Testimonial Tips

Here in the Twin Cities, one of my favorite marketing and PR consultants is Suzy Feine of Suzy Feine Consulting. In the recent edition of her e-newsletter cleverly named “The Feine Print,” she offers some excellent advice on giving customer testimonials more weight.

Here is the testimonial column from her recent e-newsletter. I hope readers of Retail Details find it useful:

The Truth in Testimonials
Client testimonials must be believable in order to be effective. When writing client testimonials, follow these tips:

1. Interview your client: Don’t just ask them to e-mail you a quote, interview them in person or over the phone, and then use the best response that showcases your business.

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2. Gain approval: Always send your client the final copy you intend to use and gain their approval to use it. A release form signed by them granting you the right to use their testimonial in all forms of marketing materials is best.

3. Always attribute: Quotes that are attributed to “a satisfied customer” or “a client” can backfire. These attributions are not believable to the general public and are a surefire way to disengage clients. Always ask up front if your client is fine using his name, title and company name in the testimonial; otherwise, find another client to quote.

4. Maximize exposure: Once the testimonial is approved and you’ve received the signed release form, use the testimonial in all forms of printed materials: brochures, on your company website, in your blog, etc. You can even build a press release around the testimonial if it is newsworthy.

5. Multiply: If your target market is in multiple vertical industries, obtain client testimonials from at least one client in each industry. Proving that you have success in a particular industry will help potential clients in that industry realize you can help them too.