Testimonials are endorsements for your Web site, your products or your services. Testimonials will increase trust in your business and possibly provide the confidence necessary to buy.

In the instance of the Online Press Center, testimonials will bolster your credibility and give the reporter the trust that you are legitimate.

Use real testimonials from satisfied customers or visitors to your Web site; fabricated endorsements do not have the same ring of truth that a genuine endorsement will.

Longer testimonials, at least two to three sentences in length will inspire readers. When you use a shorter testimonial, it can look as though it’s been edited for content.

For instance, these two sentences don’t say much:

“…excellent web site…” or
“…your tutorials are great…”

Whereas, this testimonial provides in-depth details and benefits of the Web site:

“I just wanted to write and let you know that I think you are doing a good job with your site. I use it as a reference tool and have encouraged friends to visit your site when they have had a particular questions that I know you had articles, tutorials or resources on.” (This was a real testimonials from a visitor to our Web site.)

Also, specific testimonials are going to be a better endorsement than more general ones. Sometimes, especially if you’re just opening up shop, you won’t have much of a selection of testimonials. Use whatever you have. However, when you start to get more visitors and business, you will get more testimonials. Start to become selective about which testimonials you use.

Get permission to use testimonials. Ask for permission to use it for all types of ad copy including brochures, sales letters, and your Web site. You want to be able to use the testimonials now and in the future. It is important to get permission to use names and any contact information that people are willing to provide to you.

On your Web page, you want to be able to attribute the testimonial to a person. It will boost your credibility if you can include a full name, city, state, job title, company, URL, and email address. There is also evidence to prove that including a photo will triple believability.

Organize your effort to collect testimonials. Read all your mail and email carefully, pull whatever you can from your mail. If you aren’t getting testimonials through email or mail, then be sure to ask for them. If you don’t feel comfortable asking for a “testimonial,” instead, ask for your customer’s or visitor’s opinion. You might end up with a critique, but most people will also include positive feedback. Also, a critique can be good, because it can help you improve.