When it comes to marketing your SaaS, nothing works better than a good, old-fashioned testimonial. Testimonials are powerful recommendations that build your street cred and convince prospective customers that your solution is worth the risk. But how do you collect them and, after you get them, how do you use testimonials to effectively convert leads into customers?
If you’re struggling with testimonials, this guide will help. Below, we’ll discuss how to ask for testimonials, what elements should be included in your testimonial, and where to display them. Let’s get started.
The Importance of Testimonials
As you probably know by now, collecting testimonials isn’t the easiest task for any SaaS. However, testimonials are so valuable that it’s definitely worth the trouble to collect them. Here’s why:
Testimonials are word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing is considered the best form of marketing. Why? People trust other people and look for their opinions before making a purchase. However, word of mouth marketing is impossible to generate on your own. You’ll have to find willing participants who are excited about your service and motivated to tell others about it. But if you can find them, you’ll reap the benefits of having others advocate for your services.
Testimonials provide social proof. For humans, numbers equal safety. Testimonials prove that others have believed in and purchased your service, too. This immediately reduces the risk of trying your solution.
Testimonials create advocates for your brand. As mentioned before, having people who champion your service is a good thing. But testimonials don’t just positively affect prospective customers, they also affect those who are advocating for you. When a customer provides a recommendation for your service, they can’t help but be reminded of all of the reasons they love your brand. These positive feelings can translate into increased loyalty.
Testimonials build trust with your target audience. Prospective customers trust businesses with a track record of success. Your testimonials show that others have found in your service a successful solution to their problem.
Testimonials combat hesitations. Although you’ll likely do a good job of listing the benefits of using your services, testimonials take it one step further by providing more “real life” context. To your prospective customer, there’s nothing more powerful than the words of others who have had similar challenges or hesitations.
Testimonials feel more unbiased than other forms of marketing. Testimonials are much more objective than your own sponsored marketing strategy. The customers who advocate for you are doing so because they truly believe in your service. Prospective customers rank testimonials as more dependable than what you say about your own service, especially if those testimonials tick off all the right boxes (we’ll focus on this more in the next section).
The Anatomy of a Perfect Testimonial
Now that we’ve discussed the enormous benefits that testimonials bring, let’s take a closer look at the perfect testimonial. To be an effective marketing tool for a SaaS, the perfect testimonial should:
Be Specific – A testimonial that says, “I love this service” may be an ego-boost, but it’s not a useful marketing tool. To be useful to a prospective customer, the testimonial needs to get specific about how your service helped them.
Be Concise – Testimonials shouldn’t go into too much detail — that’s what case studies are for. Instead, testimonials should quickly find the main benefit(s) and lead the customer down the sales funnel.
Be Trustworthy – To be trustworthy, your testimonials should include the customer’s name and (whenever possible) a photo and a link to their website or LinkedIn profile. This proves that the testimonial is coming from an actual customer and not your marketing team.
Focus on Different Features or Benefits – Diversify your testimonials whenever you can. Don’t just share testimonials that celebrate your SaaS as a whole. Also, choose testimonials that discuss different aspects of your services.
Represent Your Target Customer Avatars – Likewise, choose to highlight customers who represent your target customers in some way. Perhaps they’re in the same demographic, have the same job description, or share the same challenges. The point is to show recommendations from relatable customers.
How and When to Ask for Testimonials
Now, let’s talk about the ask. How do you ask for and get great testimonials? Here’s a two-step formula that’s easy to follow:
Step 1: Ask immediately
To capture the best testimonials, ask when your customer is still excited about your service. The time to ask is early in their use. During this time, everything is new and possible, but they still remember how desperate they were for a solution to their problem. It’s the perfect time to strike. Consider asking within a week of onboarding. In fact, make it part of your onboarding strategy.
Step 2: Ask Via Email
Speaking of onboarding, you should ask for testimonials toward the end of your onboarding email series. After you’ve shown them a tour of how to use your service, and shared testimonials from others, you can then ask them to share their own thoughts. You don’t have to formally call it a testimonial. In fact, it’s best to keep it casual and simply ask them why they signed up for your service.
If you get a response, follow up with a few more questions. These questions include how you’ve helped the customer and why they choose you over your competitors.
After receiving these responses, you can follow up again. This time, ask them if you can share their thoughts with future customers on your “Testimonials” page. How easy was that? For the customer, it eliminates that gripping fear that often takes hold when asked to provide a testimonial. If they’re simply answering a few questions, providing a testimonial is not a big deal.
Where to Display Testimonials
Once you’ve collected your testimonials, where should you display them for the maximum benefit? Here are four prominent places to consider:
Your Testimonials Page – You need a dedicated page on your site to share all of your praise and recommendations. In fact, your testimonials page could also share real estate with case studies and other customer stories. Display the link to your testimonials page prominently in your menu bar and also nestled within the footer.
Your About Page – You’ve probably never thought about adding testimonials to your About page but here’s why it works: When a prospective customer clicks on your About page, they’ve entered into a deeper level of consideration. So, if they want to know more about who you are, why not share the perspective of those you’ve helped?
Your Social Media – Can’t think of what to post on social media? Share your testimonials. In fact, you can make a weekly event out of doing so. Once a week, post a testimonial from one of your happy customers and share a little information about them with your social media followers. This is a great way to increase your social proof while also convincing prospects into giving your service a try.
Via Email and Onboarding – I can’t think of a better place to insert testimonials for your brand than in a “Welcome Aboard” email series. Whether you’re welcoming new email subscribers (with the hope of converting them into customers) or getting new customers initiated into your service, testimonials can help ease the transition. Here’s how:
For subscribers, you can share testimonials about your product during a series of welcome emails. After all, if you want subscribers to use your service, you should show them that others have used your service to great success.
For new customers, you can share testimonials to reinforce their decision to sign up for your service. These testimonials can also serve as a guiding light for new customers, highlighting how to use your service in ways they may not have considered before. The same is true for case studies.
Remember that testimonials aren’t just useful for marketing purposes. Testimonials can also help you. You can see your company through the eyes of those you help, which can help you build an even stronger company for the future. With the above tips, you can start amassing amazing customer testimonials.
Before you go, check out these related resources:
- How to Create the Perfect Welcome Email
- The Art of the Upgrade: How to Convince Your Customers to Buy More