Marketing Testimonials: Customers Get Customers

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Building a Storybrand" by Donald Miller. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are marketing testimonials and why do you need them? How can testimonials strengthen your company?

Marketing testimonials are collections of customer experiences that endorse the brand or product. Typically, they’re a good way to get more customers and increase awareness.

Read more about marketing testimonials and how they can help your company.

Collect Marketing Testimonials

Testimonials are statements from previous customers that endorse your brand or product. As we learned in Chapter 4 (Guide), testimonials establish authority. Additionally, they can act as transitional calls to action because they encourage customers to connect with your brand—when a customer sees that you’ve helped someone else get a happy ending, she wants the same ending for herself.

For example, one episode of a StoryBrand podcast included a testimonial interview with someone who achieved good results using the storybrand framework. After the episode was released, the number of new registrations for marketing workshops immediately and substantially increased.

Collect Your Testimonials

The best marketing testimonials show that:

  • Your brand is valuable.
  • A customer had a positive experience working with you that culminated in results.

Left to their own devices, customers might write general or unhelpful business testimonials (“My daughter is a wonderful artist! I recommend her paintings!”) either because they’re too busy to wordsmith or they’re not good at communicating. To point them in the right direction, ask them questions that will lead them towards addressing the material you want:

  • Before you encountered our product, what problem were you experiencing?
  • How did you feel while you were wrestling with this problem? Frustrated?
  • How is our product unique?
  • Describe the moment when you started to see the first signs of problem resolution due to our product.
  • Now that your problem is fixed, how has your life changed?

You can ask these questions in a form or a video interview. Once you have your answers, cut the questions and splice together the answers to create a testimonial.

Once you have your testimonials, splash them on all your marketing material, from email campaigns to events. (Shortform example: Zendesk has an entire page dedicated to business testimonials.)

Marketing Testimonials: Customers Get Customers

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Donald Miller's "Building a Storybrand" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Building a Storybrand summary:

  • How storytelling enhances brand marketing
  • Why you should make the consumer the hero of your brand's story
  • The 7 elements that make marketing work

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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