Use testimonials of people who didn’t buy and their reasons for not buying. It should be presented as a positive: “I didn’t buy because X but would have bought because of Y and Z” where X is a benefit that they don’t need or does not apply to them, and Y and Z are also benefits that do.
Emphasize testimonials might lead to higher conversion rate.
Use a big picture of the person giving the testimonial that changes after a short time (3–5 seconds after it becomes visible on the viewer’s screen) to the actual testimonial (text or video that plays silently.)
You know they are a useful in influencing your audience. Why not take it a step further?!
Instead of just using a short quote from a happy customer, build a whole subsite for your best ones. In their own blog (running under your domain), they can have a place where they can tell their own story and how it connects to your product and their success and happiness – help them express themselves. Give them this platform and help them create the content. Interview them (preferably on video) and use the materials to create blog posts, audio file and video clips that will show both you (and your brand) and them in a good light.
Testimonials can be more than just a social proof tool; they can do the actual selling for you.
When asking people for their testimonials, instead of just asking them general questions and having them express their general feelings towards you or your product, ask them leading questions to help them express their experience regarding specific benefits and features of your product. This way if that person is willing, and you ask the right question, you turn them into your sales person and get the social proof of them saying it and not you.
If successful it will engender a much higher trust.
If you have raving fans and customers that you can trust, ask them if they are willing to receive email communications from your new potential clients. For those who do, put their email address as a caption under their picture in the testimonial, like this: “Want more information from me about XYZ? Feel free to ask me at email@example.com”.