Testimonials can be a very effective marketing tool for many products. I’m willing to bet even you have been persuaded into buying something based on what other people have said about it.
It’s kind of like word-of-mouth advertising that you’re showing customers yourself.
Testimonials will be more likely to attract customers if they come from well-known people or from a source that displays a good amount of credibility. This will in turn make your product or business appear more credible as well.
Movie marketing is a great example of where testimonials can work very well. Ads for films often include quotes from critics that reviewed them favorably, and these quotes in turn influence the audience to go see the movie. These quotes are more likely to get people in the seats if they come from someone they know. Two thumbs up from Ebert and Roeper or 4 stars from USA Today are more likely to get people to take notice than a positive review from John Q. Movie Reviewer.
Of course not everyone will be able to get testimonials from sources that everyone knows, but someone well known within your industry (or an industry your product affects) can be convincing as well.
Let’s say hypothetically Aaron Wall liked my product. He may not be well known to the general public like say, Johnny Depp, but if I was selling something related to the search industry, an endorsement from Wall would probably be pretty valuable, because within that niche, he is well-known and respected.
If you can get somebody well-known to say something good about your product, then great. This won’t always be an easy task however, and it is comforting to know that testimonials can still be effective when they’re from someone nobody’s ever heard of.
If I was selling accounting software, I could use a quote from John Q. software-user as a testimonial, but instead of just using his name, I could say, "John Q. Software-User, head of accounting at Random Business Here". This gives off the impression that this person would know what they are talking about. He’s head of accounting at some company, so he probably knows what he’s talking about when it comes to accounting software.
There are variables that can come into play when it comes to the effectiveness of testimonials, such as the products you are selling, their range of appeal, etc. Have you ever used testimonials in your marketing? Do you think they were effective? What kind of products were involved?