Case studies and client testimonials can provide a huge boost to your conversion of new customers and your bottom line. They often prove essential for establishing credibility and a sense of stability.
A couple years ago, VWO and WikiJob performed a basic A/B test to gauge the effectiveness of client testimonials. They found that when site visitors were able to see feedback from satisfied customers, sales increased by 34 percent.
It’s not enough to just publish these testimonials and case studies, though. You have to be clever about it. Here are four ideas to get you started:
1. Tweak the location
The first and most obvious point to consider is the placement of your client testimonials.
The Landing Page Optimization Course from MECLABS explores this concept in great detail. By studying the way internet users’ eyes move across the page, they deduced that there are two locations worth testing: product pages themselves and in the website’s sidebar.
You can perform your own A/B tests to see which is right for you. Take a look at details as small as the distance between the testimonial and the “Add to Cart” button. It’s a small detail that could make a new customer’s decision that much easier.
2. Match your prospects with previous customers
It’s not enough to merely publish testimonials from previous customers -- those testimonials also need to be relevant for your incoming sales prospects.
For example: Sharefile is a document sharing service that works closely with a variety of Fortune 500 companies. They go to great lengths to tailor their landing pages and testimonials to their intended audience. In other words, leads generated from a website focusing on the healthcare industry will be served with a page that focuses on the needs of that particular niche — and will be accompanied by testimonials from healthcare representatives.
The point here is that generic or one-size-fits-all testimonials aren’t going to leave nearly the impression that relevant, well-tailored ones will.
3. Don’t be afraid to cherry-pick
The giants of ecommerce, like Amazon and Alibaba, don’t get to be choosy about which product reviews get posted and which do not.
However, when you’re building out your own reviews and testimonials page, you may want to spend some time thinking about which are worth publishing and which are not. Don't silence negative reviewers or quelling dissent, but it's good to focus on a selection of reviews that are specific in nature and as personal as possible.
Consider this testimonial page from Access Direct. In addition to providing a mixture of video and text-based reviews, they made a point to focus on highly personal and specific testimonials. Look for phrases like “Merry Christmas!” or reviews that address company representatives by name. These reviews also call out well-loved product features specifically and (in one example) offer praise for providing responsive service on a national holiday.
4. Consider multimedia
Social proof is hugely important to today’s businesses. Simply put, people want to know the decisions they make will place them in good company.
Consider this famous experiment conducted by Stanley Milgram. First, he had one person stare up at a sixth floor window to see how many people would join him. Next, he had 15 people do the same thing. His findings revealed that four percent of passersby would join the single onlooker, while 86 percent would join the group.
On the internet, however, we don’t have the luxury of genuine face-time. Written testimonials are impersonal things and can, themselves, sometimes invite doubt.
To counteract the potentially impersonal nature of an online review, consider a multimedia approach to testimonials. For example, my company WebpageFX publishes video testimonials from our satisfied clients. There’s something to be said for actually seeing a human being’s face as they give enthusiastic feedback. Like the folks standing on the sidewalk, there’s an emotional element at work here that written feedback just can’t provide.
In addition to publishing these videos on your website, you might also think about leveraging existing channels, such as YouTube. LG did this to great effect with its “Experienece LG” campaign, which collects enthusiastic reviews from ordinary customers.
It’s about reputation
Whether you’re a website manager for a brand or a business owner yourself, it pays to get creative with testimonials. You’re building a reputation here, and a great reputation starts with earning customers’ trust. New sales leads need to know you’re stable and have a history of excellence. What better way is there to communicate that than by publishing the results of your successful previous collaborations?