But if you add a testimonial to your page and no one ever reads it, will it convince your prospects to trust your offer?
No. No it won’t.
Which is a terrible shame. Customer testimonials can be some of the most powerful words on your page.
When people actually read them, that is.
The six testimonial examples below feature simple design upgrades you can apply in a few seconds.
For more than 30 years, I’ve made readers pay attention in books, magazines, and on web pages.
Here’s what I believe:
An unread testimonial is a waste of perfectly good pixels and screen space.
Spend a little extra time so that your prospects absorb the powerful social proof on your pages.
It’s easier than you may think — you don’t need special design skills to make your testimonials sing.
6 simple edits to ensure your prospects see, read, and understand your best testimonials
Most advice about testimonials is about why they’re important and how to gather them.
Here’s the problem we’re solving today:
What should testimonials look like on your page? How should you format your testimonials?
We’ll start by looking at what NOT to do.
After you learn what to avoid, review the advice in the testimonial examples below.
Use the testimonial formatting tips so the end result sings your praises loud and clear.
What NOT to do with your testimonials
The dreaded wall of text.
It’s a scroll-stopping, yawn-inducing dead end on any sales page.
If you’re copy/pasting unformatted testimonials into your pages, please stop. Today.
Because, this monstrosity?
This isn’t convincing anyone.
The best phrases aren’t highlighted in any way. The copy is unbroken, rambly, and indecipherable.
If your testimonials come in looking like this, don’t despair. Design.
Example #1: Who dis?
Let’s start by crediting the person who wrote the words you’re sharing.
In a perfect world, you attribute the testimonial with these three elements:
- First and last name
- Business name
- Headshot-style photo
If privacy is a concern, remove as many of these elements as needed to protect your customer’s identity.
But if you have full permission to share their words, attribute them so the testimonial is more believable.
Example #2: Pared-down purity
It’s such an honor to have customers who send long, detailed reviews of the product or service you’ve sold them.
Keep in mind, though, that your future customer is reading your page and wondering, “What’s in it for me?”
That’s why it’s crucial you pare down those long testimonials and highlight only the most powerful parts.
Break up that wall of text by adding lots of returns so the testimonial is easy to skim.
Isn’t that better?
But wait … there’s more. And it’s laughably simple!
Example #3: Quote them on that
If your testimonial is coming from a real customer, you can make that clear with a ridiculously easy edit.
Don’t laugh when I share this next one.
I’m only putting it here because as an online business coach, I’ve had to remind my clients to add this one small thing approximately 8,517 times.
Put quotation marks around your testimonials.
I know, I know … it’s super obvious. But since your customer is sending their testimonial without quotation marks, you have to add these manually.
That’s better, isn’t it?
Now … don’t move. Read on.
Example #4: Stand and deliver
Too many testimonials. It’s a good problem — but it’s still a problem, right?
The go-to solution (and huge mistake) that I see people make is to place multiple testimonials in a slider.
Slide-slide-slide. Powerful testimonials whiz right on by.
Instead of delivering strong social proof, they become an animated element that scoots out of view before we can absorb it.
Placing testimonials in a slider is like saying, “I’m shy about my testimonials so don’t look at them for too long, OK?”
Instead, let’s make your testimonials stand and deliver your customer’s endorsement. No hiding — we want your testimonials to be loud and proud.
Too many testimonials? Run them in columns.
To use as many testimonials as possible, add several testimonial sections to your page. Place these sections near your calls to action so they do the most good.
Example #5: Call out the copy gem
One of my favorite things to do when reviewing my clients’ projects is to go on a hunt for “copy gems.”
These are compelling phrases that are often buried beneath other less-than-exciting copy.
Most testimonials contain a copy gem. When you find that one sentence or phrase that’s more convincing than all the others, copy and paste it above your testimonial, treating it as a subhead.
Add quotation marks around the copy gem, too.
We know that people skim when they read online. Offer up a skimmable highlight to help people see the best part of every testimonial you share.
Example #6: Bold the best phrases
If you’ve pared down your testimonial as much as possible but it’s still on the long side, try this final tip.
Look for the main points in your testimonial. Bold those phrases or sentences so they stand out.
Doing this will give your reader an easy way to skim through the strongest parts of your testimonial.
The ultimate testimonial example
Let’s put these tips together in a single testimonial example.
Here’s how to design a powerful, voice-of-the-customer testimonial using all of the tips mentioned here:
These are the design upgrades we applied to this testimonial example:
- The testimonial is attributed with first and last name, business name, and photo.
- The main points were extracted and line breaks make it easy to read.
- Open and close quotation marks are added around the testimonial.
- The entire testimonial is static — no sliders to be found!
- The most powerful line is a subhead above the testimonial.
- The best phrases are bolded so they stand out.
Testimonials provide powerful social proof at a crucial moment of decision.
Don’t silence your customers’ voices. Format them so they sing.
Spend a few extra seconds to make sure your prospects see your best testimonials, read them, and absorb them.
These small design upgrades will inspire confidence — and conversions!