How To Write an Effective Testimonial (Including Examples)

Gabrielle Hass
Alaina Bradenburger
Published: Dec 21, 2021
Last Updated:
December 15, 2023
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If you're like most people, you do your research before making big purchases. You consider your options, research alternatives, and look for customer reviews and testimonials. After all, you want to choose a product or service that's effective and has been proven to solve problems like yours. Learning how to write a testimonial is important for any business. Illustrating what your customers experience when using your product or service puts potential customers at ease. Here's what you need to know about writing effective testimonials, plus examples of testimonials that make a difference.

What Is a Testimonial?

The definition of a testimonial is a personal recommendation of a company, product, or service by someone who's experienced it. These endorsements are some of the oldest marketing campaign ideas. Testimonials evolved from simple word-of-mouth recommendations, and they're just as effective today as they were hundreds of years ago.

Types of Testimonials

  • Quote testimonials: Direct quotes from your customers provide social proof and evidence of your quality. 
  • Claims testimonials: These testimonials show that you can back up your claims and help you seem trustworthy.
  • Competency testimonials: Directly addressing your competence, these testimonials also showcase your authority and credibility. 
  • Character testimonials: Good character testimonials make you seem more responsible. 
  • Company testimonials: These types of testimonials speak to your company’s reputation and those of your vendors. 
  • Social media testimonials: These brief testimonials offer more visibility away from your website 
  • Video testimonials: Videos are more engaging than text, and video testimonials can boost conversion rates. 
  • Influencer testimonials: Influencers promoting your business help you build awareness with a larger network and build trust among the influencer’s followers.
  • Interview testimonials: Longer in nature than a regular testimonial, an interview allows your customer to tell their story from their perspective. These testimonials highlight your business from the client’s point of view and let other potential customers know what to expect.
  • In-depth case studies: Case studies are a great way to explain complex products and services by illustrating a real-life solution in detail.  

A single testimonial can cover multiple topics or just one. As long as it's an honest recommendation for your brand, it's a valuable piece of marketing material.

Benefits of Testimonials for Businesses

The most significant benefit of digital marketing case studies is that they provide social proof to future customers. Social proof is evidence that other real people out in the world have also bought from a company and gotten good results.

A social testimonial is vital for modern businesses. The internet is a big place, and most people are rightfully wary of scams and sub-par products and services. There's very little that prevents a scammer from setting up a website and selling fake goods. Your audience may be hesitant to buy from you if they haven't heard about your business before.

Client testimonials can help overcome that hesitancy. By providing clear proof of your past satisfied customers, you reassure new leads that your business is legitimate and that you can accomplish the results you say you can.

Good customer testimonials act as marketing material on their own. If your customers genuinely love your product, their recommendations can work better than any ad. Customers who enjoy your product may post it on their social media accounts to increase brand awareness.

Most people are more likely to trust the word of a third party over that of a marketer. Using powerful testimonials to support your marketing efforts helps build brand awareness and makes you seem more genuine and trustworthy, which can make all the difference to your sales.

8 Easy Steps to Write a Great Testimonial

With the many benefits of testimonials, it's clear that they're valuable for your business. But how do you write an interesting testimonial? It's not as hard as it seems. Here's how to write a persuasive testimonial for a company that's interesting, communicates the point, and convinces prospective customers to make a purchase.

1. Consider the Story and the Background

Testimonials aren't written in a void. Most companies develop testimonials in cooperation with their clients and only post testimonials that support their chosen narrative. That's why the first testimonial format is creating compelling stories.

Testimonials can support narratives like:

  • Offering a boutique service
  • Getting things done quickly
  • Providing a better quality service than your competitors
  • Excellent customer service

Essentially, any marketing success story you want to tell about your brand can be supported by testimonials. You can also solicit multiple kinds of testimonials to cover different topics and stories. The point is to choose the right type of testimonial for your potential customers.

2. Ask the Right Questions

Once you know what your testimonials should be, you can ask the right case study questions. Your previous customers take time out of their day to respond to your interview testimonial request. You can make it easier to get customer feedback by prompting them with meaningful questions. These questions also help you collect valuable feedback that supports the story you want to tell.

Questions that prompt excellent testimonials include:

  • What was your life or business like before discovering our brand?
  • What problems does our brand help you solve?
  • Why did you choose our brand in the first place?
  • Why are you continuing to work with our brand?
  • What has our brand helped you achieve?
  • What would you like to tell other potential customers?
  • Are there any unexpected benefits of working with our brand?
  • What do you like about our brand the most?

You probably won't use the responses to all of these questions in the same testimonial. However, you can choose the answers that work best for your narrative.

3. Explain the Problem That Was Solved

Now that you've asked the right questions, you focus on how to write a good testimonial. The first thing to include is an explanation of the problem the client was facing. This can be kept short. You just need a sentence or two that covers why the person chose to work with your brand in the first place.

For instance, you can collect client responses like:

  • "We were struggling to achieve our goals."
  • "We needed better service."
  • "I didn't know where to start."
  • "I was losing time and money trying to handle things alone."

These are clear examples of how the customer struggled before working with your brand and likely resonate with readers facing similar problems.

4. Describe the Solution and Praise Results

Once you've set up the problem, you can explain how your brand solved it. This is where many of the questions you asked earlier will come into play.

When writing testimonials, you want to collect honest answers from your customers. You can never be sure exactly what parts of your service impacted them the most of what they'll choose to write about. By asking multiple targeted questions, you're more likely to get testimonials that support your brand's narrative.

Look for concise responses that sum up the impact of your business, such as:

  • "They helped me cut my expenses in half."
  • "I received great customer service that made it easy to get answers."
  • "They were flexible and reliable, making it easy to get things done on time."
  • "We get compliments all the time thanks to the stellar results they produced!"

Two or three sentences like these are all you need to make an impact.

5. Consider a Call to Action

Not every testimonial needs to end with a call to action (CTA), but it doesn't hurt to include one if your clients do. If you get a response that clearly states something like "I'd recommend that anyone new to [industry] get in touch with this brand," don't hesitate to include it. This kind of effusive recommendation guides the reader to their next step of contacting your brand.

6. Include Names

One of the biggest reasons for a testimonial is building your audience's trust in your brand. However, testimonials aren't foolproof for building buyer confidence. After all, anyone can write a testimonial. Scammers can and do write fake testimonials, and your audience is aware of that.

That's why you should avoid posting anonymous testimonials if you can. The more details you can give about the authors of your testimonials, the better. At a minimum, list a first name and last initial. This makes the testimonial seem more personal, even if it's not. Just make sure you always get permission to share the author's information before posting it.

Better yet, if a testimonial is offered by a company, name the company, the author, and their professional contact information. Clients willing to put their name behind their recommendation make prospective buyers much more comfortable. Furthermore, including contact details lets prospects follow up with the author if they're genuinely unsure.

7. Include Pictures or Examples

The other way to make your testimonials more trustworthy is to include actual examples of your work. Pictures are excellent if your business is in any way a visual medium. For example, a bakery could add photos of past cakes or a graphic designer could display past projects.

You can include both staged photos of your completed work and client pictures of the results after you've handed over control. Staged shots are great for putting your products or services in their best light, while client photos are more realistic and give prospects a sense of genuine connection.

If images themselves don't work, try pointing to examples. The point is to show readers precisely what the testimonial author is complimenting so they have a better idea of what to expect. For instance, a web designer can link directly to other websites they've created.

8. Keep It Short

You'll notice that all the examples in this article are relatively short. There's a good reason for that. A testimonial isn't supposed to be a marketing case study. It's supposed to be a concise explanation of why a past client loves your brand. Keeping testimonials short and to the point keeps the reader from getting distracted.

Ideally, keep your testimonials to just two or three paragraphs. That's enough space to give a short overview of how you solved the customer's problems and explain why they want to promote your business. It's also short enough to fit comfortably on many types of marketing materials and keeps the reader interested.

The Key to Success: Mix Review Sites and Testimonial Pages

Instead of putting all your reviews and testimonials in one place, mix them up and use them strategically. Add short reviews and video testimonials to your homepage or social media feeds to attract buyers who are learning about your brand. 

Pair testimonials and case studies with their respective marketing campaigns. For example, if you have rave reviews about one product line, add it to the project page instead of putting it on your general homepage. Keep your audience in mind and consult your online reviews to generate ideas. Think about why they would be looking for a testimonial so you can decide where to place each type of review. 

3 Great Testimonial Examples to Study

Use these short personal testimony examples as a starting point when you get ready to ask your happy customers to advocate for your brand. 

Zendesk’s Video Testimonials and Case Studies

Zendesk classifies its testimonials using industries, case topics, locations, and other categories. These testimonials and business case studies are laid out on the website like a news page. Potential customers can filter the stories by industry or location. They can also search for specific stories. 

This company has its own content production team tasked with collecting customer reviews and testimonials. While you don’t have to have someone whose sole job is to get customer reviews, you can make it easier by laying out goals for each testimonial and asking relevant questions. 

Bizzabo’s Quote-Based Testimonials

Bizzabo is an event planning software firm working with a variety of clients to plan and execute events. The company’s Customer Stories page highlights metrics from each successful event, demonstrated by a short personal testimony example. 

By adding a quote to the beginning of each success story, Bizzabo boosts its credibility. Potential customers get an idea of how the company was able to solve a client’s problems rather than looking at a page full of metrics. 

Slack’s Customer Stories Page

Slack is an employee collaboration platform that helps teams work together more efficiently. To prove it, the company has a Customer Stories page with a mix of successes and testimonials. Potential clients can filter testimonials by industry, department, region, and business size. Any potential client can find testimonials to suit their business needs. 

With all these case studies, Slack can make a case for most potential customers by offering a real-world example of how other similar clients have benefitted.  

Short Testimonials vs. Case Studies: Which One is Best? 

Each testimonial style offers a distinct benefit. Short testimonials are great for social media or your homepage, where people skim information. You can also use them to add credibility to various ad campaigns. 

Save detailed case studies and interview testimonials for potential clients further along in the buyer journey. Give these materials to your sales team or use them as gated content to encourage people to sign up for your email list. These testimonials are great for addressing potential objections in the sales process and aiding in the decision-making process. 

Unlock the Power of Case Studies for Business Growth

Satisfied customers give you everything you need to develop compelling testimonials. Consider the customer story you want to tell, ask your clients the right questions, and structure it appropriately. Once you've done those things, you can create persuasive, authentic testimonials. Start today by creating your story and begin seeing the benefits of an effective testimony.

Don’t have time to interview your clients? Have help. We offer business case study writing services. Let a professional writer create an engaging and informative case study that will clearly highlight your benefit to potential customers. Request a sample today and see how we can help you grow. 

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