I'm TIRED of reading poor testimonials! [Here's how it's done.]

by Raydal
28 replies
Not many people seem to know what a testimonial should
read like. I read / listen to poor testimonials all the time and
these business owners seem not to have a clue. And the
WSO section is FULL of them.


So let me help some people out here. An effective testimonial
should have the the following elements in them:

1. Specific - Be clear about what the product did for you. Not that
you love the creator and the product owner is a nice person. Generalities mean
nothing.

2. Comparative - What was life before the product compared to life
after the product. That's why those before/after pictures in weight-loss
market are so effective.

3. Illustrative -give a case study if possible.

4. Believable - avoid superlatives (another way of saying "be honest") and just say what the product did for you.

5. Vision casting -what you hope to do with the new benefits you now enjoy.

Hope somebody finds this helpful.

-Ray Edwards
#poor #reading #testimonials #tired
  • Profile picture of the author mazzuca
    Yea Raydal,

    Definitely it will help all those person who will read this post. Thanks,because this post really worth to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author quadagon
    Great bit of advise.

    There is a book called spin selling which looks at 4 key areas of selling :

    S ituation
    P roblem
    I mplication
    N eed

    Same formula works great for testimonials as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author nizamkhan
    This testimonial format is worth considering. Thanks for sharing

    - Nizam
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  • Profile picture of the author joeysbusiness
    very worthwhile .. thanks

    hope you dont mind but BRONWYN AND KEITH have a related thread on this same page.

    Its related to this topic and worth reading thru......especially if you are a newbie (all is NOT what is seems)


    thanks Raydal for this idea ....

    Im glad this topic is finally get the light of truth ....
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  • Profile picture of the author pedauba
    yeah, that's basic rules to write good testimonial.. everybody should now this before sharing!
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Thanks Raydal, those are good specific points. But I have a follow-up question.

      How do you get the customer to hit on all those points without coaching, coercing or tampering? Or can you?

      I'm sure this question will help many people reading this thread as well.
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      • Profile picture of the author Raydal
        Originally Posted by The Niche Man View Post

        Thanks Raydal, those are good specific points. But I have a follow-up question.

        How do you get the customer to hit on all those points without coaching, coercing or tampering? Or can you?

        I'm sure this question will help many people reading this thread as well.
        By asking appropriate questions in a "survey".

        Turn everyone of those points into a question.

        1. What SPECIFIC benefit did you get from my product?
        2. How has things changed for you since you use my product?
        3. Can you give me some numbers, examples etc?

        You get the point.

        -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author QueenMelanie
    indeed, some testimonials are a waste of time and don't actually say anything relevent
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  • Profile picture of the author Monkmoney
    Well said..I personally hate long boring stories about how bad your life was before a product...I mean its good to express that but be to the point about it
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by Monkmoney View Post

      Well said..I personally hate long boring stories about how bad your life was before a product...I mean its good to express that but be to the point about it
      The keyword there is boring. There is NOTHING more powerful to selling
      than a good story. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

      If a story seems long and boring to you it could be that it was
      not told properly or you have no interest in the story, like opera?

      The whole point of telling the story is to engage the reader and
      also gain empathy. That's the reason why politicians tell their
      stories.

      -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Ray, amen!

    Well said....and as for the story bit in the response right above, you are dead on man, absolutely dead on.

    A NY Times Best Selling Author - who's Richard Branson's, Tony's Robbin's, and Google's business coach - endorsed 2 of my books. Why? I tell a kick butt story, and then, I got endorsement juice from a brilliant, famous business mind.....SO......when you tell your story, AND when you inspire others to tell their stories, of how their lives were improved by your product, then you gain the trust of like-minded people.

    I told my story, which caught his eye, then more folks told their endorsements/testimonials in long story form, to help me build greater trust, which helped me expand my brand.

    So I'd say, keep on promoting those story-like testimonials, and keep on telling your inspired stories too, and those endorsements will keep on flowing in.

    VERY helpful post here, keep on inspiring Ray!

    Ryan
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  • Profile picture of the author Monkmoney
    I hate seeing..I was once like you, poor homeless destitute stuck in.a 9-5...because they dont know me lol

    I think approaching it more subtely is smart
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    • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
      Nice post- Ray.

      A different kind of thing I want to add.

      If a testimonial(review) is from someone who knows the business and they say based on their own experience using the techniques mentioned. This is actionable and solid information. That will produce the results mentioned if applied.

      That is also acceptable. I wouldn't expect you to take a copywriting course for review and say I learned so much and it helped me do this and I project this. That, in fact, would hurt You.
      You teach it. See what I did there?

      So I think a balance is needed. Transparency is the key, I just did a review of a product I know will work if applied because I have done it myself, but, not using this product.
      I will have to say that, but it doesn't make the testimonial false or less because I don't say something like you mentioned above, I already know how to do it. So I would be lying to say I learned and expect this and project that.

      A real review should be what results they got with it. I fully agree with what you are saying. I just thought I would add that being as there is stuff we already know that a product may or may not teach us anything new but we know what it says works. We have experience doing it.

      p.s. I like the way you review products, so I am not at all taking away from what you have said
      Best,
      -WD
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve B
        Raydal,

        I believe you should add (right at the beginning) another bullet point: Establish Credibility

        Unless you have a famous face/name . . . no one is going to know who you are or why your testimonial is credible and of value.

        - If you're a mother of six children giving a testimonial about a potty training product . . . say so! Tell the world why you are qualified to give a review based on your own experience raising six kids.

        - If you were in the Marines and your testimonial is about how to survive in the wilderness . . . share why you can give a credible review of a product.

        - If you are a diabetic and are reviewing a weight loss plan, give quick but definite evidence that you are a credible witness to the fact that a product works.

        By establishing credibility, you quickly answer the reader's question: Why should I listen to you?

        Nice thread and good points raised.

        Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author Raydal
        Originally Posted by WD Mino View Post

        That is also acceptable. I wouldn't expect you to take a copywriting course for review and say I learned so much and it helped me do this and I project this. That, in fact, would hurt You.
        You teach it. See what I did there?
        I think you are referring to a different type of testimonials which would
        be an expert's testimonial. In that case the expert is not talking about
        the results he gets but affirming that the product is of high quality.

        So if I can get a testimonials from Gary Bencivenga about my coaching
        program, more power to me!

        Originally Posted by Monkmoney View Post

        I hate seeing..I was once like you, poor homeless destitute stuck in.a 9-5...because they dont know me lol

        I think approaching it more subtly is smart
        That's funny. If they "don't know you" then it simply means that you
        are not in their target market. If they are not like you then the product
        may not be for you. Those stories are very effective for the right
        audience though. Who can speak better to an overweight person
        than another overweight person?

        -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    Shouldn't a testimonial be what the person giving the testimonial feels? So many testimonials are fake as the paper they are written on. Now here you are coaching people how to write them. Seems rather odd to me.
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    Tim Pears

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    • Profile picture of the author quadagon
      Originally Posted by timpears View Post

      Shouldn't a testimonial be what the person giving the testimonial feels? So many testimonials are fake as the paper they are written on. Now here you are coaching people how to write them. Seems rather odd to me.
      Yes, but by asking the right questions and framing their responses you get real testimonials that are valuable as a sales tool.

      What were you doing before you bought product x
      How was that working for you
      What did you want to achieve when you buying my product
      Why did you choose this over other products
      If you couldn't solve your problem what were the implications for your business

      Etc

      You can essentially get them to rephrase your value proposition and object handle in a natural manner that you can't do. Also these are proof of concept and can't be argued with.

      The alternative is that you get Tony the tiger responses.
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Originally Posted by timpears View Post

      Shouldn't a testimonial be what the person giving the testimonial feels? So many testimonials are fake as the paper they are written on. Now here you are coaching people how to write them. Seems rather odd to me.
      Not at all...

      If you are going to invite some feedback, ask the right questions.

      It is an integral part of marketing to use testimonials to enhance sales... provided they are real.

      I have to problem for asking specific questions when doing so.

      Whether or not the answers are real is a matter for the writer. Many times if you ask a customer to provide feedback - on the basis that they feel it is deserved - they have no idea what to write... and ask you to just write it for them.

      So no probs asking for specific feedback.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
    another thought for testimonials is how there placed in the adcopy... I see a lot of pages with a long list of testimonials at the end of the page, always a turn off

    use testimonials as part of the selling process, as an example, if the testimonial says it was easy to install, and the instructions simple to understand.

    put this testimonial in a place where you tell people how easy it is for newbies to use.

    matching the testimonial to your marketing message, makes them worth much more than just a long list at the end of the page
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by Robert Puddy View Post

      use testimonials as part of the selling process, as an example, if the testimonial says it was easy to install, and the instructions simple to understand.
      I prefer a contextual arrangement of testimonials myself. I know some people
      place them all together because they see interspersing testimonials as breaking
      the flow of the copy.

      -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author quadagon
      Originally Posted by Robert Puddy View Post

      another thought for testimonials is how there placed in the adcopy...
      a great place for a testimonial is on the checkout page.

      also you should start to look at getting testimonials recorded, the web is going to be more and more video based so get ahead of the curve.

      I've experimented with something I've coined as selfimonials. Essentially you get the person to record a testimonial themselves and edit them together to form a single narrative. Its really powerful, effective and cheap.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

    Not many people seem to know what a testimonial should
    read like. I read / listen to poor testimonials all the time and
    these business owners seem not to have a clue. And the
    WSO section is FULL of them.


    So let me help some people out here. An effective testimonial
    should have the the following elements in them:

    1. Specific - Be clear about what the product did for you. Not that
    you love the creator and the product owner is a nice person. Generalities mean
    nothing.

    2. Comparative - What was life before the product compared to life
    after the product. That's why those before/after pictures in weight-loss
    market are so effective.

    3. Illustrative -give a case study if possible.

    4. Believable - avoid superlatives (another way of saying "be honest") and just say what the product did for you.

    5. Vision casting -what you hope to do with the new benefits you now enjoy.

    Hope somebody finds this helpful.

    -Ray Edwards
    Originally Posted by Robert Puddy View Post

    another thought for testimonials is how there placed in the adcopy... I see a lot of pages with a long list of testimonials at the end of the page, always a turn off

    use testimonials as part of the selling process, as an example, if the testimonial says it was easy to install, and the instructions simple to understand.

    put this testimonial in a place where you tell people how easy it is for newbies to use.

    matching the testimonial to your marketing message, makes them worth much more than just a long list at the end of the page
    Often times I am so turned off with the long list of testimonials that I lose complete interest in the product itself and many times don't make the purchase.

    However when I see a testimonial which has specifics and placed in a proper contextual way throughout the sales letter, it impacts me with greater force every time. Thanks Ray and Robert for your good solid advice.

    Ken

    The Old Geezer
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  • Profile picture of the author Teri802nj
    I think you hit the nail on the head with this.Testimonials deal with facts not opinions. Thx
    for showing the right way to testify.
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    Theresa Lovelace
    http://theresamlovelace.com

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  • Profile picture of the author mlpauling
    How often do people who give testimonials have the product long enough to get real results before the wso is launched?
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  • Profile picture of the author Onomatopoeia
    Really interesting discussions about product testimonials that you guys are having. As an actor who has been making video testimonials for a while on Fiverr, I feel that the web is only going to have more and more video testimonials. I remember a couple of years ago, if I opened a webpage and saw a video testimonial started playing, I would be quite surprised.. and today, it seems they are everywhere already. And more and more marketers are starting to pay attention to this trend.


    Regards,
    Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Maybe most importantly . . .

      A testimonial should be TRUTHFUL.

      If it's a lie, the testimonial is worthless, good or bad.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author javrsmith
    I think that you can help your product testimonials in a couple of ways. First, you can provide pointers to anyone who gets a review copy. This would follow the layout that Raydal shows here. Next, provide a message to your customers indicating that if they like your product, they should let you know what they like about it. Let the customer thank you in their words.
    That's about all you can do, without making artificial testimonials.
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