Average Testimonials Vs. Great Testimonials & Why It Matters to Your Marketing

Testimonials can make the difference between average marketing and great marketing.


Because testimonials are one the strongest forms of proof you can offer to substantiate the claims you make about your product or service.

Most business owners don’t use testimonials at all. If they do, they settle for average testimonials and don’t bother putting in the effort to get great testimonials.

So what makes a testimonial average? What makes it great?

I’ll tell you.

An average testimonial is vague, lacks specific results, and hides the identity of the person who gave it.

For example, “Your company is really great. You helped me a lot.” –John B.

Notice how this testimonial is completely flat. No benefit is stated. No specific result is given. And because John doesn’t give his full name, we have no idea who he is. He could be imaginary for all we know.

Contrast that average testimonial with this one: “Ryan’s sales copy pays for itself. When he created a promotion to sell our Global Puzzle, I was absolutely shocked when I saw the numbers coming in. One email he wrote sold 1,472 puzzles in only 13 days for $28,630.40 in gross retail revenue. Amazing!” –Roger Andresen, Atlanta, GA

In this case, we have a clear benefit, specific results, and a full name for attribution. Plus, we have the city and state where the person lives. Because of this level of detail, readers are much more likely to believe it.

Now, how could this testimonial be strengthened?

Four things come to mind:

  1. Use the person’s photo.
  2. Record the testimonial for audio playback.
  3. List the person’s web site if he has one.
  4. Use the person’s digital signature.

Testimonials are worthless if they aren’t specific and credible. Without specificity, readers assume your product must not be that great. Without credibility, your readers may not believe your testimonials are real. (Some unscrupulous business owners really do fabricate testimonials.)

Follow these simple suggestions and you’ll instantly strengthen your advertising, your marketing, and your overall ability to attract new customers and clients.

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