Having a website loaded with glowing reviews and endorsements is something every business owner dreams of. This positive feedback from happily satisfied clients and customers is an excellent way to connect with newcomers to your site. But, how do you get reviews for your business that adhere to the Federal Trade Commission’s rules and regulations?
Explode Your Sales By Getting The Right Type Of Testimonials
Before you start to get reviews for your business, you should always refer to the FTC’s guidelines concerning endorsements. In a nutshell, these guides state that you must abide by strict truth-in-advertising principles and that every testimonial/endorsement must reflect an honest opinion. Testimonials should never make any claims that cannot be legally proven. And, any connection between the person providing the testimonial and the marketer needs to be disclosed. The person testifying to the effectiveness of your product/service must also have first-hand knowledge of its use and must have used it.
Many people mistakenly assume that disclosures only need to be made when a relative or employee of the company makes a claim about a service or product. However, this also extends to any kind of incentives given to anyone in order to get reviews for your business. Types of incentives could include discounts, freebies, monetary compensation, etc. In fact, according to this article concerning questions people are asking about FTC Guidelines on Endorsements, even incentives with no monetary value could affect the credibility of an endorsement and thus, need to be disclosed.
How other people view an endorsement of your product or business is determined by the actual review’s weight or credibility. Reviews and endorsements are to be honest, unbiased, and not misleading in any way. A review of your product by someone who has been given an incentive to provide one would be much less influential as one made by someone who honestly loves the product or service you provide and needs no such incentive in order to say so. Because of this, those who have obtained testimonials by offering incentives often neglect to disclose that fact.
Refusing to disclose any connection between a marketer of a product and it’s endorser that affects the way people view the endorsement is illegal.
If you insist on offering incentives to get reviews for your business, they MUST be disclosed. Rules for disclosure are clear: They must be placed clearly and conspicuously on your site. This means that they cannot be hidden away on an ‘About Us’ page or poorly visible link leading to a ‘Terms of Service’ page on your website.
Place your disclosure where visitors to your site will see it easily; in the same style font and same size text as the rest of your web copy.
Or, better yet, when you get reviews for your business simply do not offer incentives!
Incentivised reviews can do more harm than good. The word of someone who has been compensated in some way to say good things about you is much less persuasive than the word of an honest, unbiased review from someone who is happy with their experience. Get reviews for your business, yes, but please be aware of the rules and regulations concerning their use.
FTC Compliance is of utmost importance to JVZoo, as it should be for every online business.
We do review every single product that is added to our platform to be sure that they are FTC compliant before they can be approved for sale. We also do random spot checks regularly on products that have already been approved for sale. Reviews, testimonials, and their disclosures are just some of the things that the JVZoo Compliance Department looks at. All of this is done for your benefit and protection, to ensure that your products have met, and continue to meet, the expectations of the FTC and JVZoo.