Client testimonials, sometimes called “social proof,” are incredibly valuable to a business. Not only do they provide you with client feedback on ways to improve your product, they help persuade potential clients to give you a try. In fact, 78% of Americans said that customer reviews have influenced their decision to purchase a product.
The reason for this is biology. According to a study published in Scientific American, survival of the human species depended in part in our belief of anecdotal stories, even over conflicting scientific evidence.
“The reason for this cognitive disconnect is that we have evolved brains that pay attention to anecdotes because false positives (believing there is a connection between A and B when there is not) are usually harmless, whereas false negatives (believing there is no connection between A and B when there is) may take you out of the gene pool.”
For example, you know that a magic diet pill will not cause you to lose 50 pounds in a few weeks. However, when a woman in a swimsuit comes on the screen and tells you she lost 50 pounds in eight weeks, you can’t help wanting to try it.
While the testimonial example above seems a bit deceitful, the use of honest client testimonials to promote legitimate products is an effective way to communicate your value proposition to potential clients.
Tip: More Descriptive, Less Generic
Potential buyers don’t want to know that the product is easy or awesome. They are considering your product because they have a problem to solve. They need to know your product is the right solution.
For example, when potential buyers evaluate Zanifesto, they typically want a graphics builder that is easier to learn than Adobe Illustrator.
A client quote about the intuitiveness of the user interface is more likely to resonate than a general comments about the product’s overall awesomeness.
Quandary: Edit or not?
What if the quotes you receive would be more effective with just a few tweaks? Some believe any editing client testimonials makes them less authentic. However, if your edits are in the spirit of their original statement, and the client approves the refined statement, it is arguably just as authentic.
Sometimes, a few small changes will transform a dull sentence into a powerful message.
Strategy: When and Where?
Client testimonials fit anywhere in your marketing collateral. You can use them on websites, brochures, white papers, and as stand alone marketing collateral. Remember, your value proposition is always more believable when users say it.
Execution: Flashy or Formal?
Though client testimonials are plain text, use visual designs to draw the viewer’s attention. Highlight key words by bolding the text or using an alternate color.
Here is an example of client feedback we have received. Yes, we say all these things on our homepage, but these words carry much more weight when coming from our users.
Interested in using client testimonials in your marketing campaigns? Make your own marketing collateral with Zanifesto.