How to Use Testimonials to Improve Website Conversion Rates for Lead Generation
So how should you leverage testimonials for lead generation?
1. Figuring out what kind of testimonials really drive conversion rates
2. Getting more good testimonials
3. Highlighting testimonials effectively on the website
4. Synchronizing testimonials with a call to action
Lead generation is a critical bottleneck in growth for many companies, due to which optimizing websites for lead generation is very important. Testimonials are one factor that can increase conversion rates on a website significantly.
Testimonials mainly increase the conversion rate by improving trust between the potential customer and the seller. But there can also be other factors. For example, they can provide relevant information that isn’t stated on the site otherwise. The great thing about testimonials is that they usually focus on aspects that are actually relevant to your target audience. It happens when a testimonial is from a relevant customer and done correctly without putting words in the customer’s mouth.
The easiest way to truly leverage testimonials is through a platform like Trustmary. Leveraging testimonials for lead generation effectively requires you to figure out four things: What kind of testimonials really drive conversion rate, how to get more of those testimonials, how to highlight them on your website, and synchronize those testimonials effectively with your call to actions.
Trustmary does all that for you.
But let’s go through it step by step:
This is the first and maybe the most important part that is often overlooked. The assumption is usually that all testimonials and even all reviews increase conversion rates. But even though I’m an advocate of using testimonials, unfortunately, this is not the case.
Often, testimonials are made in a way that is actually counterintuitive given the goal of increasing conversion rate. It may sound like a great idea to put words into your customer’s mouth and, in a sense, fake a testimonial. But the problem is that if you do this, you are actually quite likely to miss the mark. Usually, the best testimonials are somewhat organic and discuss the most relevant factors in the customer’s opinion.
Suppose your testimonial just focuses on things that customers don’t really care about after all. In that case, the effect can even be negative for conversion rate as the customer might feel that the product or service in question is not really for them.
But even if you let your customers discuss key factors in their opinion, it’s just one customer in the end. And it might be that the factors they feel are the key aren’t relevant for most of your customers. The only way to really find out what kind of testimonials are most effective is to test them on your website.
With a tool like Trustmary, you can do this quickly and easily.
Getting more good testimonials often happens by getting more testimonials in general. Usually, if you simply gather more testimonials, you also end up getting more good ones. You can optimize this, too, but you should only do so based on data and experiences from your case.
There are some best practices on how to generate good testimonials. Still, to be honest with you, it depends on the case quite a lot. The factors that are relevant to your business differ a lot of times considerably from the factors that are relevant to some other businesses.
The timing is also important. Typically, there are two key moments when you have the opportunity to get testimonials easily: After the customer has just given positive feedback to you or after the customer has just been in contact with you and received good service.
You can also ask for testimonials “out of the blue” – and it does work. The conversion rates just aren’t that high. This is something we have noticed at Trustmary with our customers, due to which we always recommend combining testimonial gathering with feedback gathering. But to be honest, usually, our customers start gathering testimonials by asking them without the timing being optimal. Generally, you get results even with that.
Eventually, when you see what kind of testimonials genuinely bring value, you should also start optimizing the testimonial gathering flow. That way, you figure out what questions actually get the best answers and the highest response rates and what channels you should be using. The most common channels for asking for testimonials are email and SMS, but sometimes it can also be done straight in-app, for example, in software as a service.
When you take your testimonials to the website, you need to consider two things: the place where the testimonial is visible and how it looks.
Both are important, but if I had to choose one over the other, it would be the place. Usually, testimonials work best after the customer has already understood what you’re offering but isn’t sure if it would be the right fit for them. As testimonials work in this confirmatory fashion, they should be coupled with a call to action or placed near to a call to action so that the customer has a clear path to conversion.
In terms of the look, it depends on the site entirely. Typically, it is good to include an image of the customer who has given the testimonial, if possible.
One thing that people often forget is how the testimonial relates to the call to action. If the call to action is to download a guide, the testimonial about the actual service won’t work that well.
This is relatively straightforward on specific pages but can get tricky if, for example, you want to do it based on a customer search intent. Softwares like Trustmary can make it easy, but I recommend you stick to the simplest options most of the time.