11 Surprising Ways Testimonials Can Boost Your Conversions

Jay   26

Updated on December 22, 2019

If you've read my stuff, you know I write longhand. I want to provide you with original and useful articles. It's well worth your time to read this article, but don't take my word for it - here's Andrew:


Great information and very useful to me.

Without sounding so repetitive, Thrive Themes has been one of my most precious and secret weapons in my marketing business.

The product is great and the free marketing lessons that comes with it, is simply unbelievable.

Thank you Shane. You, Hanna, and the rest of the crew are at the top list of people I respect in this business.

Nicholas O

Simple and actionable advice

Thanks Jay for the wonderful example websites! Always great to see 'real-world' examples in articles written to help others complete a difficult task.


Great topic, as I think this is a **very** common dilemma with many businesses!

And, another great breakdown and analysis + solutions. It's so helpful to have optional soltuions because nothing is ever "one size fits all!" 😉 For me personally, I different readers (prospects) coming in for different solutions, like you've described here, and the "self-segmentation" is brilliant!. I've been planning on doing that but wasn't sure how to direct them from the Home page, so this website review is perfectly timed for me!

BTW...I'm a fan for life! Whenever I get a Thrive email, I feel like it's another gift I can't wait to open...and you always deliver! ✨


Karen McCamy

Testimonials can turn your most skeptical visitor into a subscriber.

They can turn you from complete unknown into trusted authority in seconds.

They can transform a quiet webpage into a festival of conversion.


But if you’re like most marketers, you don’t collect testimonials and you don’t have a plan in place to use them.

At best you’ve collected a few and stored them onto a separate testimonial page.

Collecting testimonials only to hide them on a page somewhere is like getting an amazingly smart business suit and storing it in your closet. Forever.

Sure, once in a blue moon someone may wander to your testimonial page to have a look. They might even enjoy what they see.

However, the value and power of a fabulous suit is only in other peoples' eyes. It's no good hidden in your closet.

So, as Barney Stinson would say, it’s time to suit up.

Let’s put those testimonials to work!

Outsourcing the Risk of Choosing Wrong

What is it that makes a testimonial so effective? It is, after all, just a piece of copy.

It can illustrate how pleased a person is with their purchase or how well your content is received.

Which is nice, but not enough to sway our decision.

A testimonial’s true power comes from social proof - the idea that others, real people, have already risked their time on you or your business.

This is what we’re most afraid of in today’s internet: wasting our time. When we find some new content on the internet, we don’t stick around for long to find out if it’s interesting or not. We have things to do. Places to be.

A testimonial works to reinforce the opposite. If there’s indication that we’re NOT wasting our time, it can have a huge impact on our decision. After all, if someone else has already made a decision and lived to tell the tale, how bad could it be?

What we need to do then, is use testimonials in places of tough decisions to ease worries and push visitors toward the desired result.

11 Ways to Tip The Conversion Scale With Social Proof

There are numerous decisions your visitor faces when wandering through your content. Your job is to find these spots and ease your visitor's predicament with a testimonial.

Handling testimonials is easy with a superb testimonial management plugin like Thrive Ovation. Here are some (but not all) ways you can use testimonials to increase conversions on your website.

You'll see the major conversion effect marked by a green checkmark.​

1. Make Your Lightbox Opt-in More Appealing

After reading for a while, an opt-in form pops up. You start to move towards the X in the top corner, but a user quote catches your eye.

You hesitate. Another reader has subscribed and they seem to like it. Maybe it's worth your time to subscribe as well? You enter your details.

You decide to subscribe.

2. Attract Attention to a Previously Invisible Opt-in Form

You might normally ignore the sidebar, but this one has something different: A positive testimonial from another user - a leading authority no less!

When it comes to link building, Brian Dean is the best in the business! -Neil Patel, Quicksprout

Your attention is drawn to the positive testimonial, and the thought of subscribing creeps to your mind. It's a very compelling thought.

The previously invisible opt-in form catches your eye.

3. Turn Your Freelancer Resumé Into a Hot Topic

When you're trying to hook up a freelancing gig, especially in a creative field, it's difficult to adequately demonstrate your skill level to a new client. Sometimes having an impressive resumé is just not enough.

However, if you have a bunch of positive testimonials from satisfied clients praising your work, an impressive resumé quickly takes a backseat.

You notice Nicole Hunt starts her profile by quotes from previous clients. You feel like she is working for you. You can find Nicole on Upwork.

When testimonials take front seat in your resumé, your client will feel like they are the main focus in your business. As it should be.

The one time a testimonial page makes sense:

As a freelancer, your product is you. When your whole site is focused on promoting you as a freelancer, it makes perfect sense to have a separate page for testimonials from your clients. Codeacademy's testimonial page is a fine example of showcasing single client experiences.

Your client sees your testimonials and decides to hire you.

4. Showcase Yourself Acting on Audience Feedback

Everyone claims to listen to their audience. When a business forms their product around direct user feedback, you know they're not playing around.

Here we underline the main reason for adding a new feature to Thrive Leads. We value our users, especially when they give us excellent ideas!​

When you see that a business actually listens to their audience to this extent, you feel connected. You get this feeling that there's actual people behind this business trying to solve actual problems. Problems like yours.

You decide this company might provide you with a solution.

Which brings us to the next point...

5. Create Amazing Content Based on What Your Readers Want

Lacking ideas for content? Have you tried asking your audience?

Ellen Bard asked her audience for testimonials on how her content helps them in their daily life, and what frustrations they might still be struggling with.

She noticed a clear trend in the responses.​

When your audience asks, you respond. Ellen soon responded directly to her readers' plight with this helpful article:

Creating content that directly or indirectly answers your reader's frustration is the key to increasing engagement, trust and conversions.​

You increase trust with your audience.

6. Turn Salespages from Salesy to Trusty

We don’t trust salespeople. Trust me, I used to work in sales.

How do you make your sales page less salesy and more beneficial? Forget copywriting wizardry. Just bring up a testimonial.

John Lee Dumas says he's extremely happy with Thrive Leads. Not only that, he's giving an exact number for how much he's benefited from the product.

You continue reading the sales page with newfound trust.

Automate your sales page testimonials:

Using the tagging-feature of Thrive Ovation, you can display a random testimonial from a particular group of testimonials. In other words, your visitor will always see a new testimonial when they enter the page. Automatically.

7. Skyrocket Subscriptions from Your Landing Page

For whatever reason, you end up on a landing page with another subscription box, asking for your email.

Noah Kagan likes tacos. He also knows how to display his users' appreciation.

85% of business hacks doesn't say much, but with these incredible testimonials, you feel confident in giving him a chance.​

You decide to take the risk and download the guide.

8. Gain Instant Credibility on Your Home Page

Imagine ending up on a page you’re not previously familiar with. You have no idea who runs this page or why you should care.

Then you see a number of familiar logos.

This business has been featured on many respected sites. They’re obviously a big deal and worth your time.

This is a twist on testimonials, as they don't come from "regular people" and they don't include quotes. But the end effect is quite similar, which is why we've included this example here.​

You decide that this site is worth your time.

How you can do it:

Danny Iny of Mirasee Marketing earned his authority badges by guest posting furiously, and it's still an excellent way to get noticed as a newcomer.

9. Increase Your Email Opening Rates

Email marketing suffers from a chronic lack of humanity. You can do a lot to improve your welcome emails, but only constant engagement keeps your readers interested.

If on the rare occasion you find a message with a quote from another user, it's an immediate reminder that this sender actively listens and responds to their readers.

Here's Ramit Sethi's email about his Call to Action-copywriting course. It includes testimonials to ease the reader's decision to click.

Using testimonials can give your emails more personality, turning them into more of a conversation.

You decide to open more of this person's emails.

10. Alleviate Fears on Your Checkout Page

The absolute last place your reader will hesitate to purchase is on your checkout page. Your job is to alleviate their fears and help them through this final step of the purchase process.

Remind your almost-customer about previously satisfied customers. This checkout page from WebinarJam makes your purchase comfortable even at the final step.

Your customer decides to purchase.

11. Commit to Long-ass Content

I started this post with a testimonial from a satisfied reader. Besides the obvious ego-service, Andrew's comment was meant to give you the confidence to read this post. If you're still here, I guess it helped to some extent.

As internet users, we're tired of wasting our time on rubbish content. If we run into a huge bit of content, our internet-spider senses tell us to bail out before sacrificing our precious moments to read it.

You might've seen this message about a webinar replay recently.

Watching webinars takes time. And let's be honest, these days there's a lot of useless webinars. That's why it helps to have testimonials from satisfied viewers telling you that you'll enjoy it.

It's helpful to have someone else sacrifice their time and tell us how it went.​

You decide to read the whole article.

Use Our Mini Course to Master Testimonials!

Imagine parading around in that new gorgeous dress, that amazingly smart suit. Imagine people’s reactions and how they’ll suddenly regard you in a slightly more dignified manner.

Your arsenal of conversion tools just took a leap towards a masterclass. You can place testimonials almost anywhere if you have a strategy behind it. A well placed testimonial can sway every decision into your favour.

Like a fine suit would.​

If you’re still missing that awesome piece of attire, or a selection of amazing testimonials, check out our free ecourse on gathering and using testimonial!

by Jay  September 7, 2016


Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

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Leave a Comment

    • Hey Nata!

      Excellent! Right timing is always fun. You won’t find this plugin crashing, and I hope you’ll love it as much as we do.

      Thanks for the use-video, I’ll definitely check it out. Since we’ve been using these products daily, our perspective is completely different to yours. It’s always interesting to see how the user experience differs!


      • Thrive Content Builder does so many things, that I’m sure you’ll find people using it for all sorts of purposes, even not intended ones! 🙂

  • Excellent! I was just looking into using a third party service for my testimonials so just in time I would say. Just a few quick questions: do you have any plans of adding a ‘star rating’ to the testimonials? Are the testimonials formatted in a way that google recognizes them as testimonials and can pull them into adwords or local business profile?

    • Hey Peter,

      That’s awesome! I love it when timing works.

      About star ratings – they’re more of a review function. Thrive Ovation is all about harnessing testimonials. It’s designed so that you can create a set and forget system for capturing and displaying testimonials in order to increase conversions.
      Reviews are different from testimonials, the schema.org review markup should be used for unfiltered reviews of a product or service to give genuine insight into how good a product is. This is not the goal of Thrive Ovation and therefore will not be added to the product.

      Will we make a review plugin later? Now that’s a good question. =)


  • Love this feature. Unfortunately, as a Registered Investment Adviser, testimonials and references are strictly prohibited in the U.S. This is so frustrating, because non-fiduciary advisors can do all they want!

    I’m trying to add quotes (not about me) to get a similar effect, but it’s not the same…

    • Hey Tommy

      Thanks, we love the plugin as well.

      Bureaucracy, eh? It ruins everything fun. I see how your situation can be frustrating.

      I’m not a lawyer and this advise is in no means official, but would it be possible to direct testimonials to you personally rather than you professionally? Or does it all fall under the same law?

      If you find a way to make it work, let us know!


      • Awesome!!!! And once I am signed up is there a quickstart or how to get started guide so I don’t get too overwhelmed? I’ve been reading a TON of your posts and Shane’s posts, and I want to be sure I can get started pretty quickly. 🙂

      • Hey Suzanne,

        Congrats for taking the first step!

        Overwhelm can strike quickly with this amount of options. I would suggest you start by building your first landing page. When you get familiar with that process, you can explore other functions as they come.

        So check out this beginner’s guide for creating landing pages. It’s the perfect place to start!


    • Hey Alvin,

      Thanks! We like it too. =)

      Thing about star ratings is it’s more of a review function. Thrive Ovation is all about harnessing testimonials. It’s designed so that you can create a set and forget system for capturing and displaying testimonials in order to increase conversions.

      Reviews are different from testimonials, the schema.org review markup should be used for unfiltered reviews of a product or service to give genuine insight into how good a product is. This is not the goal of Thrive Ovation and therefore this will not be added to the product.


  • Another quick question: if you have testimonials elsewhere (e.g. Facebook) and want to use them on a website, would it be possible to simply build a landing page like Hanne does in the mini testimonials course just for that and then build the rest of the site after? Or does the site have to be built before that page can be made?

    • Hi Suzanne, you can build a landing page before building out the rest of your website! In this case it would be like making the homepage a simple landing page.

  • I just had a phone conversation yesterday with a client about the testimonials for her speaker one-sheet that I’m designing for her. I’m sending her the link to this article – very helpful information!

  • I downloaded last night and the timing was perfect for what i am doing. We have some reviews on Facebook I would love to import but it seems we can only import from comments. Is this something that could be updated in the future?

    • Hey Glenn,

      Glad it helped! Right now we can only import comments, as they are by nature testimonials. If you mean importing complete Facebook posts, the easiest way to import is to create a custom testimonial from the post.


      • Hi Jay, I meant Facebook reviews for business. If we do a custom testimonial there would be no picture.

      • Hey Glenn, in that case the answer with this plugin is no. Thrive Ovation is all about harnessing testimonials.

        Reviews are in many ways a different beast and require a different type of quality control and schema.org type standards. That may be coming later in a different plugin, but Thrive Ovation will not include these functions.

  • Nowhere on thrive themes content have I seen any mention of video testimonials. It would be great if thrive could make suggestions on how to integrate video recorded testimonials with the existing ovation features. Please, please, please!

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