Adding a client testimonial page to your website

thank you being written on paper

If you have any sort of professional website I would advise you to include a testimonial page to promote your business. I think it’s always good to see if someone has been recommended and interesting to see by whom. It’s something that could separate you from the competition. Have a look at my client testimonials and let me know what you think! Here are a few things I picked up whilst doing it.

Choose the clients or customers

Gather a list of clients you have repeat business with. A successful business needs repeat customers so their opinions are the most useful – and they’re more likely to write a shining testimonial! Remember that some companies have a non-endorsement corporate policy. Of course we have to respect that.

Send the email

Word your email very carefully. It’s more usual for your clients to ask you for favors not the other way round. Here is a copy of the email I sent:

I am compiling a client testimonials page on my website so I’m sending this email to a few of my clients.

Client testimonials are only worth doing if they are believable and done well. I would therefore like to ask you for the following information and your permission to publish it on my site. If there is anything or all of the following that you would not like me to put on my site I will, of course, completely understand.

What I would like from you:
Your name :)
Your company’s name (or companies’ names!)
Your job title
Your photo – Again, as with everything else, I will completely understand if you would not be happy with this. The reason I ask is that I think a photo will add to the believability element. I will make them really, really small.
Your company’s website (or websites)
Your testimonial about me – if you’re too busy or don’t want to write one I can get something from an email you’ve sent me and get back to you so you can approve the use of the quote

What you will get in return:
A warm fuzzy feeling of having done someone a good turn
A link to your website

I can’t stress enough that I don’t want you to be compelled to do anything. I would completely understand if you didn’t want to take part.

If you decide to reply I will seek your final approval either immediately before or immediately after I publish the testimonial page.

What to ask for

Notice I asked for some extra information besides just the testimonial. There were many reasons for this. I asked my clients for their company name, link and job description as these will be of primary importance to the client. Some clients may not want the link back to their website due to their endorsement policy. Some clients, on the other hand, may be glad of the link and may want to specify keywords to be put in the name of their company.

Another reason to ask for all this extra information is realism. The more details you add to the testimonial the more “real” it looks. We’ve all seen cheap looking testimonials on e-commerce sites where AJ from New York says “fab product”! I think the testimonial is more believable with the client’s full name, job description, company, link and photo.

bad school report

What you write

Some people may advise to keep the testimonials short and snappy. I elected to publish them almost verbatim. The reason for this again was the realism it evoked. Some clients had written about me in the 2nd person, some in the 3rd person. I resisted the temptation to make them consistent. And, afterall, these guys had taken time to do me a favor. The least I could do was to quote them properly!

But I also added another section that wasn’t received from the client. The description of the work I’d done was written by me as it is a great excuse to promote my skills. Although I was honest about the work I had done for these clients, I made sure it included as much variety as possible to show the world what I can do: website design, website development, hosting and maintenance; interactive PDFs; print advertising design; HTML emails; brochures, newsletters, flyers… here I go again!

What I learned

There’s another reason for doing this apart from crude self-publicity. It’s always important to listen to your clients. And even more important to listen to what your biggest clients think. I learnt a lot from this experience. Have a look at my testimonial from one of my clients Benoît Quémar, Vice President of Alenea:

Many graphic or web designers, unfortunately, only have a talent for pure design in a “visual” way but fail to understand the purpose of their work or are not really interested in the business behind the project. As a result, they require a lot of management before being able to deliver something that’s usable – at best. Whereas Rob has shown a true interest in everything we’ve done and his suggestions have always proven that he understood the “why” of everything, coming up with effective and creative designs and ideas on his own, saving us a lot of valuable time.

This, apart from being a great testimonial, also taught me a great deal about what this client, and maybe others, value. So doing a testimonial page can bring you pure gold in terms of useful information!

What do you think?

Have you got a testimonial page on your website? Or do you have testimonials spread out through your website? Can you add any tips to mine? What do you think of my testimonials?

And finally

Again, a big “Thank You” to all my clients for taking part.

More priceless client-getting tips in my e-book How To Get Clients.

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Comments

  1. says

    Many things to learn from you here. There is nothing to disagree.

    I liked the way you presented the content here. It is a multi-headed arrows and each hit the target perfectly. I come to know who you are, what you do, what your clients think about you along with the value of presenting testimonial in your site. It is a nice way of self-promotion with such a convincing context. Great work I liked it. I’m inspired by the style.

  2. says

    Good post with some good tips. Thanks for doing this, it saves a lot of time foe people who may not understand the WHY of needing to have client feedback visible on their site.

  3. says

    @Suresh thank you, it’s self-promotion and nailing down your specialties. Thank you for your encouraging remarks.

    @Robert thank you. I think client feedback is interesting to people who are considering hiring me.

  4. says

    I really love the photo addition to the testimonials…I don’t know why that never occurred to me! They make them more real when we can see the face of the person behind the words!

  5. Kevin says

    You are completely right about the power of testimonials ! I use Our Clients – an online tool that makes it easy to collect testimonials from your clients and keep them up-to-date. The testimonials are completely trustworthy thanks to the fact that not only you but also your clients have control on what is published. And testimonials have to be updated or confirmed every 12 months.

  6. says

    Thanks for the info. I am trying to decide between placing our testimonials on one page or throughout the website. My thoughts are will people actually go to a page to read testimonials. I think people will go to the product they are interested in and then read a testimonial that is right in front of them. I think if the person has to search or go to separate page to read a testimonial you have lost the opportunity. If a person goes to a separate testimonial page they are already seriously considering hiring you and just want to confirm they are making the right choice. What are your thoughts.
    Raham

  7. says

    Hello Raham, I think it depends on your business or what type of site you have. If you have a normal e-commerce site with lots of differing products then testimonials on the different product pages would be a good idea.

    If, however, like me, your site advertises your services (in my case, design and marketing) I would probably go for a separate testimonial page.

    On the other hand, I could split them up with testimonials for print design, web design, marketing, etc., on separate pages. I’d never thought of that. Maybe one day when the business gets bigger!

    Cheers.

  8. says

    Thanks for the great tips! I’m going to bookmark this and try it out. I’ve been wanting to put something on my website where people can write their testimonials, but as I’m using wix.com, I am a little limited as there is no way to approve comments before they’re posted. With that in mind I didn’t want to have this idea backfire and have people posting mean things or anything with obscenities. I think this is a great idea and will definitely try it out. Thanks!

  9. says

    Hi Lucy, I’ve had the ability here to approve comments but I’ve never implemented it. Although I do have something to catch spam which is always more of a problem that people being mean! If you ever want to move from Wix to WordPress there’s plenty of advice here to help you. I’m glad you found this article useful!

  10. says

    Thanks so much for these tips. I used your suggestions to contact my clients, and I’m getting some great testimonials!

    • says

      That’s great to hear, Kay! I felt embarrassed to ask my clients, but I’m glad I did, because I got some great responses as well. Thanks for the comment!

  11. Fayola says

    I’m just starting out and only have about three testimonials. Is it worth it to have a whole page for so few testimonials? Should I include them somewhere else or wait until I’ve built up more?

  12. says

    Rob, I am just now reading this article while I create, finally, my fine art ecommerce website. I am actually reading your article on business websites and clicked on the testimonial link. In following your words here, I dug up some testimonials and created my Testimonial page, http://maryfineart.com/testimonials/. I have to say that reading over the two testimonials I have found so far, have touched me deeply. They are golden magic. Thank you for all you do. You are touching lives and hearts.

    • says

      Thank you, Mary, your two testimonials are really good and I do think having a testimonials page is almost always a good idea. Well done for putting your e-commerce website together.

  13. Sid says

    Excellent points and several comments above have shown, there is tremendous value in testimonials. Testimonials are key because

    1. They are the voice of your Customer has less skepticism compared to your marketing messages.
    2. Testimonials from existing customers help provide the much needed assurance to new prospects
    3. Testimonials play a big role even during the lead generation stage.
    4. Testimonials add the zing to your content strategy.
    5. Not having testimonials has a huge repelling effect.