Quick Tip:
Using Testimonials to Make Your Sale,
Part 2

Testimonials that you get from clients are raw material. You’ll almost never be able to use them exactly as you get them.

For one thing, they’ll be too long to be effective. They’ll wander around and include ideas that are not relevant to your product.

Fortunately, it’s both legal and ethical to edit testimonials for length and clarity.

For instance, in a testimonial about a men’s health product, you could delete all the rambling about the wife’s last piano recital and the penmanship award that the grandson received. And you WILL get testimonials that include stuff like that.

You can also edit slightly to clarify the meaning of a testimonial if it’s confusing.

But don’t try to make it grammatically perfect. You want it to be convincing and sound authentic – and the best way to do that is to keep as much of it as possible in the writer’s own words.

And NEVER change the meaning. If the writer said, "This product in no way made my life better," you cannot edit it to say "This product … made my life better."

WARNING: NEVER make up testimonials. If you do, you and your client can get into serious trouble with the Postal Service.

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The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: April 18, 2005

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