Using Testimonials in Your Small Business Marketing Plan

As a small business owner, you obviously know how wonderful your products and services are.  The key to business success is making sure other people know how wonderful you company is.  Sharing customer testimonials is a great way to market a small business.

Below is a list of dos and don’ts for collecting, developing and using testimonials.

The Dos of Customer Testimonials:

  • Do be relevant.  Potential customers relate best to other people who are like them.  Share testimonials from people in your target audience – paying special attention of specific demographics.
  • Do be visual.  If you are printing a customer’s words, ask to include a photograph.  In a perfect world, you would acquire a few video testimonies too.
  • Do be reciprocal.  Contact a non-competing company and ask to exchange testimonials.  Sharing insight from other industry experts is a great way to boost your credibility.
  • Do share the love.  Include a testimony on each page of your site or blog.  Your company’s good vibes will be reinforced no matter where a customer clicks.
  • Do make it possible to reconnect.  After you acquire a testimonial, ask for contact information (phone number, email address, etc.).  You may want to solicit the customer’s help again in the future.
  • Do offer guidance.  Some customers want to share their testimony but don’t know how to begin.  Encourage them to discuss things like the quality of service, product shipping schedule, ways they saved money, etc.
  • Do consider SEO when acquiring testimonials.  Check which keywords are most often used to access your site or blog.  Then, encourage your customers to use those words or phrases in their story.
  • Do be social.  Share testimonials on your social networks.  Link to video testimonials from your site or YouTube.
  • Do give rewards.  Your customers agreed to provide a testimonial because they were happy with the service they received.  Reward them and take care of them even more.  When it comes time to make another purchase, they’ll remember the love you showed them.

The Don’ts of Customer Testimonials:

  • Don’t be shy.  You’ll never know if someone is willing to provide a testimony if you don’t ask. Need tips on how to collect rave reviews? Check out this article here all about creating a system for collecting them.
  • Don’t get caught with a fake testimony.  Make sure you are getting real testimonies from real customers.  Getting caught with a fabricated story is a surefire way to kill your credibility.
  • Don’t bash your competitors.  Try to avoid negative comments about your competitors.
  • Don’t confuse your customers.  If a customer wrote a glowing testimonial about your hair care products, don’t use it to sell skin care products.
  • Don’t forget to ask permission.  Before sharing a testimonial (especially video), get written permission from the customer.

Does your small business gather and share testimonials?  Do you know of any tips we left off the list?  Let us know!

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Jessica Velasco works for Subtle Network Design & Marketing.  Her primary role is internet marketing, providing marketing information and suggestions to clients in a variety of industries.


  1. I really like these tips for obtaining customer testimonials!

    As much as I don’t really consider testimonials for my own buying decisions, I know many others who do and actually rely on them for comfort and ease of mind. This can really help my future business plans.

    Thanks for the great post,
    -Gabe Johansson