Updated: Dec 5, 2020
Ever heard the phrase that happy customers are your biggest advocates?
Happy customers are gold for your business, not just because they buy but also because they add value to your marketing strategy.
Understandably, most consumers won’t trust your business right off the bat. They’ll first need to sniff around for proof that your company is credible and that your product will resolve their problems or satisfy their needs.
But after reading the words of satisfied customers, they might just be convinced to buy. Glowing customer reviews provide your audience with social proof - the idea that if so many people are loving your product, it must actually be good.
To boost the credibility of your business and the desirability of your brand online, create a website that not only describes your services, but that also highlights positive customer reviews. These reviews, which can take the form of quotes, short videos, and more, are known as testimonials.
This article will guide you through what a testimonial is and the best practices for getting testimonials from your customers, complete with 15 inspirational examples.
What is a testimonial?
A testimonial is a third party statement that comments on how good someone or something is. By strategically placing website testimonials on a dedicated ‘Testimonials’ page, as well as on your ‘About Us’ page, product pages, and more, you can convince interested users that you’re worth their trust. In fact, reaffirming your product’s worth is one of the key techniques in the psychology of selling.
There are several different types of testimonials:
Case studies and success stories
Social media posts
High profile reviews
Customer quotes are the most common form of website testimonials, since they’re easy to obtain and feel the most relatable for your audience.
How to get testimonials
There are two main ways to get testimonials on your website:
You can ask for testimonials by contacting returning customers.
You can look for testimonials on social media, in email messages, and more.
When it comes to asking for customer testimonials, start by sending an email to your biggest fans. The email should be considerate and polite, short enough for them to read quickly, and easy for them to respond to. Here’s an example:
How are you? I’m writing to ask if you’d be comfortable providing us with a brief testimonial for our new website. We’d love to feature your experience with our product, and we’d include a link to your website to help your company’s SEO effort.
If you’d prefer not to be featured, no worries at all - just let us know.
Otherwise, feel free to send us a quick 1-2 sentence blurb about your experience working with us.
Thanks so much for your business throughout the past few years. We want you to know that we are truly grateful to our customers.
All the best,
The second way to get customer testimonials is to simply keep your eyes open for them. Scroll your social media pages and your email messages for notes of thanks from customers, and listen for in-person praise. Any words of kindness can be turned into website testimonials. Just keep in mind that you should ask customers for permission to use the testimonials on your website before publishing them.
Whichever option you choose, be sure to avoid these common email mistakes when writing to your clients, like using a misleading tone or reaching out at an inappropriate hour. Also, make sure to add an email subject line that will guarantee engagement and a positive response from your valuable customers.
Website testimonial best practices and tips
Taking advantage of positive customer reviews is a popular marketing strategy for small businesses. As you start placing testimonials on your website, make sure to keep in mind the following best practices:
Combine text with visuals
Including photographs and other visuals makes your testimonials more credible. Photos of your customers, as well as videos that show your customers using the product, are particularly powerful.
Use concrete numbers
Specificity is key for creating testimonials that are both believable and encourage conversion. Ask customers to provide statistics in their testimonials, such as percentages and concrete numbers that represent their growth and success as a result of using your product.
Show your product in action
Use your website testimonials to highlight specific use cases of your product. It’s also helpful to place testimonials side-by-side product pages so that customers can connect the dots between the positive review and the actual product.
Mix and match formats
Experiment with different testimonial formats to see which are most effective in converting website visitors into customers. Feel free to use a combination of customer quotes, videos, case studies, social media screenshots, and more, and A/B test different types. There are plenty of ready-made testimonial features you can use on your site.
Keep it authentic
Anyone can write their own testimonials, so it’s important your audience knows they’re from real customers. Make sure your testimonials are written in a believable customer voice. Also provide the customers’ full name, their business’s website and logo if applicable, and photos of them using the product to add authenticity and credibility.
Good reviews are an important part of online reputation management. Website testimonials have enormous power in converting prospective customers, so it’s important you harness their full potential by implementing them thoughtfully and strategically.
15 inspirational testimonial examples
Below, we’ve gathered 15 Wix websites featuring some of the most effective testimonials. As you create your own website testimonials, feel free to use these for inspiration.
01. The Tea Story
This floral testimonial box by The Tea Story is one of the most beautiful we’ve seen. While testimonials don’t always need to be ornate, we love how this particular testimonial draws us in with its eye-catching design and evokes the brand’s identity overall. The testimonial section is located toward the top of the homepage so that website visitors are guaranteed not to miss out on the positive reviews.
The Tea Story, like most websites, has chosen to use customer quotes as its primary testimonial format. They’ve also wisely selected descriptive words that make our mouth water, like “Peach Paradise” and “subtle yet rich in flavors,” making the purchase of the tea hard to resist.
Like The Tea Story, consider including testimonials as part of your homepage design so that prospective customers take note of your popularity from the beginning.
02. Robyn Kurdas
Digital designer and marketer Robyn Kurdas also places customer testimonials on her website in the form of quotes. Rather than creating a testimonial page, Robyn Kurdas puts them at the bottom of her “About” section, just below her list of featured clients. This is a logical choice, since it allows users seeking further detail to hone in on the clients’ perspectives.
Robyn Kurdas’ site is definitely one of the best website designs we’ve seen in a while. We specifically love the wacky, dynamic aesthetic of her ‘Testimonials’ section. A series of customer quotes, each with a different brightly colored background, reveal themselves in slideshow format. The whimsical images framing the quotes support exactly what is being said about Robyn Kurdas - namely, that she is creative, innovative, and full of fresh ideas.
03. Be Love Farm
Website videos tend to be highly effective in engaging users. This testimonial for Be Love Farm takes the form of a video interview. To persuade others to join their organization, the volunteer in the video discusses just how much he’s enjoying working on the farm.
Be Love Farm doesn’t include a testimonial page on their website. Instead, they link to the video on their homepage, as one of two call-to-action buttons (CTAs) under the “Apprentice” section. Rather than being featured prominently on their site for the general public to view, the video is intended to target a very specific group of people - those interested in becoming farm volunteers.
04. Hearts and Tears
Motorcycle tour agency Hearts and Tears uses a short customer quote in promoting an upcoming tour. Paired with a large image from the trip, it helps give a sense of what the ride is all about. The quote, “Adventure riding on steroids,” uses edgy, casual language to directly appeal to their motorcycle-riding audience.
Rather than ask for customer reviews, the company lifted the quote directly from TripAdvisor. Taking advantage of positive reviews on recommendation platforms and social media sites is a great strategy for finding customer testimonials. You can take reviews from Facebook, LinkedIn, TripAdvisor, Yelp, or any other relevant platform. Just be sure to give the appropriate credit by writing the site’s name in the testimonial.
While some testimonials build trust by making themselves relatable, others build trust by appealing to authority. That’s exactly what Autofleet does by highlighting high profile business partners like Zipcar, Suzuki, and Avis in its testimonials. This instantly makes Autofleet appear to be an industry leader with a competitive solution, even to those unfamiliar with the company.
The testimonials are placed on the homepage, with a simple but clever design. Autofleet strategically accompanies each quote with a prominent company logo, drawing emphasis to the partner company rather than the spokesperson. At the same time, each testimonial includes a photograph and the job title of each customer to humanize the review and make it more believable.
AI startup Ravin includes testimonials on its website in the form of press reviews. Their testimonial page is titled “What people are saying,” implying that everyone is talking about their company. Rather than quoting customers, the page quotes the press, accompanying each quotation with the relevant publication’s logo and the link to the quoted article.
Highlighting positive media coverage is a great way for companies to generate buzz around their business while building their authority in the industry. This is particularly effective for upcoming companies who may not have many clients yet, but who can nonetheless establish their credibility with press reviews on their website.
Sage College Advice, a college admissions counseling business, strategically places their customer testimonials on a page titled “Acceptances.” The page has a full list of nearly every four-year university in the US, revealing that Anne, the counselor, is successful in getting her clients accepted to top schools. In this way, the testimonials page helps Anne build her personal brand.
The client testimonials also serve to reinforce the list of acceptances, making the list more believable. The testimonials appear to be written by students and their parents, and they focus not only on the counselor’s expertise but also on the emotional benefits of working with her. The college application process is a grueling time for high school students, but Anne’s support has greatly reduced their stress. These details forge an emotional connection between the counselor and her audience, which, in turn, convinces people to use her service.
A testimonial often takes the form of a short quote, but it can also be a longer, more involved case study. Mobile creative company Shuttlerock has a separate “Case Studies” page on the website menu which, when clicked, reveals nine different case studies. Each article highlights a client in a different industry, which reveals Shuttlerock’s versatility and wide range of expertise. The featured image in the posts depict the company’s logo, giving the page a sense of professionalism, credibility, and authority.
The case studies feature four parts: a quote from a happy customer, a story about that customer’s challenge before working with Shuttlerock, a design portfolio of Shuttlerock’s work, and data showing the project’s success. By delving deep into the customers’ success stories and backing them up with hard data, Shuttlerock creates a powerful, persuasive series of website testimonials.