Rick Duris: How a One-word Change, Typos and Bad Grammar Can Double Conversions

by Rick Duris

What I’m about the share with you will make intuitive sense the minute I say it.

With it, I have seen firsthand conversions as high as 250%. You’ll understand why in a moment. Implementation is key. But for now, an immediate boost in your conversions is what I would expect depending upon your implementation.


We all know as copywriters, marketers and consumers, people online place very little trust in testimonials these days. (Remember the saying “I just read it in the newspaper, so it must be true.” — It’s definitely not true online.)

It’s almost as if the moment you see the word testimonial, you think “BS.” Prospects may read the testimonial, but they don’t BELIEVE the testimonial.

I have confirmed this by watching hundreds of clicktale.com movies. People read testimonials, yet many do not buy.

So what I did as a simple test was wherever in the copy it said “Testimonial” or “Testimonials”, I changed it to say “Review” or “Reviews”. The same thing goes for phrases like “Real World Success Story.”

I promise you, I didn’t change ANYTHING else.

Now the question is “Why does this work?” Here’s my opinion:

Because of social media websites and the importance readers place on reviews, they have much more credibility. They carry more weight. The reader or prospect is more likely to believe them.

You can hijack this social media phenomena. Here’s how:

On your blog or on your sales letter, you can allow people to post their own reviews. In other words, whatever they say is what they say about your product or service. A reviewer’s articulation will probably include typos and bad grammar. Don’t worry about them. They enhance not diminish the credibility of the review.

Now what happens if you get an occassional bad review? I say “Leave it.” I know it hurts emotionally but it enhances the credibility of the OTHER REVIEWS. It creates contrasts.

This will further improve the believability/trust of your website or blog.


You can take this strategy one step further. You can integrate your reviews with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn websites and fanpages. So that when a review comes in, it gets automatically pushed out to the top social media websites. There are various plugins which will allow you to do this, even for straight HTML websites.


So if you have testimonials on your sales letter, go ahead and test changing the word “Testimonial” to “Review” and see if that boosts your conversions.

One last thing that will improve conversions: The STARS that you see on social media websites play a huge psychological role in the reading of the review. It’s no secret that people look at the stars first, before they read the copy. It’s like stars are magnet for the eyes.


As online marketers, the biggest hurdle we face is building trust as quickly as possible. This is one way to do it.

PS: Few can deny the impact of reviews, positive or negative. When business owners are forced to do things like below, you can get an inkling of how powerful they can be:

Dentist Forced Patient To Sign Away Future Copyright On Any Online Review; Then Billed Him $100/Day For Negative Reviews | Techdirt

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