Do Testimonials Work?
Updated: May 8
How do you decide which “customer testimonials” to put on your site?
The most effusive ones? (No)
The shortest ones? (No)
The ones from the most famous people? (Maybe, depends)
Customer testimonials can be super helpful because they’re independent, verifiable, and thus believable when praising your services.
Unfortunately, most startups waste this space by selecting the wrong quotes and putting them in the wrong location.
This weekend, Nopadon made a new video to explain the 2 big mistakes, and what to do instead. If you use quotes in your marketing materials, watch his video:
How everybody screws up social proof. First, can we agree that social proof is important?
Let's look at our own behaviour. The massive queue in front of the food truck must be amazing. The empty restaurant at 8 PM On a Saturday night, pass. Lots of startups have a smattering of testimonials
trust logos, Case studies across your site that make absolutely no difference.
I'm Nopadon from Startup Core Strengths. And today, I want to talk to you about your crappy testimonials, case studies and what you can do about it.
Okay, Let's get into it. The biggest issue I see with crap testimonials and
case studies are that they highlight success your prospects don't actually care about.
Let's start with testimonials. There's a key concept called "Relevant Abruption", and it was coined by this guy. He's an absolute ledge. Steve Harrison. He's an original ad man considered one of the top 50 copywriters in the last 50 years. We had the pleasure of working with Steve, and he explained that your copy has two jobs.
One. Abruption. Get your ad noticed. Use it to snap people out of their stupor.
But abruption alone isn't enough. It has to be relevant to your audience.
Two. Relevant. It's noticed for its relevance! Ask yourself, what are your prospects pain? What are they trying to achieve? What are they worried about? Demonstrate that you can deliver on it and a huge way.
Snap them out of autopilot. Here's an example from our own business.
It's an unexpected quote, saying, I would never use this EVER, unexpected, right? Well, that's abruption. As a first time founder, I would have not paid for your program ever.
As a second-time founder, I would have paid twice as much. Now you trust him, right? All right. Mistakes. Mistake one. Not addressing their exact success criteria or goals. Mistake two not quantifying it!
Can you quantify the pain? The time saved, return on ad spend?
ROI, boost in sales? Can you stop them from scrolling? People don't believe in platitudes and superlatives like "the best" or "amazing!" because they sound like marketing bullshit. And that's because they are.
You need specific numbers, not vanity metrics, Numbers your prospects actually care about, numbers that they worry about. Let me show you a bad example. Instapage and PPC advertising go hand in hand. Not only has Instapage been the driving force, no abruption, not even alignment with the ultimate goal.
Let's look at a better example. We've seen a conversion increase of over 70%. Okay, you have my attention. Case studies are no different. Same mistakes. Just like bad testimonials. There's a misalignment between what your prospects view is success and what you're highlighting. You've got to entice people to read your case studies. Here's an example of one of our alumni, Chatter Mill using relevant abruption and enticing the reader to read the case study. Now, that's how you use social proof to boost conversions, and that's the end of my rant.
But I do have one more testimonial for you; I cancel all my subscriptions to keep my inbox clear. There are only three newsletters. I rate Brian Balfour, Andrew Chen. And you, (not me, my partner, Matt.) Your weekly lessons are always short and bang on.
That's right, we put out a short, actionable email each week, and It can help your company grow. You can subscribe at blog.startupcorestrengths.com
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