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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Lerner

Credible Testimonials: 2 proven formulas + examples

Updated: Apr 22

It’s tempting to post your product’s most effusive reviews on your site, but that’s a missed opportunity. Here's 2 testimonial formats that don't sound like bullsh*t.


I got this one last week: "I've been an entrepreneur for almost 30 years and this is the best thing I've ever done. Wish I did it 30 years ago.”


I love reading testimonials like that! But I don't post them on our site.


Why? Because they sound like bullsh*t.


Think about it from your prospect’s perspective: If they read a review that says “This product is awesome!” will they think “Wow, this product must be awesome, because a person I’ve never heard of thinks it’s awesome. Lemme grab my credit card…”?


(No. No, they will not.)


Effective testimonials don’t just say “you’re awesome,” they cut through by addressing prospect’s specific questions.


Two testimonial formats that work harder, plus exmples


Option 1: What exact outcome is your prospect hoping for? Share quotes from people who got that exact outcome. For example:

  • “We cut production times by 30% while lowering defect rates, I didn’t think that was possible.”

  • “We quadrupled the engagement rates of our outreach campaigns, now we finally have a positive CAC:LTV ratio.”

  • “We were able to achieve 100% FCA compliance without hiring additional people."


Option 2: Which specific fear is blocking your prospect from signing up? Call it out and knock it down.

  • “Normally my sales reps hate new software and refuse to use it, but they love [product] and they’re 24% more productive after the first week.”

  • “I thought migration would be a huge hassle, but we were up and running in 2 hours, no engineering required.”

  • “Our CEO was watching this project closely, so I was nervous about working with a startup. But [product] not only did the job, it made my whole team look like rockstars."


For both options, the key is specificity. The more directly you can address the reader’s exact desire or obstacle, the more the quote will resonate with them – and the less it will sound like bullsh*t.


Bonus tip: What if your customers don’t give you the right words for your ideal testimonial? You can always reply to a happy customer and ask “Would you mind if we phrased your testimonial this way instead?” They’ll usually say yes.


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