How to Use Testimonials

“Using testimonials -- quotations from satisfied customers and clients -- is one of the simplest and most effective ways of adding punch and power to brochure, ad and direct mail copy,” says copywriting expert Robert W. Bly.

Here are 5 Quick Tips on how to use them effectively, courtesy of Bob’s Direct Response Letter at

1. Always use real testimonials instead of made-up ones. Even the most skilled copywriter can rarely make up a testimonial that matches the sincerity and credibility of genuine words of praise from a real customer or client. Fabricated testimonials (those written by the advertiser) usually sound phony; genuine testimonials invariably have the ring of truth.

2. Prefer long testimonials to short ones. Many advertisers are hooked on using very short testimonials. For instance: “...fabulous!...” “...excellent...wonderful...” Longer testimonials -- two or three sentences versus a single word or phrase -- come across as more believable.

3. Use full attribution. We’ve all seen testimonials from “J.B. in Arizona” or “Janet S., Satisfied Customer.” Many people laugh at such testimonials and think they are phony. Include the person’s full name, city and state. People are more likely to believe fully attributed testimonials over those that seem to conceal the identity of the speaker.

4. Group your testimonials. Group them together in one area of your website, brochure or ad, rather than scattering them throughout the copy. This can be done in a box, on a separate page or on a separate sheet.

5. Get permission. Make sure you get permission from your customer to reprint her words before including her testimonial in your copy. Get permission in writing and clearly indicate what quote you will use.