Looking for a surefire way to persuade people to buy your products? Customer testimonials are a powerful tool that every marketer should have in their arsenal. In this post, we’ll share 9 different types of customer testimonials that you can use on your website.
Why Customer Testimonials Work Like Magic
From choosing a restaurant for dinner tonight, to shopping for a luxury vehicle, people want to know that they are making the right decision before they buy. When searching for the answer to that question, shoppers almost always turn to other shoppers.
This phenomenon is known as social proof: a psychological mechanism where people tend follow the actions and behaviors of other people, in an attempt to make the “right” choices.
The best way to leverage this phenomenon of social proof is with customer testimonials. By showcasing your existing customers, you can persuade potential customers to buy your products.
So how can your business use customer testimonials to convince shoppers to buy?
You can start by placing one or more of these 9 types of testimonials on your website. Each of these formats are highly effective (and the more you can use the better).
Quote testimonials are the most popular form of testimonials. They’ve been used for at least a century, and are extremely versatile.
As the name suggests, these are testimonials simply pull a quote directly from a customer.
Here’s an example of quotes for Marie Forleo’s B-School:
In modern web design, the quote is typically accompanied by a picture of the person to establish even more trust.
The bright, smiling photos that Forleo used give the distinct impression that her customers are happy, successful, approachable… People just like her target customers, who have achieved the success that they hope to achieve from purchasing her program.
2. Social Media Posts
With the popularity of social media, getting customer testimonials is extremely convenient.
All you have to do is pull screenshots from a Facebook post or a Twitter update, and you have instant proof that your customers love your products.
No one questions the authenticity of these screenshot testimonials. Many of these social media posts are public, so if someone wants to check it out for themselves, they can usually do so.
Here’s an example of a testimonial pulled from Facebook:
And here are some testimonials from Twitter:
To get social media testimonials like these, keep your customers engaged with your social media accounts by posting regularly yourself, and encourage them to tell you about their experience with your products.
3. Case Studies
Case studies can also serve as customer testimonials when you take small sections of them.
For instance, you could take a full-blown case study and break it down into brief, digestible tidbits. Then, showcase these tidbits on a product page.
You can link back to the full case study so users can conduct a further investigation if they desire.
Here is an example of a case study for one of our customers, DealDoktor:
We used the full case study as a blog post, and used just a small quote from it on our Testimonials page. Then we linked back to the full case study.
Here’s what that testimonial looks like:
4. Video Testimonials
Video testimonials have quickly gained popularity in recent years, and it’s become easier than ever to create and publish videos on your website.
The great thing about video testimonials is that they really stand out and make a big impression. There’s just something about seeing a talking head and hearing an actual voice that establishes likability and trust.
Timothy Sykes features his top student front and center in a lengthy video on his “Testimonials” page:
In fact, the entire page is filled with video testimonials.
So how do you create videos like these? Brandon Lucero explains how to construct the perfect customer testimonial video in 5 steps:
5. Blog Post Reviews
While most testimonials are brief and to-the-point, there’s something to be said for long form testimonials.
Just as long form sales copy triggers something in our minds that says, “If there’s this much to say about the product, it must be good,” a lengthy testimonial ignites similar feelings.
You can get a long form testimonial by asking your customer to write a review as a blog post on their website. In return, they get an affiliate link which they can use to earn a portion of the sales they refer.
Here’s an example of a review that Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard wrote about OptinMonster:
This is just one of many reviews for OptinMonster on various blogs around the web.
Interviews are especially effective because they help to get more details from the customer about their experience, painting a vivid picture in the minds of your prospects.
To get a great interview, make sure you ask questions that elicit a story about how and why your customer came to buy your product.
Here are some examples of questions to ask your customer in an interview (suggested by Sean D’Souza):
- What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this product?
- What did you find as a result of buying this product?
- What specific feature did you like most about this product?
- What would be three other benefits about this product?
- Would you recommend this product? If so, why?
- Is there anything you’d like to add?
7. High Profile Testimonials
People tend to place a higher value on something when an authority figure approves of it. So if one or more of your customers are well known or authorities, make sure to feature those people on your website.
These customers could be celebrities, well known professionals in your industry, or people who have certain qualifications that make them authorities.
On our Testimonials page, we showcase our customers Michael Stelzner, Joost de Valk, Chris Brogan, Neil Patel, and many other high profile authorities.
If you can’t get an actual testimonial, simply drop the names of your high profile customers.
Or, display the logos of high profile companies you’ve served, like Neil Patel does on his “Consulting” page:
8. Press Reviews
Press reviews are persuasive because they come from sources who are professionally qualified to speak on the topic.
For example, new restaurants often try to get reviews from local restaurant critics. Here’s an example from the LA Times:
The key to getting press reviews is making real relationships with the right people.
Press reviews aren’t easy to come by, but when you do land one, it can make your brand popular in an instant!
9. Peer Reviews
Remember what we said about how people are influenced by the behaviors of other people like them? That’s why peer reviews–especially from people who resemble your customer profile–are so powerful.
Yelp is a great place to get peer reviews. You can use a screenshot to place these reviews on your website.
But there are a lot of other review sites and apps besides just Yelp. Here are a few:
- Bazaarvoice – for any kind of product or service
- Goodsnitch – for any kind of product or service
- TripAdvisor – for hotels and restaurants
- Foursquare – for local shops and restaurants
- UrbanSpoon – for restaurants
- Chefs Feed – for restuarants
- Chekplate – for restaurants
- GoodReads – for book reviews
Even if you don’t have a single customer yet, you can still use testimonials. Simply ask a few friends or colleagues to try out your product for free, and give you their honest review.
Remember: testimonials are critical for making sales, so don’t delay. Choose one of the types of testimonials above and implement it on your website today!
How do you use customer testimonials on your site? Let us know in the comments!