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Testimonials for Business Success
By David Leonhardt

It's no secret that testimonials sell. Why should you believe me when I say my super-duper, new and improved, does-everything gizmo is the best of its kind? But if a celebrity puts her reputation on the line, or a real user gets all excited about how great my gizmo works for her, you are much more likely to trust the value of my product.

Here are ten ways you can use testimonials to expand your online business.

Use a snippet on your sales page. This is possibly the most common usage online. There you are, reading the sales copy, when all of a sudden you run into a box with a testimonial. This works well for product-specific testimonials. I used that technique several times here: http://thehappyguy.com/SEO.html.

Use a snippet on a separate testimonials page. People who are considering hiring you want to know if you are reliable, and this provides them a sense of security. This is best for overall reputation testimonials, such as the ones I have set up here: http://www.thehappyguy.com/happiness-quote-testimonials.html.

Use whole letters. Sometimes whole letters are more effective, especially if customers need security, such as when making a large monetary commitment. In the case of this website, snippets just wouldn't do as well: http://www.lastminutevillas.net/testimonial.html.

Recommend by email. Ezine publishers have a great credibility with their readership. Harness that to your advantage by getting them to make a recommendation to their readership. I don't often make recommendations to my A Daily Dose of Happiness readership, but when I do, people buy.

Get testimonials from users. These are best for product-specific testimonials. Before buying something, I want to know how well it works in real life. Only users can tell me that. Here is an example of where I gave a testimonial as a user This one actually promotes my business: http://www.resource-a-day.net/memtestimony.html.

Here's another testimonial I gave as a user, but it doesn't promote my business. Why did I do it? Well, for starters, I really enjoyed the play. But also there is a link, and that doesn't hurt my search engine rankings. Plus, some people are bound to click on that link and find my site: http://www.mwos.org/testimonials.html.

Get testimonials from experts. These are best when you absolutely need credibility on something people might feel skeptical about, especially something requiring a big investment, such as health or money. Here is a good example: http://www.nutritionstreet.com/kelly.shtml.

Place testimonials on the product. That's what I did on my book, Climb Your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness. Right on the back cover are three book review snippets saying what a glorious and wonderful book it is.

Of course, the ultimate testimonial is media coverage. People say "You just can't believe what you read these days." But busy people don't have time to check everything out, and just assume that what they saw in the media is accurate. Build yourself a media relations plan.

The best testimonials strategy uses a combination of the techniques outlined above. How many of them do you have working for you?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Leonhardt is a freelance writer, and an online and offline publicity specialist. Contact him at: Info@TheHappyGuy.com or visit his Happy Guy website. Read more marketing wisdom at his marketing resource center, or learn how to promote your website with an ezine newsletter

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