The Importance of Using Testimonials

by | Jan 3, 2012

Whether you run a “traditional” business or have just developed a new iPhone app, you may think that testimonials are something that are only useful for websites in the fitness industry. While you’re far from being alone in this belief, quite a few business owners have been surprised by the results that have resulted from this seemingly minor change.


Do Testimonials Really Work?


In April, Visual Website Optimizer published a case study involving WikJob. WikiJob decided to do an A/B test with customer testimonials. Originally, they had the following three testimonials at the bottom of their page:


“Good training for the work environment in Europe.”

“Very useful for practice!”

“Almost a carbon copy of the real aptitude test.”


Keep in mind that these testimonials weren’t attributed to specific customers or even labeled as “Testimonials.” And although WikiJob already had the testimonials on their site, they were at the bottom of the page. So, for the A/B test, WikiJob decided to move the three testimonials to a higher position on the page. And that’s all they did. Instead of adding any additional details, they simply gave the testimonials a more prominent position.


While it’s hard to imagine that a tweak so small could have a noticeable impact, the A/B test showed that it improved their conversion rate by 34%! Near the end of the post about this test, the co-founder of WikiJob mentions that “I may try putting some small pictures next to each testimonial to see if this improves things.” As the editor of the post noted, that’s definitely a good idea.


The reason is while WikiJob already saw great results from the inclusion of simple testimonials, other tests have found that it is possible to double conversion rates by simply including one or more human photos on a page.


Ideal for Launching Something New


Whether you’re starting a new business or you have an existing business that is launching a new product or service, one of the hardest parts of getting anything new off the ground is overcoming the hurdle of getting visitors to actually pull out their credit card and pay for it. Although you have something awesome to offer customers, people are still very adverse to risk.


Fortunately, testimonials are a great way to overcome this problem. Because they show new visitors that people have already paid for what you’re selling and are happy with their results, they won’t feel like they’re taking a big risk.


And if you’re wondering how you can get your first couple of customers and subsequent testimonials, don’t be afraid to offer them a special deal that eliminates all risk. Once they’ve tried and then paid for what you’re offering, all you’ll have to do is ask them for a testimonial.


Do you currently use testimonials on your website? If not, do you plan to add them in the near future?