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So, your business is doing well, but your conversion rate has plateaued or declined. You’re thinking of new ways to increase revenue. It’s a good thing you’re here; we have a lot to share with you.

This guide will explore several ways you can leverage social proof through customer testimonials to optimize your conversion rate

We’ll help you understand customer testimonials, why you should use them and how they can stimulate growth. We’ll also show you how to request testimonials from customers and incentivize customers to give them to you. 

Are you ready? Let’s get into it.

Testimonials 101

A customer testimonial is a formal statement by someone who’s had a positive experience with a product or service you sell. They typically come in the form of customer stories or statements, which help show prospects what they can expect from your services. 

A survey by BrightLocal shows that 98% of customers read online reviews for local businesses. It’s natural for people to seek other, real people’s opinions before making decisions. It’s likely that you also do this.

So, sharing testimonials from previous customers can significantly influence your future conversion rates if executed correctly. 

Testimonials vs. reviews

Testimonials are detailed endorsements from customers who’ve had a positive experience with a business, explaining how their transaction with the business has benefitted them. They typically span a few paragraphs to pages.

In contrast, customer reviews may or may not be endorsements depending on a customer’s experience with a business. In most cases, they’re also short — usually a few sentences to a paragraph.

Below are other ways testimonials and reviews differ:

  • Testimonials include personal details of the person giving the testimonial, like their name, the company they work for and position to build credibility. However, reviews are fine even if they are anonymous — and many of them are.
  • Reviews have a rating, usually out of five. Customers choose a number to express their level of satisfaction with a business, with one being least satisfied and five being very satisfied. Testimonials rarely have a rating, but when they do, it’s mostly five stars.
  • If you have a customer who’s exceptionally pleased with your services, you can request a testimonial. However, asking your customers to leave you a positive review is frowned upon and even considered unethical in some spaces. That said, there are ethical ways to get more reviews for your online business.

Types of testimonials

Types of testimonials

Testimonials are highly contextual, with different use cases requiring different types of testimonials. For this reason, it’s worth exploring your options to determine which one applies best to your specific use case.

Let’s look at a few customer testimonial types.

Video testimonials

A video testimonial is a captivating customer experience narration in audio-visual form. Video testimonials are more compelling than others because they show prospects how previous customers engaged with your products or services.

They also give prospects a more authoritative and authentic point of view through physical demonstration, allowing them to see how valuable and effective your products or services are. 

For instance, in the video above, Bluehost’s client — Amber from The Amber Studio — shares her experience with Bluehost as her web hosting provider and how we have impacted her business. Throughout the video, you can see what she’s describing.

Influencer testimonials

Influencers fall into different niches and fields of expertise and have a following on social media that’s deeply interested in them. That means they can potentially sway their follower’s decisions, making them a great asset to your business. 

Getting a testimonial from an influencer is akin to transferring trust. Because when influencers endorse your business to their followers, they effectively transfer the trust their followers have in them to your business.

For example, has over 24,000 followers on Instagram. He leverages his followers’ trust to promote products related to his expertise in dental care. 

A dentist influencer delivering an influencer testimonial on a dental product.

Case study testimonials

A case study provides an in-depth analysis of a customer’s experience with your product or service. 

A case study testimonial aims to show how your products or services positively impact a customer — from how they deployed your product to the benefits they reap from it. 

This way, potential customers can also get an idea of how your solutions can work for them, even highlighting angles they didn’t consider.

For instance, Gong’s HubSpot case study details how its artificial intelligence (AI) solution helped increase sales rep productivity at HubSpot. It successfully shows how Gong’s AI solution has helped HubSpot grow its team and market intelligence.

Gong helped HubSpot gather rich customer insights for different teams.

Blog post testimonials

A blog post testimonial is similar to a case study. It breaks down the details surrounding the execution of a specific project. Blog post testimonials work great as a part of your content marketing strategy.

You can write the post yourself or hire an external writer to reduce bias. Once the blog post is written, you can publish it on your company’s blog or as a guest blog on another website based on your target audience and your marketing plan‘s goals.

Customer interview testimonials

A benefit of being diligent at what you do is that you always have customers willing to vouch for you to potential customers. 

Because you create the questions in an interview, you have more control over how you want people to perceive your product. Each question can highlight how your product can address specific pain points for potential customers.

Quote testimonials

Imagine looking for a real estate company to help you find a house in a particular neighborhood. You look at their brochure and see a quote from a familiar face — maybe a long-lost friend, distant cousin or a famous person living in that neighborhood. 

The quote is, “Company X helped me find my dream home.” Wouldn’t that make you choose “Company X” over its competitors?

Quote testimonials are simple one or two-sentence quotes accompanied by a headshot from a pleased customer endorsing a business based on their positive experience with it. They are the most accessible type of testimonials you can find and use.

A satisfied customer left a positive testimonial for a real estate agent.

Audio testimonials

Audio is like video but without the motion picture. That means less production costs for you and less time consumption for the consumer. 

Your business won’t need costly production equipment to record high-quality audio. All you’ll need is a quiet room, microphone, a recording device and audio editing software to get a good-quality audio testimonial.

As for your customers, they will only need a little data to download or share the audio. They’re still effective, and you get high value for a fraction of a video’s price. Audio testimonials are ideal for podcasts and other audio-based platforms like radio.

How to use testimonials effectively in your marketing

How to use testimonials effectively in your marketing

When used correctly, testimonials can strengthen your marketing strategy, helping you achieve significant results faster. Let’s look at several methods to effectively use testimonials to bolster your marketing.

Ad campaigns

Testimonials can be used as part of your broader ad campaign. But you need a form of testimonial that grabs potential customers’ attention fast and drives your message home. Quote, video and influencer testimonials are a great way to do this.

Today, the internet is filled with ads from millions of businesses all competing for customer attention. However, high-quality videos or attention-grabbing quotes with great testimonials can set you apart from the crowd. 

Website content

There are plenty of strategic places on your website where sharing testimonials will have a significant impact. The place you choose depends on the structure of your sales funnel.

For instance, writing a blog post testimonial is a great way to attract new customers organically. This type of testimonial is ideal for a middle-of-funnel (MOFU) audience; people who know the problem they have.

Other pages where you can share testimonials on your website are your landing page, the call-to-action (CTA) section or the homepage. Even better, you can have a dedicated customer testimonial page with rotating testimonials from different customers.

Online video ads

89% of people surveyed in a 2023 report by Wyzowl said that watching a video had convinced them to buy a product. Many people use video to learn more about a product before making a purchase decision, so video testimonials can play a crucial role.

Shareable assets

You can include testimonials in shareable assets, which are easy-to-consume pieces of content you can share with others online using platforms like social media. Shareable assets can help you leverage the large, ever-growing social media audience.

A report by SmartInsights shows that up to 60% of the global population uses social media. Assets like whitepapers, infographics, videos and guides can be propagated far and wide on social media if they are captivating and helpful to your target audience.

Email marketing campaigns

The main goal of email marketing is to get someone interested enough in your proposition to click on a link leading to your website or product pages. From there, you can follow up to push them further down your sales funnel.

However, people receive many emails daily and rarely take time to read them all, so establishing a common ground quickly is critical to retaining their attention. That is where testimonials come in.

You can use one of many types of testimonials like video, audio, case study or any type you deem fit for the goal you’ve set. For example, an email testimonial can include a quote from a customer who was pleased with your product.

Social media

Users on social media spend an average of two hours and 24 minutes online daily. That creates a perfect opportunity for your testimonials to reach more people.

What you want to do is create a social media post with a high-quality video, audio or quote from a customer and publish it on various social media platforms. 

Social media algorithms are built to give visibility and engagement to posts that an audience finds useful or interesting. That is the basis for the concept of content “going viral.” When your audience finds your content useful, algorithms show it to more people.

How to request a testimonial

How to request a testimonial.

Occasionally, you will get random unsolicited testimonials from happy customers. And this is good. But you could get great testimonials from most of your other existing customers if you simply asked nicely.

When you have satisfied customers, asking for a testimonial is fairly simple because you already know they have positive feedback about you. Below are a few other things you need to know about requesting a testimonial.

Strike the iron while it’s hot

As soon as you successfully complete a project and the client is happy about it, ask them for a testimonial. They’re still thrilled about the success and will likely have great things to say about your business. The same applies to product sales. 

Incentivize your customers to say yes

Typically, customers have no reason to give you a testimonial. But promising them a discount on their next purchase might be reason enough. 

Each situation is different, but you need to determine what moves your customers. Another great incentive is promising them a backlink to their website when you publish the testimonial.

Simplify the process for customers

Maybe your customers haven’t written a testimonial before and don’t know where to begin. In your request, provide some sample testimonials or a template they can follow. You can tell them how many words to use or specifics to emphasize.

Automate the request process

If you have a client flow checklist, add a step to request a testimonial when an offering is delivered successfully. Otherwise, you might forget about it entirely until asking for one doesn’t feel right.

For example, most eCommerce companies usually email customers a few days after an order is dispatched to request customer feedback about their shopping experience. You can replicate this for testimonials.

Final thoughts

Trust is earned. You must find ways to prove to your prospective customers that they can trust you to deliver your products or services and meet their expectations. A good testimonial, regardless of the type, can help you earn their trust.

But before you start requesting testimonials from your clients, you should have a website hosted on a reliable hosting platform like Bluehost. 

Our hosting options include WooCommerce and WordPress hosting to help you create a professional website and equip it with excellent testimonials.

We aim to help your business thrive by taking the technical aspects of running a website, like security, off your hands. That way, you can spend more time on customer service and product development, which helps you get more positive testimonials.

Frequently asked questions

What does a customer testimonial look like?

A customer testimonial is a formal statement from a customer that describes their experience with a business in detail. Testimonials are positive and encourage other customers to buy from a business.

What is the purpose of a testimonial?

The main purpose of a testimonial is to help a business gain credibility and trust from prospects by showing the successful experiences of existing customers.

What is the format of a testimonial?

There are various testimonial formats — quote, video, audio, influencer, case study, blog post and interview, for example. You can pick one based on your goals or business niche.

What is testimonial marketing?

Testimonial marketing is using testimonials from past or existing customers as marketing material in your marketing efforts to gain customer trust.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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