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Part 2 - Field Guide

12 Do’s and Don’ts
of Testimonial Advertising  

1. Don’t use cases of extreme results. Extreme testimonials could have one of two consequences. One; you may set up unrealistic customer expectations resulting in an unhappy customer and negative word-of-mouth advertising, or two; they’ll be recognized as extreme and therefore make your advertising claims unbelievable.
2. Do use testimonials that set up realistic expectations and which do not require the disclaimer; ‘results may vary.’ Consumers are wary of ads that have fine print or disclaimers.
3. Don’t try to disguise announcers as customers or experts if they are not.
4. Do consider paid professional announcer testimonials if the announcer is popular in your market and is really a happy customer. Expect to pay an endorsement fee in those cases, and demand that the announcer not endorse or voice competitors as part of your agreement. 
5. Don’t use expert testimonials from unrelated fields (i.e., lawyers for car dealers).    
6. Do use experts like police officers for home security firms or certified arborists for garden centers whenever possible.
7. Don’t create fictitious testimonials.
8. Do use quotes from real people and get their permission in writing.
9. Don’t use customer voices if they sound scripted and don’t use photos that look like passport photos.
10. Do use actual names and towns (preferably local citizens) when quoting a customer testimonial rather than using anonymous quotes.
11. Don’t overstate credentials when using an expert testimonial.
12. Do post testimonial letters in your office or store and on your website. 

NOTE  Four additional “Do’s”

1.  Make sure your testimonials meet all of the legal requirements required by law or by your industry.  

2.  Thank and reward your testimonial customer.

3.  Keep them happy.

4.  Ask customers to use social media to tell their friends about you.

SoundADvice is a co-production of this station and ENS Media USA to help local businesses increase their sales and their return on investment in advertising. Your SoundADvice marketing tips are emailed to you on our behalf from ENS Media USA.

ENS Media USA's address is: 6523 S. Killarney Ct., Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108

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