Landing Pages: 3 Customer Reviews that Don't Work
Do people love your business? Are they willing to say so publicly?
Awesome! So you’re featuring them on your landing page, yeah? Even more awesome!
But are you sure your customer reviews themselves are optimized? Or are they, in fact, having a detrimental effect on your conversions?
Versatile, relatable and hugely beneficial, customer reviews are fast-becoming my favorite landing page variable… so long as they’re done right.
This article will expand on my introduction to customer reviews, and give you three reasons your customer reviews may be working against your business’ landing page success. I’ll also give you suggestions on how you can amend these mistakes.
Let’s get rolling.
Why Customer Reviews are Awesome (Real Quick)
Customer reviews are awesome because they’re incredibly versatile:
- They feature relatable people, increasing the friendliness of your page
- They feature people similar to your landing page traffic, increasing the likelihood of that traffic trusting your message
- They showcase specific benefits and value points of your service that you may not otherwise touch on
- They can be specific, offering almost case-study-like metrics, KPI’s and analytics in real-world and concrete terms (“We increased our site traffic by 74% in three weeks and had an overall ROI of 522%. Awesome!”)
The value of engaging with your business is never clearer than when a previous customer is willing to stand ahead of you and say “Seriously, this business behind me had a huge influence on my own success.”
Mistake #1. The Generic:
Everybody has seen those ambiguous, generic customer reviews that look like the CMO wrote it out and the customer just gave the okay.
What do these kinds of reviews actually tell us about your tool or why it’s awesome? What do they tell us at all except that someone was happy with something that probably involved your business?
Nothing, and that’s where these reviews fall down. Initially they sound like they’re great, but they don’t actually inform your landing page traffic in any way. They don’t feature the solution to an issue that people are looking to solve. They don’t give concrete numbers or KPI’s that a possible customer might be looking for.
How to Fix this Mistake:
- Get specific: Try something like…
- Use numbers: Something like…
When I talk about fixing your mistakes, I’m referring to how you prompt your customers, not re-writing the reviews yourself. For instance, when I know I need a number-based review, I will take a customer’s analytics, show them to them in an email, and say something like “Could you talk specifically about what you did at this point here and how it affected your business?”
Because most reviews are incentivized (business credit, linkbacks or whatever) don’t be afraid to be straightforward with your customers.
Mistake #2. The Faceless:
Does your customer review come from an anonymous source? Perhaps they were averse to having you feature their headshot on your website?
The issue with this is that a faceless (or, gasp, nameless) customer testimonial is about a tenth as effective as a customer review that features a real person’s name and real person’s face.
It’s far harder to trust a review that comes from an unidentified person. Showcasing your customers not only increases the chance that whatever they say will be believed, but also that you’re working with real people that possible customers can relate to.
How to Fix this Mistake:
- Be sure to put the name of your customer front and center of their testimonial
- Ensure you’re putting a real-life picture of your real-life customer. This encourages trust and also person-ability of your business.
- Note that not every customer’s picture is the same. It can actually be better to not have a picture than one that’s shoddily taken or of a distractingly odd-looking headshot (I think you know what I’m talking about).
Mistake #3. The Unbelievable
Okay, that might be a bit over the top, but you know what I’m talking about - those customers who think that they’ll get more of that sweet sweet incentive if they make your business sound like winning the lottery or the second coming.
All a review like this accomplishes is to make landing page traffic skeptical. Even if your USP and benefit lists are completely legitimate (or even under-sell) they won’t be believed as readily because of the perceived “too-good-to-be-true” nature of your reviews.
How to Fix this Mistake:
- Under-sell: I recommend (next to an all-round glowing, though not blinding, review) having one that’s more subtle. Something like…
- Get specific: I got into this a bit in #1 above, but specificity works wonders for the credibility of your review. Someone quoting a 1000% ROI sounds a bit much, whereas someone quoting “With an ad budget of $520, we generated so much traffic to our site that we actually increased sales by $5,700. That’s an ROI of almost a thousand percent! Thanks!”
These three customer review mistakes are easy to make, and easy to fix.
- Don’t be afraid to edit your customer review. It doesn’t make you dishonest so long as your customer signs off.
- Incentivize engagement but make it clear you’d rather an honest testimonial than a fake and blindingly-positive one.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for the kind of review you’re looking for. Receiving a testimonial you can’t use is a waste of energy and resources. Don’t be afraid to send it back with recommendations.
- Don’t be afraid to send back a headshot and request a better one. If nothing better is possible or forthcoming, put the customer testimonial up without an image.
- Landing Page Customer Reviews: The How, The What and The Wherefore
- Landing Pages: 5 Details that Make the Conversion Difference
- Landing Pages: The Science Behind Designing for Conversion
- Landing Pages: The Fundamentals and Conversion Principles
- 5 Landing Page Conversion Killers
- Ebook: The Complete Guide to Landing Pages