8 Tips For Creating Trustworthy Testimonials

Channel positive customer feedback into one of the most potent and cost-effective marketing tools available.
8 Tips For Creating Trustworthy Testimonials
David Frey

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Testimonials are the heart of any good marketing message. As marketing expert Dan Kennedy once said, “Without testimonials, you don’t have a product.” The core of your marketing message should be driven by customers’ comments that validate your business. Here are some pointers to help you create powerful testimonials:

Match the content with the prospect. The content of the testimonials should match the type of prospect you are looking for. For example, if you want people to become customers, use product-oriented testimonials. If you want people to become distributors, use business/money-oriented testimonials (people mainly sign up to become distributors to make money).

Match the person giving a testimonial with the prospect. The people giving the testimonials should match the types of prospects you are looking for. By that I mean, if you’re looking for commercial clients, use business owners’ testimonials. If you’re looking for residential customers, include comments from homeowners.

Use more testimonials. The quantity of testimonials should always be more, not less. But they should be quality testimonials. I know a real estate trainer who did infomercials for many years. In the first year, he lost money on every sale. Then he changed his infomercial to include less content, but he doubled the amount of testimonials. That change increased his conversions to the point that he was making money on every sale. He built a $30 million company based on that infomercial.

Address objections. The best testimonials speak to people’s concerns in advance. For instance, if most people think your service or product will be too costly, the testimonial might begin with: “We are living on a tight budget, so when our pump had to be replaced, they didn’t try to push the most expensive option.”

Be specific. The more specific your testimonials are, the more believable they will be. For instance, “Your technician was able to clear the blockage in our drainpipe quickly,” or “They came out ahead of time to check out the situation and discovered I didn’t need a new drainfield; it was a pump that wasn’t working.”

Be real. When creating audio or video testimonials, don’t have clients read from a written text — let it come from their hearts. For people to believe it, it’s got to be genuine. You can let them use short notes to make sure they hit all the right points, but the more authentic the testimonial, the more believable it will be.

Be brief. People have short attention spans. A good testimonial should be no longer than one minute. It’s better to have several brief testimonials rather than a few longer testimonials. If it’s a written testimonial, make it no longer than three to four sentences.

Include an intro. The people giving the testimonials should begin with a very short intro that identifies who they are. This will help the listener identify with them. For instance, “My name is Betsy Ross and I’m a stay-at-home mom with five children” or “My name is David Frey and I was a corporate executive for seven years.”


The ultimate conversion factor in any selling situation is proof! Proof trumps everything. Testimonials give proof, and that’s why they are so powerful. Any company, product or service that isn’t using testimonials is missing the core part of their marketing message.

Use great testimonials generously!


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