There’s nothing more exciting than reading an effusive review of your product. The thought goes through you mind that a phrase in it would make a great heading for your next email marketing campaign. Further, someone named comparing it to your benefit with sliced bread is gold. But beware. The use of endorsements is restricted in law and practice.
The first thing you must do is ensure that you have permission to use the testimonial in the way you intend. The Committee of Advertising Practice states that there should be documentary evidence that you have permission to use a testimonial or endorsement used in communications such as email marketing. You should hold details of the person who, or organisation that, gave the permission.
2/ Supported claims
Just because a customer wrote that your product washed up 17,000 dirty dishes, you cannot post anything so specific without evidence of your own to support it, and the stated experience of one person is not enough, even if they believe it.
3/ Don’t cherry pick
Although editing of testimonials is normal practice, which we will cover in a later article, if a customer said that: ‘the way you managed to obscure the actual price until after I had committed was a classic of its kind’ then suggesting that the product was a ‘classic of its kind’ is a no-no.
4/ Alan of Human Resources
You must not invent people of course. Further if you have a connection, especially but not exclusively financial, then this must be disclosed. This would include using a member of staff or paying a celebrity to say something nice.
5/ Celebrities again
I don’t want to reduce their income, but having celebrities and doctors endorsing a medical product is banned to a significant extent. Check with the CAP at: https://www.cap.org.uk/Advice-Training-on-the-rules/Advice-Online-Database/Testimonials-and-endorsements.aspx#.VyoSxvkrLIV
6/ Don’t trick
This is a good policy to follow in all email marketing, but in this case we mean using a testimonial for one product or service to support another. If someone suggests: ‘That was one of the best I’ve ever experienced’ about the launch party for a new gym, you can’t use if for the place itself.