When customers visit your website for the first time or click the links through email, what do you think are the most important elements they look for? Sensible paths of action? Visually attractive calls-to-action? An authoritative ‘About Us’ page? All of these things are important. These elements need to work together in a pleasant manner to create a website or an email, that, on the whole, makes sense.
Every visitor has their own different reason for checking out the site or email, their own sensibility for preferences and their own particular location that classifies the buying journey. For one visitor, the color scheme might be enough to cause the impact. For another, the content written might cause the impact. Across all these different possibilities, there are certain constants which are named as X-Factors of the website or emails.
These X-Factors are elements of the site or emails which are of potential importance which can confirm a sale from visitor from any background or place. One of the most interesting Web design X-Factors is “Testimonial” Section.
1. What is a Testimonial?
1.1. Testimonials are written or recorded statements that support your credibility and level of expertise. They also strengthen your reputation by expressing the trust that other people have in you and your business offerings. They are a wonderful tool that help in attracting a deeper interest from perspective clients and existing clients and will ultimately make you and your business increasingly more successful.
1.2. Testimonials help humanize your brand by adding physical confirmation of your selling points. All the strategies that you have put up to sell your product or service need some support from real-life examples which Testimonials provide. Effects will be greater once these testimonials are strategically placed and are visually engaging.
2. Why are Testimonials Important?
2.1. When it comes to businesses ( large or small ), the success of the business mostly depend on Word Of Mouth. Testimonials are formal forms of expression that support this concept. They are extremely powerful tools when it come to strengthening your brand.
2.2. Testimonials play a very important role in success of business. Testimonials received from loyal customers play a very critical part on the relationship-building journey which is followed with credibility and expertise.
2.3. Testimonials help in creating the trust factor required for success in any business as you know, people will not do business with you if they don’t trust you and find you to be credible.
3. How to use Testimonial effectively?
It’s always a good idea to position your marketing strategies in a way that sells an experience, as opposed to just a product. This is nothing new. It’s why hair-oil commercials have 1% to do with the oil in the bottle and 99% to do with the long and shiny hair of some beautiful artist. When it comes to digital marketing, you can apply this same concept (with much more quality than the typical over-the-top hair-oil commercial). For a lot of your site’s visitors, this idea alone can be the difference between a sale and a bounce.
As long as your past customers have had positive experiences with your brand, testimonials are pretty hard to mess up, but here are some ways to take them from good to great:
3.1. Image: Always remember, the key is to sell an experience. Its all the more attractive if the customer can visualize an experience than just read about it. Websites that have imageless testimonials are wasting their space because the immediate reaction of a visitor will be ‘ Who has written this?’ or ‘Was the product very useful ?’. If a visitor can see the person, it becomes easier for the visitor to imagine them using your product and getting genuine value from it.
3.2. Video: Another most important way is to use Video. Video testimonials are even more effective for visualizing the experience you are selling. Anyone can add a photo and make up a quote to testify their product’s effectiveness ( not that you will engage in such practice). With a video, you can see the real-life customer explaining thoroughly and convincingly about the goodness of the product. This will make the visitor sure that there is something different and good about the experience you are selling them or atleast that you are selling them in a sincere way. And, as always, A/B Testing can help alleviate the bulk of the decision-making work in this area.
3.3. Page Placement: Whether you decide to go with an image or video ( avoid the plain texts at all costs), placing your testimonials in a functionally sensible location will play a role in their effectiveness. ‘Functionally sensible’ relies heavily on the type of relationship your audience has with your product. If many of your visitors are still in need of a basic understanding of what you do by the time they get to your homepage, the testimonials shouldn’t be the first thing they see. They need to know what, exactly, your past customers are gushing over before they get a sense for whether that gushing is convincing or not.
If using video, then it’s not typically necessary for the thumbnail image to be the width of the full page, as they’ll have the option to enlarge it once they start playing it.
In terms of the actual geographic placement, there’s a lot of flexibility. If your home page is scrollable, the block of space that comes immediately after your “main” block is typically the most functionally sound. Once what you are offering is highlighted and explained (to whatever degree you think necessary for your audience) testimonials are a great immediate follow-up.
Another option is to give the testimonials their own page, typically linked-to from the main navigation. Giving them their own page has its merits as well. If your site menu is well-designed and attractively labeled, that link will be more of a billboard for your testimonials than anything else.
3.4. Tone: Tone is important in all things related to your brand. Testimonials are no different. The key to successful ‘testimonials’ section is to make the content human.
Let the person write their own testimonial. Let them feel comfortable knowing that you want their genuine thoughts about their customer experience. If it was a negative one, take that as a customer engagement opportunity and find out what could have been better. If it was positive, they’ll come off as such in what they say and how they say it.
4. When to use testimonials?
Collecting and displaying testimonials at the right time in a customer’s sales journey will ensure that you’re using your social proof in the most effective way. Aligning these processes with your current inbound marketing strategy will help you figure out what flow works best for your unique audience. When and where does your company collect and display customer testimonials.
• Collect a testimonial as soon as a sale is closed.
• Add a testimonial collection link to your email marketing drips.
• Collect testimonials in person during a final meeting.
• Attend a trade show or professional event and collect customer experience testimonials.
• Show current testimonials in your email marketing drips.
• Add testimonials to unique pages on your website that align with the content on that page.
• Segment your testimonials to hit different target audiences through blog content.
Credibility is essential to the success of your business. Strategic and intelligent use of testimonials can go a long way in promoting your business. The more online visibility and stronger reputation you have and continue to maintain, the stronger your business will grow.
Photo Credits: locallogy.com , study.com , media.licdn.com, cdn.business2community.com