How to Create Content that Connects: Getting Product Reviews for Easy Marketing

Whether you're selling a product or service, using reviews is one of the best, and easiest, forms of marketing because they allow you to sit back while others to do the talking for you. So many of us worry about coming off as annoying or salesy when we talk about our business, and it can be hard to find the words to describe exactly what we have to offer, but quotes from your happy past customers speak volumes more than anything you could say anyway, because they speak directly from the customer's perspective.Hello! I’m continuing on in my series around how to create website content that connects to your dream customer! If you’ve missed the prior ones, catch up here:

Today we’re talking about one of the most effective tools you have to create a relationship of trust between you and the customer – the ever important product review or testimonial!

Whether you’re selling a product or service, using reviews is one of the best, and easiest, forms of marketing because they allow you to sit back while others to do the talking for you.

So many of us worry about coming off as annoying or salesy when we talk about our business, and it can be hard to find the words to describe exactly what we have to offer, but quotes from your happy past customers speak volumes more than anything you could say anyway, because they speak directly from the customer’s perspective.

And, they speak the truth, about everything from the products you sell to your awesome customer service, which helps build trust in your brand.

Testimonials are the best way to convey to potential customers what their experience with you might be like!

Here are answers to some questions you might have about how to use testimonials, product reviews and other customer feedback most effectively around your site, to help you convert those visitors and sell more!

What makes a good testimonial?

You already know you want a great quote from a customer that addresses their experience with your products, but aim for a variety of testimonials that reflect not only the awesomeness of what you’re selling, but other important things customers are looking for – your excellent customer service, how you handle a customer’s problems or issues, reassurance for their worries or fears, etc.

The more of these sorts of details you can pull out from your customer feedback, the better. And the more you can find that will engage people emotionally, the better.

For example, which sounds more compelling or engaging to you as a potential customer?

  • “Your consulting sessions were great! I learned so much, thank you!”
  • OR “Some amazing things have happened for my biz since I spoke to you – you were the spark for a lot of change!” (<- an actual testimonial I received from a wonderful client)

Which one connects to you more on an emotional level? Which one makes you want to know more about their story? Which one sounds like the kind of results you’d hope to experience?

When you get specific about what your customer will receive, what they might feel like after buying from you, what their experience as a whole might feel like, that’s what makes for a compelling, converting testimonial, one that actually speaks for your brand and helps you sell what you do!

The best way to get a good testimonial like that is to ask! And to ask specific questions that will pull out those details that your site visitors will connect with.

Questions like:

  • What was your experience like working with me?
  • How did you feel after you worked with me/received the item/wore it for the first time?
  • How did you feel opening the package?
  • Did you have any problems or issues checking out – if so, how were they resolved?
  • What are the results you’ve had from {your product}?
  • Would you recommend us to your friends?
  • How have things changed since using our product?
  • Anything else you’d like to share?
  • Etc…

Great product reviews are specific and emotional, and you can get great ones just by asking! By following up with your customers! (More on that a couple paragraphs on down… keep reading :)

And one last important tip (that I see a lot of people forget!) – be sure to include the customer’s name and location, to help validate that these words are from real people, not just some quotes you made up.

You can also include images of the customer’s face, or of the products they bought, their business logo, etc. to add some visual interest and further the “proof” that these folks are real people with real opinions!

What are the best ways to share your reviews & testimonials?

The most obvious, and definitely an effective, approach is to create a testimonial page which shares many different ones and can be linked to from your main navigation, elsewhere in the homepage, in your footer, or whenever you mention it in a blog post or social media update.

You can also include a quote or two on your homepage, or create a graphic that scrolls through multiple quotes from different people. You could include product specific feedback on the product page itself, or share testimonials regularly to your newsletter list, or on social media.

There are many awesome ways to incorporate product reviews, feedback or other testimonials on your website. Feel free to get creative and think outside the box in how you use them!

Display wise, to make the testimonial eye-catching, you don’t want just a big blob of text. Pull out one of the main points in the quote to use as an attention grabbing headline, or bold or italicize the points you want to emphasize most in the text for the visitors who are just scanning it.

And if you have them on a rotating graphic, make sure you’re displaying them long enough for people to actually read it! A good rule of thumb to remember: If you, who are familiar with the words, can read the whole thing quickly twice, someone who’s seeing it for the first time will have enough time to read it once (an old trick I learned from video editing in college about how long to display text on the screen :)

How do you get more good product reviews?

Echoing what I mentioned above, cause it’s worth repeating, you ask for them!

Plain and simple, you need to be asking your customers for feedback directly, no matter how or where you sell.

On Etsy and the like, feedback is followed up for you and customers are sent emails asking for reviews of their recent order. There’s no reason you can’t replicate this if you sell in a different avenue online, on your own dot-com.

Set up a mailing, perhaps an auto responder, that emails people asking for feedback on their recent order (using specific Qs like I talked about above.) You could set it up to go out with their shipping notification, or send it, say, 2 weeks after it’s ordered to make sure it has arrived first.

If you’re a brick and mortar owner, have a feedback form right there at the register that they can fill out and enter into a fishbowl for a monthly raffle, or something – you get valuable feedback, they get the chance to win a little discount from your shop or something free from a monthly drawing.

Ask directly on social media for any past customers who can share a pic of them using your product.

Create a hashtag for your work out “in the wild” where customers can share it.

Send an email to your list asking for people to share feedback, and offer something in return.

Create a survey to send out to your newsletter and social followers where they’ll be entered into a giveaway to win a gift card to your shop. Have fun with it!

If you haven’t had any customers yet, get your products into the hands of some real people (for free) in exchange for valuable feedback! These can be friends and family to begin with, sure! They can be anyone who’s expressed interest in your brand who you’ve had contact with. If you’re at the very very beginning stages of your business, turn to the people who’ve encouraged you to turn your hobby into a real business – get their feedback to share, and it’ll help you attract your first paying customers down the road!

Should I change the testimonials up on my site sometimes?

Yes! Keep the best ones up, but I think it’s good to also add new, better ones, whenever you have ‘em! You don’t want repeat visitors over the span of many months starting to wonder, how recent is this feedback? Have they had any new customers since?

Whenever I receive a nice email with great feedback from a recent marketing consulting session I had, I first reply to the sender and say thank you, and be sure to ask their permission if I may use their words on my site as a testimonial, and that I’ll link back to their site if I do. They always say yes.

I then save those emails in my “kind words” folder in my email account, where I can find them again easily, and as I revamp my site and update my product pages, I can integrate the newer ones in different ways. That way, people can see I don’t have the same ol’ testimonials as I did 5 years ago and then wonder if I’ve had any more clients since!

Changing up your reviews and feedback on your site is just another part of keeping things fresh and engaging to better draw and keep people’s attention.

As you can see, if you don’t have testimonials yet on your site, you’re missing out on an easy, FREE, and super effective form of marketing! It’s one of the quickest, easiest things to do for your site, so it’s something I’m going to challenge you to do TODAY!

Take one step from wherever you’re at. It could be writing a recent client with some Qs to get feedback, or creating a hashtag for your goods out in the wild to share on social media, creating a survey, setting up an autoresponder, adding a great quote to your homepage, etc!

What’s one thing you’re going to do TODAY to incorporate BETTER testimonials on your site that will really engage your customers?

Let us know in the comments below! Or, if you have any questions we can help answer!

Now, get out there and go get some great customer feedback! (And remember to take a little time to bask in the glow of it :)

Ready to take your customer experience up to 100%?

I have a video for you today, that talks about what you need to really impress your customers.

Lela: The difference between a website or a brand identity that’s executed at 90% and 100%, the difference is not 10%, in my eyes. It’s another 100%.

A lot of brands will go to 90%. They’ll do pretty good photos. But it’s the brands that have knock your socks off photos that really get your attention. It’s the brands that have really taken the time to craft that brand story and build a really welcoming About page that’s a rallying cry to join them in whatever they believe about the world. Those are the ones that get our attention.

This video interview between me and Lela Barker was only available to paying Brick House Branding students. But now you can get it! Lela has given her blessing for me to share this video exclusively with my subscribers. Just sign up below, and I’ll email the video link directly to you:

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