Over the past several years there has been a legal crackdown on the way testimonials are used and collected. Some companies wrote testimonials themselves and assigned a fake name in order to sway buyers, while others wrote up comprehensive testimonials using sales language and tried their best to convince one of their buyers to claim it.
Now many of these practices are illegal. Your testimonials must be associated with a real person that can verify they provided the testimonial free of charge. You can try to persuade a customer to say specific things in their testimonial, but you can no longer create a testimonial from thin air and use it to generate sales on your website.
Methods of Generating Testimonials
Here we’ll explore how to generate real testimonials for your website. These types of testimonials are legally acceptable and will provide you with solid content for your marketing needs.
- Ask Customers
Okay, it may not be that complicated after all. If you are close to any of your customers and you’ve developed more than simply a customer/business relationship, give them a call and ask if they’re willing to provide you with a testimonial you can use for your marketing campaign. Depending on the individual, there is a good chance they’ll agree, and suddenly you have a testimonial.
- Bargain a Bit
You cannot pay someone to create a testimonial for you, but you can trade them for a bit of personal marketing. Some people prefer to keep their names offline, and would rather give a testimonial anonymously than share their full name. Others, however, are more than happy to provide their full name as long as it comes with information about their position and where they work, such as “Anthony Chatfield, CEO – Great Leap Studios.” Add a link and suddenly you’ve helped them market their website and themselves, while also receiving the testimonial you need.
- Contact Forms
When customers or users fill out contact forms, you can use any of their praise or comments as part of a testimonial. Customers must be notified (and should be notified, regardless of legal necessity) before their testimonials are used, and you should never post the individual’s full name without their permission, but you can get permission, cut the testimonial from the contact form, claim it’s from a customer named “Anthony” and use the testimonial legally. Just be sure to save the email as proof.
Reviewing the Legal Language
Testimonials are still a useful tool in today’s business world, but your company has a responsibility to obtain these testimonials legally. No longer can you write up a random testimonial and assign it to a user. You must ensure that you’re following the law, finding real people to provide you with these testimonials, and attributing them correctly.