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Use Testimonials to Grow Your Spa

Pam Lontos June 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

If you’re like most people, the words from a fellow consumer pull more weight than even the best written ad copy. That’s why no matter what product or service that is being sold, testimonials from satisfied clients need to be highlighted in every ad and marketing piece created. Unfortunately, few skin care professionals actively seek out testimonials from their clients. In reality, getting and using a list of strong testimonials is easy. The following tips will help you get testimonials to increase your profits.

How to get them

Choose satisfied clients who represent your target demographic. Look over your client files and choose the people who exemplify the best case scenario for your products and services. Say to them, “I’d love for you to share your experience with Product A. Would you please write a short testimonial?” Most people will cheerfully say, “yes.”

Offer to write the testimonial for them. Often, if someone declines your request to write a testimonial, it’s because they’re too busy or feel they don’t have adequate writing skills. In that case, offer to write the testimonial for them, using their input and allowing them to review the finished product.

Review your past notes and correspondence. Go through your past correspondence from clients. Are there a few nice sentences in some of those messages? If so, ask your clients if you can use their words in your marketing materials.

How to write them

Show results. Testimonials need to specifically show the results the person experienced from the product or service. A specific testimonial will speak to results; for example: “Molly’s Skin Care helped end my battle with rosacea.” The more specific a testimonial is, the stronger it sells for you.

Keep it short. Each word of the testimonial should have value, so, if someone writes you a page-long testimonial, edit out any words that don’t directly address the end result received. Often, the more words you take out, the stronger the testimonial becomes.

Include a name and title, when possible. Rather than attribute your testimonial to “John S., Nebraska,” use the person’s real name, company name, title, and/or location whenever possible. This makes your testimonial more believable. Most people will be happy to include their full names and other information, because one of the strongest human desires is to feel appreciated and recognized.

How to use them

Include testimonials in your ads and marketing pieces. For print, it’s best to have testimonials stand alone from the text rather than trying to weave them into the ad copy. For radio and TV, either the announcer or an actor can recite the testimonial or, if your client is agreeable, have her appear in the ad to give the testimonial personally. Other marketing pieces that should feature your testimonials include your website, brochures, direct mail pieces, postcards, billboards, newsletters and even social media updates.

Create a book of testimonials. Each time you receive a kind letter from a client, highlight the key parts, put the letter in a clear plastic sleeve and compile it in a big binder. Keep this binder of testimonials in your reception area for clients to browse through while they’re waiting. Or, if your business is online, create a page featuring all your testimonials.

Frame your best testimonials. Frame some of your best testimonial letters and post them on your facility’s walls. Again, highlight the best parts.

The ultimate sales tool

The next time you’re writing copy for an advertisement or marketing piece, simply go to your past testimonials. It’s always better when someone else sings your praises, so let your clients sell for you. The sooner you start using testimonials in every marketing message you create, the sooner you’ll realize that testimonials really are the ultimate sales tool.

Pam Lontos is president of Pam Lontos Consulting. She founded PR/PR Public Relations and is a past vice president of sales for Disney’s Shamrock Broadcasting. She is the author of I See Your Name Everywhere: Leverage the Power of the Media to Grow Your Fame, Wealth and Success (Morgan James Publishing, 2008). She can be contacted at 407-522-8630 or