Copywriting Tips – The Proper Use of Testimonials
As a copywriter, you have an obligation, not only to your client, but to the truth. I know this topic is going to strike a lot of raw nerves with a lot of people. So be it. Testimonials are getting way out of hand. The fake ones are so blatantly obvious that you have to wonder how some of these people get away with it. Well, the truth is, they don’t. The FTC does eventually catch up to them. So, if you don’t know what the proper use of testimonials is, you might want to read this article.
Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way. A testimonial has to be real, not made up. But if you think that’s all you have to do in regard to crafting a testimonial for your sales page, you are sadly mistaken. Aside from being real, it also has to be easily verifiable. That means, you have to have some kind of hard copy or digital copy from the person giving the testimonial that you can show to the authorities should they come snooping around. If it’s one you received in the mail, you better have an address and real name of the person so that they can check. If it’s through email, you better have an email address that can also be verified.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. See, all of that is STILL not good enough if the testimonial was given in response to any kind of an incentive, such as, “I’ll give you a free copy for a testimonial” then that is NOT a valid testimonial. Testimonials must be given freely for no gain of any sort. Too many Internet marketers think it is okay to “hunt” for testimonials. It is not. Saying to somebody, “I hope you like the product. If you have any comments you’d like to make after using it, they’d be appreciated” is fine. But asking for a testimonial is NOT fine. There is a fine line here and only you as a copywriter know if you’re crossing it or not.
There is no denying that testimonials for a product will help improve your sales. It’s the reason why they are placed on sales pages. But they MUST be gotten in an ethical manner and MUST be real. Anything less than that and you’re looking for trouble.
Take this warning in the spirit in which it is intended.
To YOUR Success,