Who Needs Video? 5 Strategies for Making Text Testimonials Sell

Chris and I often speak to customers about what type of testimonials are being used. And more often than not, we get a very embarrassed response saying something like we're only using text testimonials currently. In fact, in our own recent survey, we found that 60% of respondents were only using text testimonials.
The problem is that these days, there is a lot of talk about needing to get video on your web site. As a result, those who don't have video testimonials often feel that there is no point in using the text testimonials that they do have. And this is a critical mistake.

Why? There is no argument that video testimonials are effective but compared to not using any social proof, using text testimonials is infinitely better.

And if we apply five simple strategies, we can maximize the effectiveness of text testimonials and provide a big boost for conversion rates on your web site:

1. Ensure Clear Benefit Statements

The first strategy is to ensure that the content of your text testimonial is going to speak specifically to the challenges that your prospect is facing. A testimonial that says something like Colleen is a great person or I really liked working with Chris is not going to have much impact with the prospect.
Instead we need to clearly articulate what outcome that the prospect can anticipate - and that outcome must be consistent with the results being sought. For example, if your prospect is looking for ways to increase their sales, testimonials better talk about your product or service increased their sales.
This is why we recommend asking specific questions about results when gathering feedback. You can see the specific recommendations on what to ask in this article.

2. Give Your Text a Facelift
Just showing text without anything to draw attention to it will limit the results you get from your text testimonials. Instead, spice it up with a different font, a different colour and use callout boxes or graphical quotes to make it stand out. The goal is to make sure that it grabs the prospect's attention so they consider it when reviewing information about your product or services.

You can see some specific examples in this article and see how simple changes to the look of the text can increase conversion rates by over 200%!

3. Get Testimonials onto Every Page
Conventional wisdom is that every site have a "rave reviews" or other such page where testimonials are shown. This is important and should absolutely be there. The problem is that most of the prospects visiting your site never get there. (Don't believe me - look at your web site analytics).
In other words, most of your visitors never see your social proof! So in addition to that stand-alone page, make sure that you get testimonials onto every single page. You don't want to your prospects to miss the fact you've solved their problem for others - no matter where they look.

4. Pack More into the Same Space
The great thing about a text testimonial is that it can be read quickly. The bad thing is that each one occupies valuable screen real estate. Especially, when we start putting testimonials onto every page this is a significant limitation.
How do we solve this problem? By using a scrolling effect - that is, showing testimonials one at a time, fading in and out while the visitor looks at the page. This allows you to pack multiple social proof points in a single area on your page.
If you're not using Testimonial Director, you or your web developer can achieve this effect through some web site programming. If you are using Testimonial Director, you just need to click the Scrolling option when you create your widget.

5. Make Testimonial Relevant to Each Page
It's great to show testimonials on each page as we've discussed above. To get even more benefit and increase conversion rates, make sure that the testimonials are on the product or service that is being highlighted on the page the prospect is looking at.

If we can make sure that on every product or service page, the social proof is about that particular product or service, we're going to get maximum benefit from your testimonials.

If you are using Testimonial Director, you can use Categories to easily manage which testimonials show up on what page so you can readily achieve this...

Where to Learn More...
If you want to see the full details on how to get the most out of your text testimonials including specific examples and implementation steps, check out our Unleash Webinar on this topic where we take a look at getting the most from your text testimonials in more detail.

And remember - if you don't have video testimonials yet do not delay. Use your text testimonials right now with these strategies to dramatically improve your web site conversions.

Author's Bio: 

Colleen Francis, Sales Expert, is Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions (www.EngageSelling.com). Armed with skills developed from years of experience, Colleen helps clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise their bottom line.

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