We see (and design!) a lot of association websites. Association leaders have a lot of questions about what works well, but one persistent interesting one is whether they should include member testimonials. Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself (and your website design committee, if you have one) before you decide to add testimonials or leave them off.
Do you have testimonials handy?
You may think you do in the form of member feedback on post-event surveys, but you might not. Members didn’t necessarily know they would be sharing that feedback with the world, and although they may not mind it’s not really fair to use their words on a public forum like a website without their permission. If you already have some testimonials, make sure your members are okay with them being published on your website. Be sure to ask if they have anything to add or change if it’s a testimonial more than a year or two old.
Will it be pretty easy to get testimonials?
The best testimonials come from the heart. Do a few members jump to mind who would be willing to write short blurbs on how your association benefitted their careers and lives? If you think that acquiring testimonials will be a time-consuming or difficult task based on current engagement levels, maybe it’s something to consider later. If it’s easy, though, go for it!
Is there a space that makes sense on your website?
Consult your website designer on this one. Often he or she has a perception when it comes to web design, user ease, and SEO that you may not have. Say that testimonials are something you are considering, and get some feedback.
What’s the point?
Truly, how will testimonials impact your site’s purpose? If your website serves a primary function of recruitment, testimonials will probably have the greatest impact. If your website serves more as a member hub, though, testimonials may be worth skipping.
One more thing to consider: testimonials start to have the opposite effect if they get too old. A potential member will go to your website and see a statement from a happy member 5 years ago and think, “So what have you done for me lately?”
Keep in mind, too, that there’s so much more to interacting with members online than your website. What is your association doing on social media? Need a little help? Download our free guide by clicking below now!