Had a great conversation recently with Mike Rhodes from Web Savvy talking about what you can and can’t do with testimonials.
Testimonials are ‘the new black’ in online marketing. Testimonials enable you to get credibility from what other people say about you. The trouble is that, despite word of mouth marketing having been around since the dark ages –
“The deer are running the other side of the pass this year…”
Governments in all their wisdom have decided that taking recommendations from other people cannot possibly be good. To be fair, it is the few who spoil it for the many and one too many complaints about fake testimonials filtered through before governments thought they were a bad idea. Just wait until someone challenges the Facebook ‘LIKE” button….
Anyway, the point is that there are actually written laws about using testimonials. Pretty straightforward in Australia:
- only use testimonials that are from real people
- only use testimonials that are current
- only use testimonials that are about a product or service that you currently offer
- don’t edit testimonials to change the nature of what the giver said (you can edit out expletives…)
- don’t make out like your product or service is endorsed or sponsored by someone if its not
Almost goes without saying, doesn’t it? In addition to the above, in the USA, the laws have gone one step further:
- if you give someone a free product so that they will review it, you and they have to say so
- if the giver of the testimonial receives any benefit from you or through you, you and they have to say so
- if you pay a star for an endorsement, you have to say so
- if someone speaks about your product as if they were an expert, they have to be
Take care with your testimonials.