Testimonials rely on the concept of “social proof”; the idea that we look to others to help determine how we should behave. For this reason, testimonials are a powerful component of advertising. As with most things, overuse and abuse has diminished the effectiveness of the typical testimonial. Something more authentic is the only way to make a impact.
The idea that a generic, faceless, edited quote about how great you are will make me want to buy your product is absurd. Please stop using them.
I know you’ve handpicked those statements.
If you don’t give me something authentic, I’ll find it elsewhere. I have lots of options for real opinions on a business – Google Local, Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, among others.
I want to hear from the people that don’t like you, not just you’re biggest fans. I want a real view of you, not the filtered version.
I want the testimonial to come directly from the person. I want to see a photo of the author and see the comment linked back to an online profile (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) somewhere so I know its a real person. I want to see what the user typed themselves, not what you edited.
The generic testimonails (i.e. “This is the best thing ever. Everyone should have 3 of your product”) are a waste of space at best, and at worst, an insult to me and the rest of your prospective buyers.
There are better options:
- Unedited video interviews
- Unedited audio interviews
And even better options:
If you don’t know how to use one of these above, find out how you can. The old method is a waste of time.