Topics: Marketing, Testimonials

A customer wrote me a very nice thank you note recently. When I asked her if I could use it as a testimonial on my website, she said I could but she only wanted me to use her initials. When I see a testimonial without a full name they look fake, but I'd like to post hers with just her initials because it's so positive. What do you suggest?
- Carole
Your instincts are correct that testimonials followed by initials or "a satisfied customer" don't look "real" to most people. For that reason, only use testimonials provided by people willing to include their first and last name. Adding their home city and state is good, too. A photo of the person lends even more credibility to the testimonial, and video testimonials are best of all. If you sell from a booth or at home parties, make sure you bring a camera or video camera and don't be shy about asking for a video testimonial ... you might be surprised at how many customers are willing to do it! You were also correct to seek your customer's permission first. Always let a customer know what you want to quote, and where you intend to use the quoted material (for example, on your website, in a blog post, in a brochure, etc.). Finally, consider grouping testimonials together on your web page or in a marketing piece so they make the most impact!

- Dr. David Weiman
Dr. David Weiman is a respected expert in the field of marketing and selling handcrafted jewelry and a well-read contributor to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads "Ask the Experts". He is the author of Introduction to Marketing and Selling Jewelry, The Jewelry Selling Answer Book and The 5 Keys to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry. A free newsletter on selling handmade jewelry is available at his website:

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