Maybe if we could all meet face-to-face and shake hands when we made a sale, things would be easier.
But as it stands — and until virtual reality gets a whole lot better — our online businesses must build trust virtually if we want to boost conversions and sell more of our products and services.
Fortunately, there are proven techniques. And they aren’t especially difficult to implement.
But there is one important rule to remember as you learn these techniques:
It’s crucial to use all four techniques any time you make an offer online.
There’s strength in numbers!
And using every one of these methods on your sales pages creates a “trust sandwich” with layer upon layer of reasons that help your prospects feel secure handing over a credit card number.
Ready to discover the four simple techniques you can use to build trust and boost conversions with your online offers?
1. Translate features into benefits
If all you talk about is the ingredients of your offer — and you never talk about what it will do for your customer — no one will be interested!
Don’t expect your prospects to know what your features will do for them. Translate your features into vivid benefits they can feel.
Let’s pretend you’re an author and you’re talking about your upcoming book. You could say:
- The print edition measures 7 x 10 inches
- The book has 240 pages
- It has a photo of a sunset and man in a hammock on the cover
Would you buy that book? I know I wouldn’t.
But if you say:
- Read this book for a step-by-step plan so you can retire in comfort
- Discover essential financial moves to make so you can enjoy wealth and freedom in your senior years
- Learn how to manage finances in each decade of your life so you have a road map for your money decisions
Here’s the formula:
[FEATURE] so you can [BENEFIT].
Here’s what that sounds like in use (these are bullets from my Image Lab sales page). Emphasis added so you can see the construction more easily.
- 6 Modules where you’ll learn the exclusive IMAGE process so you can create signature branded images in 30 minutes or less — and enjoy the attention your branded images will drive to your content, your website, your offers.
- A private members-only forum so you can get feedback on your images before you share them publicly.
- My personal guidance as you master the material so you won’t ever get stuck. My 30-year career as a creative director has helped me teach thousands of non-designers how to successfully create visuals for their businesses since 2010.
2. Ask real people to sing your praises
Testimonials are powerful tools for creating trust.
It’s easier for a prospect to trust your offer when they see reviews from people just like them.
Here’s the formula for a winning testimonial:
- Talk about the customer transformation — where did they start? Where are they now that they’ve experienced your product or service?
- Feature the person’s full name — first and last.
- Use a photo! People respond to faces.
- Highlight a key sentence above the testimonial in case your prospects don’t read the whole thing.
Here’s what a well-formatted testimonial looks like (again, this is from my Image Lab sales page).
3. Use visual trust symbols
Online purchases are commonplace now — but if someone is buying from your business for the first time, they may be hesitant to enter their financial information on a site where they’ve never done so before.
There’s where “trust symbols” can help.
Trust symbols reassure buyers that their credit card information is secure. They confirm that their financial information is protected.
And they make them feel better about entering those numbers.
The best place to add trust symbols? As close as possible to the area where you’re asking for payment information. If there’s any hesitation at that point in the buying process, your trust symbols will put your buyer’s mind at ease.
Here’s an image of the trust symbols that are directly below the “Complete Your Purchase” button on all my checkout pages:
4. Offer a robust and easy-to-use guarantee
A no-questions-asked guarantee helps people feel secure about buying from you, especially if they’re first-time buyers.
Don’t be afraid to stand behind your product with a robust guarantee.
Yes, there is a tiny percentage of human beings who will take advantage of your goodwill — they’ll use your product and ask for a refund.
But the vast majority are honest citizens who are a little nervous about entering their financial information on an unfamiliar website.
Calm their nerves with a guarantee. And when and if people ask for a refund, issue it promptly and cheerfully.
BONUS TIP: use a super clear checkout process
We’re used to placing online orders on sites like Amazon. Their checkout process might be a little clunky, but it’s familiar, and that helps us to trust the site.
When you sell from an unfamiliar site, make sure your checkout process is smooth and easy.
And if it’s at all confusing, take the time to add a line or two about exactly what steps they’ll follow to make their purchase.
Build trust to boost conversions
You can build trust virtually. Get these four (five!) tips working together and your prospects will feel right at home purchasing from your site, even for the first time. Remember to:
- Translate features into benefits: make sure prospects understand how their lives will change for the better after using your product or service.
- Ask real people to sing your praises: it’s easy for your prospects to trust someone who looks and sounds just like them.
- Use visual trust symbols: reassure prospective buyers that their transactions are secure right when they most need to know.
- Offer a robust and easy-to-use guarantee: you’ll sell more when you show that you stand behind your offer.
- Use a super clear checkout process: you may not control exactly what the checkout process is like — but if there’s anything confusing about it, explain it ahead of time and watch conversions rise.
Safe and sound and ready to buy
Make it obvious that you have your customers’ best interests in mind: weave in all of these trust symbols so they feel 100% secure about doing business with you!