We get a lot of questions regarding association websites, but one of the most common (and interesting) questions we get is, “Should we put member testimonials on our website?”
The short (and yes, gray) answer is: It depends.
If you’re considering member testimonials on your association’s website, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1. Do you have testimonials handy?
You might think you have testimonials handy (in the form of surveys, comment cards, etc.), but I urge you to think again. Did members give you that information knowing you’d be posting it publicly? If not, then it’s best to go back and ask for permission. And note: If those testimonials are more than a year old, it’s wise to ask your members if they have anything to add or change.
2. Will it be fairly easy to get testimonials?
Let’s say you don’t have testimonials. Can you get those easily? If you don’t think it’ll be a problem, go for it! That said, if you think it’ll be too difficult and/or time consuming based on current engagement levels, maybe it’s something to put off - for now.
Tip: Don’t worry about getting a TON of testimonials. The best testimonials come from the heart, and it’s better to have a few great ones than it is to have several mediocre ones.
3. Is there space on your association’s website?
Consult your web designer on this one. Is there currently space (where it makes sense) to add member testimonials? If not, can you create space? A new page, perhaps? Before you go through the trouble of getting testimonials, you want to make sure there’s a place to put them.
4. What’s the point?
Of all the questions, this is perhaps the most important. How will testimonials impact your website’s purpose? If your website serves primarily as a recruitment tool, then testimonials would be a great addition. That said, if your website is used more for online member engagement, then perhaps you should forgo the testimonials.
One final note: If you’re thinking of adding testimonials, be sure you can update them frequently (meaning every one or two years). If you have old testimonials on your site, they can start to become counterproductive. People will look at your site and think, “What have you done for your members lately?” Just something to consider.
Regardless of whether or not you use testimonials, your website should still be engaging - for both members and prospects. Need help with that? Check out our free Guide to Membership Websites below!