testimonial-conversion-tweaks

Gathering testimonials for your sales pages can be a bit of work, but when you can finally get them up and visible, you boost the conversion power of your sales page.

That is, if people actually see them. And read them. And pay close attention to the details within.

Sadly, that’s not always the case. Since testimonials are different than the main copy that readers are there for, it’s easy for them to tune them out and skim past them.

Let’s put a stop to that, shall we? There are so many ways to make your testimonials stand out and pop so that readers will take notice, and the conversion rate of your sales page goes way up.

There’s so much you can do with the testimonials you already have. Let’s take a look at some tactics that can give your testimonials the attention they deserve, and get more of your products sold.

1. Give your testimonials a headline.

In a blog post, headers make the reader slow down and pay more attention to your content, especially if they create even the smallest amount of curiosity.

Headlines in testimonials do the same thing – they make the reader stop for a moment and consider if they want to explore further.

Here’s an example from a testimonial on The 1-Hour Content Plan (available in the Karma Store at pay-what-you-want pricing):

TestimonialYou can see how the headline – pulled directly from the testimonial – can pull that critical attention. Do the same with your testimonials, and people won’t skim your sales page. They’ll pay attention, and testimonials that would have otherwise been ignored will get seen, and work their magic.

2. Emphasize key phrases in your testimonials.

This one’s simple – just pick a phrase here and there and add some bolding or italicizing. (In general, avoid the highlighter, as it went out in the 90s, and to be completely honest, it wasn’t even that great then.)

You can see a few examples of that in the image above. Depending on the length of your testimonials, you may only have the space to emphasize one phrase, but longer ones give you more opportunities to draw attention.

Now, what phrases should you emphasize in your testimonial? Which ones pack the most punch? Well, that leads us to…

3. Emphasize the non-obvious.

Ok, let’s look at another testimonial from The 1-Hour Content Plan.

What many people do by default is to highlight the “results” part of the testimonial. You can see that this happens here not only in the headline, but in the part of the testimonial that’s emphasized in red text. Sure, great. Highlighting results is never a bad idea.

Testimonial

But look again at the other emphasized portions. These draw attention to non-obvious results or effects of the product. The product is designed to help you create a content plan in an hour. That’s it’s primary benefit, which was one of the product naming strategies employed for this particular offering.

But the other items of note that are highlighted here are:

  • the customer was originally struggling to pick ideas
  • the customer now has the ability to easily write a series, cross-link content, and cross promote his posts
  • the customer now has more confidence in their ability to produce content.

The obvious thing to highlight in Eric’s testimonial is that he came up with valuable content ideas. All the others are non-obvious, but still meaningful for a potential customer.

Scan through your testimonials for the non-obvious, and you can draw attention to more of the details which will help your reader decide if your product is right for them.

4. Pick an angle for your testimonials.

There are a handful of qualities that your product has that could be part of your overall positioning. Maybe it’s ease, or value, or effectiveness, or fun, or a particular result. You could pick any of these as a platform for selling your product.

If you pick an angle – which in the case of The 1-Hour Content Plan, was “it really works in an hour (or close to it)”, you can position all your testimonials to draw attention to that fact. You can highlight that more often, and really reinforce it over and over again until it sticks.

You can even source testimonials this way – when you’re asking customers for feedback, you can steer the questions to focus on the exact angle that you’re after.

The 1-Hour Content Plan is actually a pretty entertaining read with worksheets that were designed to feel like you were playing a card game. (The inspiration for the product was the experience of playing a real card-based game called Dominion.)

But that isn’t featured in the testimonials, because it wasn’t the chosen angle. Speed, ease and results were the focus here. Pick your own angle, and you can stack that element until it really hits home for the reader.

5. Put your second best testimonial near the top, and the best one near the call to action.

The two places people will pay the most attention to on your sales page is the beginning and the end.

Skimming rarely happens in these areas, and even if someone scrolls through the bulk of your page without paying close attention, they’ll go back to focusing at the end, because that’s where the terms of the deal are laid out. (Show me the money, indeed.)

Placing your best testimonial right near the call to action guarantees that your most effective selling tool is reeeeeally close to the buy button. That’s just a smart choice. When it’s time to seal the deal, you want your best testimonial to be the last thing they see.

Placing your second best testimonial at the top does something similar in that it takes that moment where the customer arrives at your page and wonders if it’s worth reading, and gives them a big endorsement from someone who is happy with your product. You want to pack a good punch here, but you don’t want to use up your very best testimonial just yet.

6. Spread out your testimonials – don’t cluster them.

This is more true the longer your sales page is. Too many testimonials in one place, and the reader will be more likely to start skimming – and once they start, they’re more likely to do it again and again.

If you happen to find yourself in the position where you have a lot of testimonials – 6, 8, 12 or more – then spreading them out is a good idea.

You can still keep a few in one place – you can have 2 or 3 next to each other, or you can use them as section dividers, or you can have a dedicated section of the page where you say “here’s what customers think” – but the more you have in one place, the more you encourage scrolling.

Now, a caveat: If you do a good job implementing the advice in this blog post, the chance of that goes down. Notice how the testimonials on the page for The 1-Hour Content Plan are kind of clustered. That’s intentional. Because so much attention was placed on making them noteworthy, they could pull it off without damaging readability.

But if you’re not using all these strategies – or your testimonials are somewhat weak – then be sure not to cluster them too much.

7. Consider dynamic (make your testimonials move).

If you find yourself with a few great testimonials, you can take advantage of tech like sliders or carousels and use them to display them. Your theme may have them built-in, and if it doesn’t, there’s likely an easy-to-use plugin that can help you do the job.

Sliders create more dynamic action on the page, and can even make weaker testimonials appear stronger, by virtue of the fact you’re putting in a little something extra to display them.

They also serve another function – they slow the reader down. When someone is stopping to watch the testimonials move on and off screen, they aren’t scrolling or skimming, and they’re paying closer attention. This means there’s a lot of potential for using sliders in areas of your sales page that may be prone to skimming.

8. Use your testimonials to draw attention to doubts and downsides.

One of the most effective things you can do in your sales copy is to reverse doubts and objections by pre-addressing them. (For the new and uninvited, that means if a customer may come in worrying about the price, you include copy that talks about affordability before they even get to the price.)

But a potential customer is not necessarily going to take your word for it, so it’s extra-helpful to have previous customers do objection reversal for you. You’ll see a few examples of this in the testimonials already shown on this page:

Testimonial

Other people’s words will always speak louder than yours. Use them to help your customers see that other people share their same concerns and that their experience with your product will be a safe one.

You can make your testimonials work so much harder for you.

It’s an awesome thing to get your hands on a great testimonial (or even a good one!), and it’s tragic that so many of your potential customers might not stop to get a good look at them.

Use these tactics to get your existing testimonials working harder for you, and you’ll have more happy customers who may send you their own testimonial in the future!

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