4 Ways to Drive Business with Customer Testimonials

kathryn by Kathryn Hawkins on August 30, 2012

One of the most effective ways to gain people’s trust and drive new business is to include compelling customer testimonials in your marketing efforts. Testimonials serve as a form of “social proof”; they use existing social connections to positively influence prospective clients.

Here’s how to use testimonials to your advantage:

  1. Prominently display them on your website. In one case study (for a U.K. jobs site), the simple act of moving customer testimonials from the bottom to the top of a website resulted in up to a 34 percent increase in conversions. So, move your customers’ comments to the top of your website or a prominent sidebar.
  2. Feature them on LinkedIn. Many people pay close attention to LinkedIn profiles when selecting vendors, so make sure that you’ve made the most of yours by seeking testimonials from past clients and managers. To encourage people to view your profile, include it in your email signature.
  3. Promote them in your store. If you’ve received glowing reviews from visitors or media organizations, feature those recommendations in your office, storefront, or restaurant. Post positive newspaper reviews, emails, and blogger reviews (with permission) on a billboard in your store, so that potential customers can see the praise you’ve received. The owners of Cobblestones, a sandwich shop in Portland, Maine, liked a review by the food blog FromAway.com so much that they excerpted the review on the shop’s front window.
  4. Include them in your sales pitches and marketing collateral. If you’re cold-emailing prospects, including a couple of short testimonials in your sales letter can help you make a positive impression on potential customers. Likewise, putting testimonials in your brochures and other marketing materials can enhance your brand’s credibility and inspire new customers to check out your products or services.

How have you used customer testimonials most effectively? Share your strategies in the Comments section below.