Engineering Copywriter Blog

Content marketing tips and insights to help grow your engineering audience

February 5, 2019

The Value in Customer Testimonials and How to Get Them

As a marketing manager of an engineering firm, you should already know how important customer testimonials are. If you aren’t already using them to your advantage, you’re making a big mistake. The reality is, a good selection of compelling testimonials can say a lot about your business – and they might be that one thing that turns someone from a visitor to your site into a long-term customer. In this article, we’re going to look a bit closer at why testimonials really matter, and how you can both get them and make the most of them.

Why are customer testimonials so important for your marketing efforts?

Firstly, people want to work with businesses they can trust and businesses they know other people have had a good experience with. It’s all very well telling people why you’re great, but this can sometimes come across as sales-talk. That’s something many people are used to switching off to.

But when you can provide real testimonials from people who have used your business and been so happy they wanted to put their name to a public comment about you, it can go a lot further.

You see, customer testimonials are a great way to show people why your business is right for them – without coming over like you’re trying to sell to them or just blowing your own trumpet. When you can get other people to say great things about your business – especially people who don’t work for you – it helps boost your reputation to potential new clients.

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Compelling testimonials can build trust in a way that’s difficult to do alone – and that’s huge for your marketing potential. Experts even say that the right selection of testimonials can be one of the best ways to boost your conversion rates.

People can be skeptical online, especially when they arrive at a site they’ve never heard of before. An honest review from a source they believe in can make a huge difference. So while a good testimonial is useful, if you can provide one from an authority in your industry that people have heard of, it could help you even more.

If you’ve ever done work for a celebrity or well-known person, getting a testimonial from them can work amazingly well. That’s why book companies often print reviews from other well-known people on their cover. While it might be hard to find a celebrity who’s worked with your engineering firm, try thinking outside the box a little. Having a great review from someone people know can help break down any skepticism or trust issues in an instant.

Have you tried asking for customer testimonials?

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

So when you deliver results for a happy customer, simply ask them if they’d like to provide a testimonial for your website. They might have even already sent you a nice email thanking you for your work, so all you have to do is reach out to them and say: “Hey, thanks for your great comment about our business, and we’re really pleased with how happy you are with the results. Can we publish your comment on our website?” Most people will be more than happy to help.

If your engineering business is based on long term relationships or consultative projects, then you will have already built solid relationships over a period of time with customers. You may also have repeat customers who keep coming back. These are the type of customers you should pick up the phone to and ask for a testimonial. You’d be surprised how many people will be happy to provide one for you if you just ask nicely.

There’s one more important point to remember when it comes to customer testimonials: they’re a two-way street. And they’re great for backlinks. If you offer your happy customers a link back to their site next to the testimonial they provide, that’s an extra incentive for them. You can even try and use a reciprocal testimonial strategy where you provide great comments about other associated businesses in return for one from them. That means you get more link juice back to your site on the testimonials you provide – which should help your Google ranking for important keywords.

Know whom to ask for and what kind of testimonials to give

Another great place to get some more good testimonials for your business is by using online review sites. There might already be some great comments on certain industry review sites that you can potentially use. Simply fire over a message to their author and ask them if they’d be happy for you to use their comment on your site.

While all the testimonials you publish on your site should obviously be positive, try and include ones that say the right thing rather than just nice things. Include testimonials with practical advice and ones that show how a common problem or issue was solved, rather than just ones that say you’re great.

Should you pay or offer incentives for testimonials?

The best testimonials come for free. That’s just the way it is. If you start offering incentives in the form of discounts of free products, you need to be careful. A good review should come from the right place, rather than just because someone wanted something for free. Not only will a real testimonial be more genuine, you don’t want potential customers to find out that all the good reviews on your site were only gained from giving something away.

Incentives can still be effective – but you need to be careful with them. As we already touched on, a reciprocal testimonial in return for a backlink or two should be fine – but a load of free products might not be.

Hopefully, you’ve now seen how important the right testimonials can be for your engineering business, as well as a few ways to get more of them. Start making the most of testimonials as a cornerstone of your marketing strategy today.

Check out some of our own testimonials here.

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