beef up testimonials

How to Beef Up Customer Testimonials So They Do the Work of Exceptional Sales Copy

Your testimonials are your biggest and most powerful selling tool. Why? There’s no better proof to help people make up their minds to hire you.

So here’s how to pack a punch into EVERY endorsement that’s written on your behalf — and YES, editing your testimonials is totally legit. Learn to do it in a way that retains the gist of what was said.

1. Play up the benefits – all of them! Each testimonial on the page should cover a different benefit of your product or service. This is much easier to achieve than it sounds. What you do is talk to your clients or customers who have agreed to write testimonials ahead of time. Ask them (nicely, of course), if they could please cover a specific aspect of your product.

For instance, if you’re a life coach, you might politely request that one reader write down their thoughts about the coaching portion of your online product, while another might be assigned the “personal journaling” area of the package.

2. Make use of bold text in your testimonials. It’s not likely that your clients will “stylize” the endorsements they create for you – and that’s okay. You can always go back to what they wrote and emphasize the best parts by using bold, or italic, or a contrasting color of text. This works to make the important parts “pop” – which is especially useful to readers who are in a hurry and “skimming” instead of hanging on to your every word.

3. Don’t be afraid to use the “delete” key. Remember that when you’re quoting someone, you do not need to publish every single word they said. You can take the most impactful parts of their message and make these function within a specific context.

For example, suppose you want to “punch up” the part of your sales letter where you talk about the awesome Food Journal you’ve included as a bonus gift. This would be a great place to insert that one memorable line from customer Jane Doe’s paragraph-long testimonial. “Thanks for including the food journal – it really helped to keep me on track with my goals!” You can use this portion of Jane’s testimonial here, and then either delete the rest, or use it in another context where it would be appropriate.

4. Be selective about which testimonials you publish. You are not obligated to use every testimonial that everyone has ever sent you. Maybe you have too many testimonials that convey the same exact sentiment – you don’t want this, it’s overkill. Or, maybe the wording of your client’s testimonial could be misinterpreted, making your product seem like something it’s not.

If you’re not 100% thrilled with the way a particular testimonial sounds, you can a. choose not to print it, b. edit and then run it by the customer for the final okay, or c. politely ask the client to be more specific and explain what they meant.

BONUS TIP: If you’re not getting testament to your worth, ASK for it. Select a small group of people who you know were happy with whatever you helped them with. Send out a friendly email asking for their feedback. Encourage them to act now by offering them a link to their website from yours (or at least the public listing of their URL – some people choose not to publish live links from other people’s sites on their sales pages because of the “click away” factor).

Testimonials are nearly as good as word of mouth referrals (which are gold) – because they’re hard proof that someone was pleased with the product or service you provided. If you can get your customers to sign their names, and add their company name and business URL, all the better, as this adds even more credibility to your craft. And if your customers are willing to appear on video, this is the most compelling type of testimonial of all! If you get video testimonials from customers, be sure to send them a nice thank-you gift for their extra effort!

Best of luck creating a testimonial page that brings you more customers and sales!