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Make the most of online testimonials


Testimonials are powerful marketing and sales tools, offering proof that you have customers satisfied with your product or service. But Colleen Francis says on her EngageSelling blog that a recent survey she conducted found 75 per cent of businesses hide those testimonials on their websites. The Ottawa-based sales consultant is willing to bet that if you study analytics for your site, probably less than 10 per cent of site visitors ever see the testimonials.

She suggests placing testimonials throughout your site, so that visitors reading about a product or service can see related testimonials. There is usually space available on one side of a web page where you can place testimonials, or you can insert the comments directly into the marketing copy on the page.

Take care where you position customer comments, she warns. "Placing testimonials that have nothing to do with the particular product or service being discussed on that page can hurt you … It raises the question: Why don't they have a testimonial about this?"

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The most sophisticated approach, she says, is not simply to twin the testimonial with the product or service, but to direct it to specific visitors. So if a viewer is from a particular country, the site serves a testimonial from the same country, increasing a sense of trust.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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