. Instead, send the email as soon as the project is complete and your client is satisfied.
Pay attention to “accidental” testimonials. Your client may say something to you in a conversation that would make the perfect testimonial. Jot down the information and follow up with an email asking them if you could use their words for a testimonial.
Ask in Person
Another great time to ask for a testimonial is in person, right when the job is done. If a customer or client came to your location for service, ask for a testimonial before they leave. You can hand out a card with information about where to leave the testimonial, and you can still follow up with an email.
If you have your client’s phone number, text messages can also be a simple, efficient way to ask for a testimonial. You can include a link to where the customer can leave their testimonial. Many people check their text messages more frequently than their emails, so SMS inquiries are very time efficient.
Tips for Getting Testimonials
Getting client testimonials is not always easy. It requires a consistent strategy for asking, and you must ask effectively. Here are some tips to keep in mind when seeking out client testimonials.
- Proactive approach. Don’t wait for clients to just decide if they feel like leaving a testimonial. People are busy, and most people will forget even if they enjoyed your service. You must take the initiative to ask for the testimonials.
- Receive written consent. Make sure your clients provide written permission to publicly show their testimonials. When reaching out via text or email, you can ask them to “opt-in” to public testimonials. You can also include a checkbox on your website testimonial form that states consent.
- Sense of urgency. Politely invite some urgency. Simply saying “we’d greatly appreciate it if you were able to do this within the next day or two” can help.
- Incentivize. Additionally, you can consider offering some sort of limited-time promotion, deal, or sweepstakes for those who leave a testimonial. However, any deal cannot mandate that the review is positive.
- Get personal. People won’t be as compelled if you post anonymous testimonials. Display their first name and last initial to improve the authenticity of the testimonial.
- Ask for information on their experience. Prospective clients want to know what it’s like to work with you. Ask your clients to talk about their experience and what it was like to work with you.
- Send a Google My Business link. Send a link to your Google My Business profile and ask clients to post their testimonials there. You can always import these testimonials to your website. Google reviews are key for your SEO and search ranking.
- Encourage video testimonials. While some clients won’t want to do this, it’s at least worth asking for a video testimonial. To make things easier, you could even offer to film it in person before they leave your business. Consider offering a more significant incentive for video testimonials to encourage them.
- Automate. Automate the process of asking for testimonials by integrating them into your client flow checklist. This way, you can be sure it gets done.
- Respond to reviews. Responding to testimonials helps build your relationships with customers and it also helps your search rankings.
- Don’t nag. After you ask for the testimonial once, then your job is done. Don’t ask over and over or pester clients for a testimonial.
Testimonials are crucial for businesses of all sizes, but they can be hard to generate. Follow the tips above to effectively ask for effective testimonials and you’ll see an incredible difference.