Small Business Marketing Magic – 10 Ways to Use Customer Testimonials

Nothing beats those glowing words from happy customers. After all, what’s more persuasive to prospects: when you talk about how great your products or services are, or when a customer sings your praises in his or her own words?

Definitely the latter. But the question is, are you leveraging these testimonials the way you should?

You’d be surprised by the many ways you can use customer testimonials. Here are 10 ideas:

1. Company website. Okay, this might seem like a no-brainer, but we’re always surprised at how many small business owners forget to add testimonials to their website. And we’re not talking simply one web page of happy customer comments, although it IS a good idea to have a repository for all of them. We recommend sprinkling testimonials throughout the site. Match them to specific products or services. For example, if you’re a limo company and one of the services you offer is wedding limos, make sure you post a glowing review from a bride on that page. Another fun idea we’ve seen: have scrolling testimonials on the home page.

2. Email newsletters (and print newsletters, too!). Testimonials make great filler in the side bar areas for both electronic and print newsletters.

3. Invoices. Invoices are things that customers pay attention to – consider adding a testimonial somewhere on the bottom (it can be a great reminder about other products and services you offer).

4. Promotional products. Bet you didn’t see this suggestion coming from us, huh? :) promo products custom coffee mugsBut it’s true – you often have lots of real estate on certain promotional products, such as custom T-shirts, personalized ceramic mugs (like the ones pictured to the right), and custom bags and totes. Add a powerful line – it needn’t and shouldn’t be long – that adds an extra promotional punch.

5. Email signatures. Again, a powerful line is a great way to reinforce your brand, and your email signature is a perfect place to do this. Best of all, you can change it whenever you like – we recommend “freshening” the testimonial every month or so. Make sure all of your employees do the same thing with their signatures. Here’s how to change your email signature in Outlook.

6. Marketing collateral. Testimonials are perfect for brochures, direct mailers, company backgrounders, data sheets – you get the idea.

7. Business cards. The back of your business card has primo real estate as well — often real estate that goes unused. It’s a great place to add a strong line from a customer. Focus on standout lines that exemplify your unique selling proposition (USP).

8. Social media. You need to be careful how often you do this, but when you get a particularly glowing testimonial or review, share it with your Facebook fans or tweet about it. Make sure you sound grateful, not boastful! For example, on Facebook, preface the testimonial with something like this: “Wow! We love it when we make clients happy, and we love it even more when they tell us. We just received this awesome testimonial from Mary Smith. She said…”

9. Press materials/speaker materials. If you’re a business owner who likes to “get out there” and speak at conferences and such, it’s always a good idea to include one sheet with testimonials about you as a speaker and about you as a businessperson.

10. Auto-responders. Whether you use an email marketing program like Constant Contact that sends out an automatic “welcome” email after someone signs up for your company newsletter, or you’re using some sort of lead nurturing software, adding a testimonial to the bottom of these messages is another way to get a big bang for your testimonial buck.

Have you used customer testimonials in other ways? We want to hear them! Share in the comments.

Allison Rice

About Allison Rice

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This entry was posted in Branding, Promotional Products, Small Business Marketing, Social Media and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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