How to Legally Use Testimonials In Your Marketing

Are you looking to use testimonials in your marketing to skyrocket your brand’s credibility and appeal? If so, kudos to you. Testimonials are a powerhouse in the marketing toolkit, offering...

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How to Legally Use Testimonials In Your Marketing

Are you looking to use testimonials in your marketing to skyrocket your brand’s credibility and appeal? If so, kudos to you. Testimonials are a powerhouse in the marketing toolkit, offering...

Image of an iPad showing the legal guide.

FREE ONLINE Business Legal GUIDE

Get a quick crash course in the laws that affect your business and other ways you can protect yourself from legal headaches.

Are you looking to use testimonials in your marketing to skyrocket your brand’s credibility and appeal? If so, kudos to you. Testimonials are a powerhouse in the marketing toolkit, offering authentic glimpses into customer satisfaction and influencing potential buyers. But, as enticing as it is to showcase these glowing endorsements, there’s a legal side to it that’s crucial to understand.

In this post, we’re diving into the best practices for legally using testimonials in your marketing efforts. It’s all about striking that perfect balance between authenticity and compliance. 

Whether you’re a small business owner or a marketing guru, understanding the legalities of testimonial use is essential in crafting a strategy that’s not only effective but also respects both customer rights and industry regulations.

What We'll Cover...

So, let’s unravel the secrets of leveraging testimonials in your marketing while keeping it all above board. Here we go!

Using Testimonials In Your Marketing

Woman blurred in background has pointer finger in foreground, pointing to image of 5 stars. Topic: testimonials in marketing

Harnessing the power of customer testimonials in your marketing strategy can be a game-changer. These real-life endorsements serve as social proof, elevating your brand’s reputation in the eyes of prospective customers. 

When you use testimonials in marketing, they act like trust signals, reassuring new customers about the quality and reliability of your offerings. (And, uh, that’s kinda a big deal.)

In today’s digital age, where word-of-mouth has gone online, testimonials are the voice that your potential customers listen to (sometimes more so than your actual sales copy!)

In fact, Katie here at Plainly Legal™ (one of our team members) admits that she spends more time reviewing testimonials than reading actual sales copy when she’s making a buying decision.

And we’re pretty sure she’s not the only one.

By strategically placing genuine customer experiences at the forefront of your campaigns, you can significantly boost engagement, foster trust, and ultimately, drive conversions. 

Remember, a happy customer’s story is your brand’s best ambassador, so yeah. You need to be using testimonials.

But before you go off and start throwing testimonials all over your website, there are some things you need to think about.

Using Testimonials the Right Way

Image of laptop with notepad on top of it. On notepad reads "Client Testimonials". Topic: testimonials in marketing

When you use testimonials in marketing, it’s imperative to navigate the legal landscape with care. 

Because yeah, there are legal aspects to using testimonials that you should not ignore.

Before you ever use a testimonial on your website, you need to get a release from the person providing the testimonial.

We can hear your sigh of annoyance from here, and we get it.

Getting a testimonial release for each and every person who says something nice about your offer seems like a pain in the arse… and probably a barrier to getting said testimonials at all.

But don’t worry. We’ll make that part easy. More on that later, though. 

Obtaining a testimonial release is not just a best practice; it’s a necessity for legal compliance. These releases ensure that you have explicit permission to use a customer’s words and image in your promotional materials

Read that again.

You NEED permission to use someone’s name, image, likeness, and words in your marketing material. It’s not best practice; it’s the law.

A proper testimonial release protects your business from potential legal disputes and uphold customer trust, which after all is kinda the point, right?

In essence, a testimonial release acts as a mutual agreement, respecting the rights of both parties. It’s a small step in preparation that pays off in maintaining your brand’s integrity and legal standing.

Streamlining Testimonial Releases

Light blue background paper material with the word "Testimonials" ripped out in the center. Topic: testimonials in marketing

Understanding how to use testimonials in marketing while adhering to legal standards is super important so you can leverage this powerful marketing tool without the worry. 

The key step? Obtaining testimonial releases in a streamlined way. 

But in the wild, testimonials are provided in a slew of different ways. Someone might say something nice in a Facebook group and you want to take a screenshot to toss up on your sales page.

Someone might shoot you an email lauding your program for all it’s helped them accomplish.

Again, someone might say something awesome about your program in a live call.

How do you chase down all these people to get permission to use their kind words in your marketing?

Here are the ways we recommend capturing permission via a testimonial release:

Create A Standard Testimonial Release & Linking To a Form

Doing a testimonial blitz or wanna get permission to use someone’s kind words in your marketing? 

If you’re reaching out directly to customers to ask them to leave an honest review or testimonial, the best way to get a release in place is by adding it to a form as a required checkbox.

Simply create the form, add the required checkbox, and link the checkbox text to your testimonial release.

Your testimonial release can be hosted as a page on your website OR you can have it link to a view-only Google Doc or PDF.

Easy peasy!

Creating a testimonial release is a breeze with Plainly Legal™. All of our users have access to a customizable stand-alone testimonial release for these purposes.

Bake Your Testimonial Release Into Your Programs & Service Agreements

Two hands typing on a laptop with pop-up talking balloon which shows a smiley face icon and 5 stars and "5.0". Topic: testimonials in marketing

This is our FAVORITE way to get testimonials!

To do this, make sure all of your service, product, and program agreements include a section that gives you permission to use the customer’s name, image, likeness, and words in your marketing.

A built-in testimonial release will give you permission to capture the testimonial where it happens without having to reach out and risk the person never replying or filling out your form.

This is how it becomes okay to screenshot those comments in your Facebook group!

But make sure you understand the language in your agreement and what permissions you are getting. (e.g., this doesn’t mean you can screenshot comments made in other people’s groups.)

At Plainly Legal™, all of our product, program, and service agreements have customizable language that provide our users with permission to showcase user testimonials captured in their programs and platforms. 

It couldn’t be easier!

Click here to start your Plainly Legal™ subscription today!

By following these steps, you ensure that every testimonial you use in your marketing is not only impactful but also legally sound. This builds a foundation of trust and authenticity for your brand.

The WRONG Way to Use Testimonials In Marketing

Image of man with scowled face, who has both arms stretched out in front of his upper body displaying pointer finger from each hand in an "X" position. Topic: testimonials in marketing

So, you’ve got some awesome testimonials, and you’re ready to use them in your marketing? Great! 

But let’s pause and chat about the legal side of things beyond the testimonial release. 

It’s super important to use testimonials in a way that’s honest and transparent. 

No stretching the truth or making claims that your product or service can’t back up. 

Think of it like this: your testimonials should be like your best friends – reliable and genuine. By keeping it real, you not only stay on the right side of the law but also build a lasting relationship with your customers based on trust and credibility.

It’s tempting to showcase those jaw-dropping testimonials where customers rave about life-changing results, especially when all the gurus and “marketing experts” are doing it.

But here’s the thing: Using your best testimonials as a benchmark for expected results can actually be illegal. 

Legally, it’s essential to paint an accurate picture of what new customers can typically expect. Typically being the keyword here.

Have you ever seen a “Results not typical” disclaimer on a sales page?

That’s why… but that disclaimer isn’t enough by itself. Legally, if you use testimonials that present non-typical results, you also have to disclose what the typical results your customers can expect actually are. 

Legally, you cannot make claims or promises about the kinds of results you get your clients unless you have data to back up the claim.

And most people don’t have the proper data to back it up. 

So while using your best testimonials isn’t necessarily illegal, representing them as the benchmark for what can be expected by ALL of your customers is unless you can prove that your typical customer can expect the same outcome.

It’s all about balance and honesty. When you use testimonials in marketing, choose ones that represent the typical range of real customer experiences.

This way, you’re not just complying with legal standards, but also setting realistic expectations, which is key to long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Conclusion

As we wrap up this guide through the legal use of testimonials, remember, they are more than just kind words from happy customers; they are a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. 

But with great power comes great responsibility – especially when it comes to the legalities of using them. Navigating the legal terrain might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be a solo journey.

This is where Plainly Legal™ steps in to lighten your load. Our Legal Doc Generator is specifically designed to take the stress out of legally using testimonials in your marketing strategies. 

With easy-to-use document options and an intuitive interface, we make obtaining permission to use testimonials straightforward and hassle-free. Say goodbye to legal woes and hello to peace of mind!

Ready to empower your marketing with legally sound testimonials? Click here and discover how our Legal Doc Generator can make integrating testimonial releases into your marketing strategy as easy as a few clicks!

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