I hate seeing long, gimmicky sales pages. You know the ones I mean – the page is metres long with endless sales focussed copy and a flashing CTA after every few paragraphs. If I’m looking to hire and the professional I’m considering has enlisted that pushy sales style, for me it’s an instant no.
Ironically (as a website designer), I’m actually really anti screentime. I closely monitor my own screentime and my daughters’ and always respect companies whose websites make it easy and intuitive to find the information I need and take action quickly. As a serial rabbit hole visitor when it comes to reading reviews and comparing options for products and services, I try to use my gut feeling more (or rely on experts to guide me), rather than wasting time on research and spending endless time on my phone, and I love to build websites that put the information at your prospective clients’ fingertips, allowing them to access everything they need on your site in a way that feels intuitive and joyful.
So we’ve eliminated the endless copy, instead hiring a brilliant copywriter for some short, punchy, storytelling copy – what else do we need to include on the site? A great alternative to endless sales copy is to have some incredible testimonials from your loyal clients. You’re experienced, professional and great at your job, so you know they’ll be only too happy to support you.
A video testimonial always works best, but a written one is also fantastic. You can weave it into a longer case study or leave it to stand on its own.
When it comes to testimonials on your website, it’s a case of quality over quantity. While it might be tempting to showcase a long list of 100 word testimonials, the truth is that the impact of these recommendations is often diluted. If a past client truly believes in your product or service, they will be more than happy to write a longer review. A more detailed testimonial gives credibility, authenticity and relatability and allows your satisfied customers to share the nuances of their experience, which lets potential clients understand how you can solve their problems. A longer testimonial will also be more likely to engage the website visitor and keep them on site for longer, boosting the likelihood of them converting (and also boosting your SEO in the process).
While I have created testimonial pages before at a client’s request, I generally feel it’s best practice to feature testimonials on every page, remembering that your client might not enter your site via the homepage.
To get the best results, I always recommend sending questions to your previous clients for them to consider when writing their testimonial. This will provide them with a structure, which might lead to a longer piece of writing, and it will also prompt them to consider the more nuanced, feeling-based impact of your work together. Your clients don’t buy your service for its features – they’re buying the transformation your service provides for them, so that’s what we need them to tap in to.
Here are five questions to consider asking your previous clients when requesting a testimonial:
1. What challenge or problem were you facing before using my service and how was that impacting your business and making you feel?
2. How did my product/service address that challenge or problem?
3. Can you describe the specific results or benefits you experienced after using our product/service, and were any of the outcomes unexpected?
4. How would you describe the overall experience of working with me? What sets my company apart from others in the industry?
5. What would you say to someone who is considering using our product/service for the first time?
Remember, you can automate the review request process via an email automation if reaching out makes you feel uncomfortable, or you can hire a specialist who will liaise with your past clients on your behalf to interview them and write the testimonial for you – this is often a really good way to get the best from a testimonial. I would be happy to recommend someone – just give me a shout.