I received an email not long ago which included:
Have you heard the latest FTC hoopla?
The gummint “chatter” about how they are reviewing the testimonial laws and (from what I’ve seen) making them so tight, it won’t hardly even be worth using testimonials anymore?
Ooh. I -love- testimonials. So this made me nervous.
If you think about it, word of mouth is an informal, impromptu testimonial. I encourage people to use testimonials on their websites, and I actually had a testimonial feature coded so that patients could brag about their acupuncturist on every page of their site. You can see examples here, here and here.
I’ve previously talked about testimonials. If you look at that page, you’ll notice in the comments that some people are skeptical. They’re the ones who don’t use them.
So… if the FTC is going to make the laws “so tight, it won’t hardly even be worth using testimonials anymore?” I was a little worried.
Turns out there’s no need. I looked up the FTC guidelines on testimonials and endorsements.
The big issue is that a lot of ads show testimonials from people, but disclaim them as “results not typical”. The FTC won’t allow using atypical results to mislead customers. They basically require if your results are not typical, you either:
- Have adequate proof to back up the claim that the results shown in the ad are typical, or
- Clearly and conspicuously disclose the generally expected performance in the circumstances shown in the ad
Funny thing is that when it comes to acupuncture, results ARE typical. So neither of the above really apply. It is typical when:
- Years of pain leave the body.
- PMS becomes hardly noticeable, instead of 3 days of suffering.
- Babies are conceived.
- Anxiety is relieved.
- All kinds of chronic conditions go away, or are minimized.
I love that with acupuncture – results are typical.
The first thing I do when visiting any acupuncturist’s website is look at their testimonials. I’m really, really proud of the profession, and the results you get.
(Note that I’m not a lawyer – there’s still a chance that the government can get their undies in a twist for some stupid reason, so take care. But so far it looks like the way we use testimonials is just great.)
What have testimonials done for you?