Smoking Hot Testimonials: How To Get Them And What To Do With Them

16 Ways to get the maximum benefit

Testimonials work because they’re hard to get. People are pretty hard to please, generally speaking, and don’t tend to gush when they’ve had an average experience.

You’ve really got to knock someone’s socks off to get them to say glowing things, which is why potential customers find testimonials so persuasive.

I’ve got 16 testimonial ideas for you below, but first let’s have a chat about how to squeeze the maximum benefit out of them.

1. Don’t put your testimonials in jail

Some makers create a “praise” or “kind words” page on their website and keep all their testimonials there. This isn’t a bad thing to do, exactly, but it does tend to smell like marketing-with-a-capital-M to potential customers.

They see that page in your navigation, think “Okay, if I go there she’ll try to razzle-dazzle me into spending money,” and don’t click on it.

Testimonials are much more powerful in context, next to the product they mention. And you can sprinkle them in lots of other places too – your home page, your footer, your contact page, your About Page and so on.

So don’t keep your testimonials on one page. Set them free to work hard for you.

2. Put your best testimonials on your highest traffic pages

The more people see them, the more good they can do you. And go for quality instead of quantity. A wall of testimonials is a slog to read. It’s better to have a small number of personal, powerful “I got so much value from this product” quotes than a hundred lukewarm ones.

3. Attribute your quotes properly

A testimonial attributed to Jennifer Green is more persuasive than one attributed to J, or J Green. The more individual the name, the more real the person seems to your website visitor.

It’s not necessary, however, to say Jennifer Green, Customer, because that’s stating the obvious. If there’s something of note about the person’s status then draw attention to it, but otherwise their full name is usually enough.

4. Don’t clean up their words too much

Tighten spelling and grammar where you need to, but don’t make the person sound like you. Their voice should be clearly distinct from yours.

5. Get permission

Always ask your customers if you can use their words, or offer to let them see the final version if you’re sprucing up an old testimonial.

6. Ask for testimonials all the time

A constant stream is good for your confidence, and it allows you to swap weaker quotes for stronger ones as they come in.

Testimonials reduce how risky purchasing feels and normalise the idea of buying from you.

They’re a way for you to say “Look, THIS person was happy to pay my prices.”

That’s always handy when your product is at the higher end of the spectrum, as yours are likely to be.

How to pull out the best bits

Customers often give testimonials which are long and waffly. It’s your job to distill them down so they’re strong, simple and powerful.

Like this:

A script for asking for a testimonial

Use this script to get smoking hot quotes you can use on your website. We’re trying to get your buyer to talk about three aspects here:

a) what things were like for them before they gave you money

b) what you gave them in return for their money

c) how things are different for them now as a result of giving you money.

In the idea-sparking section, ask just one question from each category. Your buyer shouldn’t feel like helping you out is going to be a huge job.

Hi [Name],

I’m updating the [name of your company] website at the moment, and I wondered if you’d mind sharing your thoughts on the [types of product] you bought [when they bought your stuff.]

You’re really busy, I know, so to make things ultra easy here a few questions:

[ – What made you consider buying my products?
– What were you hoping for when you bought them?
– What made you trust me?]

[ -What do you love most about my products?
– What pleasantly surprised you?
– What was your experience of working with me like?]

[- Who would you recommend me to?
– What problems did my products solve for you?
– How do you feel about the experience you’ve had with my products?]

Even just a few words would be like solid gold [to me / to name of your company]

Thank you so much!

[Your email sign-off]

Your Name + Mail Signature

[If applicable] PS – I’d love to add a photo beside your words. If there’s one I can use just point me at it!

So if you make candles, this script might look like:

Hi Jenny,

I’m updating the Wilde Designs website at the moment, and I wondered if you’d mind sharing your thoughts on the candles you bought last month.

You’re really busy, I know, so to make things ultra easy here a few questions:

– What were you hoping for when you bought your candles?

– What do you love most about them?

– How do you feel about the experience you’ve had?

Even just a few words would be like solid gold to me.

Thank you so much!

Have a splendid day,

Wilde Designs

PS – I’d love to add a photo beside your words. If there’s one I can use just point me at it!

A script for asking permission

Use this script when you already have some lovely words from a customer and you’re asking for permission to use in on your website.

Hi [Name],

I’m updating the [name of your company] website at the moment and I wanted to [ask if / double-check] you’re happy for me to include a snippet of your very kind feedback.

This is the section I’d like to use:

[Brief quote]

I know how busy you are so if that’s fine with you, don’t feel you have to get back to me.

Thanks again for those lovely words – they make smile every time I see them.

Your Name + Mail Signature

Now let’s look at 16 ways to use testimonials on your website (or social media posts, or wholesale catalogue,) from very simple to fancy-schmancy.

1. Simple Quote

A line or two of what a real customer said about your work, inside quotation marks. Include their full name (ideally) but make it look less noticeable than the quote. What they said is the important bit.

2. Quote & Headline

Same as before except with an extra line summarising the best excerpt. This helps to make your testimonials more scannable.

3. Quote & Icons

Boost a testimonial by adding rating icons (only if the customer has given the rating, of course.) Stars are classic but you can pick another icon that matches your brand.

4. Quote & Photo

Another way to boost a quote is by including a photo of the person who gave it. This makes the testimonial feel really REAL to potential buyers – and therefore more powerful.

5. Quote & Button

Exactly the same as last time, except with a button or link that takes your vistor directly to the product in question. Good for getting people to venture deeper into your website.

6. Quote, Button & Photo

Another great combination, teaming the realness of the photo and quote with the immediacy of the button.

6. No To Yes

This kind of quote lets an existing customer reverse a potential customer’s objections. It’s saying “here’s someone who wasn’t sure, just like you, but they took the plunge and it worked out!” Especially powerful on product pages.

7. Credentials Icon Bar

This isn’t a testimonial as such, but a highly scannable, non-braggy way of saying “I’m an established expert in this field and I’ve been featured by these cool people and places,” without actually saying a word.

You don’t have to wait till you have very fancy credentials, either. If you’ve appeared on a small blog or your local paper, their logos can work just as well. Get permission where necessary, of course.

8. Social Testimonials

Screenshots of testimonials from facebook or other social media platforms can be smart addition to your website because they combine familiarity and realness. They show new customers you’re being talked about (in a good way) in a place they hang out every day, which again normalises the idea of buying from you.

And they know they’re seeing exactly what the buyer said, with no edits.

9. Press Reviews

As long as you’re not paying a journalist or blogger to write about your work, a press review can be a persuasive kind of testimonial. As ever, the more detailed the review, the better.

10. Customer Reviews

If a customer posts a full review of your product on their blog, ask if they’re happy for you to re-post it on yours.

A real person talking in depth about the features and benefits of your product, especially if they go into some depth, is very persuasive. Remember to mine their article for short quotes too.

11. Case Studies

This time you’re the one doing the writing.

If you know a particular buyer is a happy bunny, ask if you can describe their experience – interviewing them first if necessary. As well as talking about what you did, capture as much of their perspective as you can. What was their situation before you came along? Did they have any reservations about buying? How is their life different now?

Sprinkle photos and quotes throughout your article and share it on your blog, or make it a stand-alone page (or do both). Make sure it’s in a visible place, though, so new people get to the good stuff fast.

12. Video Testimonials

Could you ask a few of your best customers to record a video testimonial for you? It doesn’t have to be long – a minute or two is fine.

Video is the next best thing to having a past customer personally talk to a potential one. Not every website visitor will click “play,” however, so don’t rely only on videos. Back them up with text testimonials too, and attribute the video as normal.

13. Audio Testimonials

Audio testimonials are almost as persuasive as video ones and they can be a little easier to get. If you’re at a craft fair, for example, and a good customer drops by, it’s a breeze to find a quiet place, whip out your phone and record what they say.

Then all you have to do is upload that file and embed it on your website inside a media player, so customers can click to hear it. A little techy but a great (and unusual) kind of testimonial.

14. Customer Interviews

This offers all the benefits of a case study, except the customer’s voice comes through directly.

You can create an audio or a video testimonial, or turn your conversation into a written-out interview to go on your blog.

15. Photos Of Thank You Notes

This is a simple form of testimonial but it can be very effective. If you have a ton of handwritten thank you notes from customers, a photo of them all can be the basis for a blog post (or even a series.)

Or you might add photos of individual notes to the sidebar of your blog, your footer or near your mailing list sign-up form. If you make it clear what they are, they can do a good job for you even if the handwriting isn’t especially legible.


16. Before And After Photos

This kind of testimonial won’t work for every artist, but if your lovely thing visibly makes things better for your customers, before and after photos from existing customers can be your best friend.

They allow potential buyers to judge the results for themselves.

PS – Your catalogue is an excellent place to put testimonials. My Canva catalogue template has ready-made testimonial pages – all you have to do is drop in the details.

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