Are present or past tense reviews more persuasive?
Sales & Marketing

Are present or past tense reviews more persuasive?

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Let's talk about a simple but powerful tweak to your marketing language that can make a big difference. It’s all about the present tense, folks. Let’s roll!


When persuading customers, stick to the present tense. It’s like saying, “This pizza rocks” instead of “This pizza rocked.” It's not just grammar, it's about making your message pop 💥 This is especially through when showing on customer reviews, or review accolades from publications.

The power of present tense 💪

  • Raving reviews: Encourage customers to write reviews like “This gadget saves me time” instead of “This gadget saved me time.” It’s like they’re experiencing the awesomeness right now.
  • Award talk: Got accolades? Flaunt them like they’re hot off the press. “We’re New York’s best coffee shop” sounds fresher than “We were voted the best in 2022.”

Why it works 🤔

  • Now vs. then: Present tense feels current, like it’s happening as we speak. It’s like the difference between a live concert and a recording.
  • Certainty sells: Present tense comes off as more certain and convincing. It’s like saying, “This is it” rather than “This was it.”

But here’s the catch ⚠️

  • Context is king: This trick works great for reviews and word-of-mouth. But for products that change over time (like that sweatshirt that stretched), past tense might be more truthful.
  • Lost in translation?: This was all tested in English. If you're working in a language with funky tenses, tread carefully.

Making it happen ✅

  1. Marketing mojo: In your ads, keep it present. “Our sneakers are changing the game” beats “Our sneakers changed the game.”
  2. Review request remix: Ask for reviews in the present tense. “How is our gadget treating you?” gets a different vibe than “How did our gadget treat you?”
  3. Brag with zing: Got an award? Talk about it like you just stepped off the podium.

Remember, it's not just what you say, it's how you say it. Present tense can make your message feel alive and kicking.

That's it for now! Go ahead, give your words a present-tense polish and watch the magic happen.

Want to learn more? 🤓

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can dig into the nerdy details in the original marketing study.

Quote of the week 💬

"Speak to your audience in the present tense, and they'll imagine a future with your product."

About the author
Gabriel Mays, the Co-Founder and CEO of POPSMASH
Gabriel A. Mays
Gabriel Mays' Website
Co-Founder & CEO at POPSMASH
Before POPSMASH, Gabe was a Director at GoDaddy and founded two startups. He was also a Marine Corps Captain, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives with his wife and two kids on Cape Cod, MA.

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