Imagine you walk down a back alley and a shady-looking fellow steps out and offers you a new iPhone for $200. Would you take him up on the offer?
Odds are, you wouldn’t.
But why? It’s a great deal, right? At a minimum, you could turn around and resell that phone for a nice profit. Why wouldn’t you buy?
The answer is fairly simple, you don’t trust the guy. You don’t know him. You don’t know if his phones are actual Mac products, if they are in good working condition or if he even legitimately owns the phones he’s selling.
All you know is that he seems shady, the deal seems too good to be true and you don’t trust the situation.
But, say you had a friend with you that you really trust. Your friend told you that he’d bought from the guy before and that everything was legitimate. In fact, your friend raved about how much he loved his iPhone and what a good deal he got on it.
Would you buy an iPhone then?
I’d be willing to bet that you’d be a lot more likely to buy the phone. So what made the difference? Is the alley any less dark? Does the seller look any less shady?
Probably not. But, since your friend vouched for him, you trust the guy a lot more.
Risks and Benefits
When you get right down to it, every decision comes with risk. We constantly evaluate the risks and benefits of a situation and make decisions based on whether or not we believe that the benefits outweigh the risks.
Now, if you’re trying to decide whether the benefits of getting to your destination a few minutes earlier are worth the risks of crossing main street during rush hour, that risk-benefit assessment can save your life.
But, if you are a marketer trying to get someone to convert on your landing page, the same risk-benefit assessment can make life very difficult for you.
To get someone to convert, you need them to believe that the benefits of converting outweigh the risks. And, just like in our shady alley guy story, the key to making them believe that is to use social proof to increase trust.
Increasing Customer Trust
While I think that most marketers would agree that trust is a key part of getting people to convert, it’s hard as a marketer to generate trust.
Why? Because your job is to sell your business’s products or services.
In your potential customer’s eyes, that makes you an untrustworthy source of information. Sure, you might know that every claim you make is true, but that doesn’t mean your customers believe what you say. After all, you get paid to convince them to buy, so everything you say, do or put on your site is automatically suspect.
Fortunately, there is a way around this problem: testimonials and user reviews.
Your potential customers might take everything you say with a grain of salt, but Joe down the street? Or Mr. Anonymous on that review site? They have nothing to gain from sharing their opinion about your product, so your potential customers are a lot more likely to trust what they have to say.
In fact, 63% of people say that user reviews make them feel more comfortable making a purchase.
So, what’s the best way to market your product or offer? Let other people do it for you.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Testimonials
If you do it right, testimonials can be one of the most effective ways to boost the performance of your landing page. The good news is, if your product or offer is actually worthwhile, it should be easy to put together some compelling reviews and get them up on your page.
All you have to do is get people to talk about their experience.
Depending on what your business does, you may call testimonials “user reviews”, but the core idea is the same. People want to hear what other people have to say about what you’re selling.
Of course, if you really want your testimonials to sell, you need them to be believable. The fact of the matter is, you could write almost anything, add a name and a photo and call it a “testimonial.” For people to truly trust your testimonial, you have to convince them that your testimonial came from a real person who’s actually had experience with what you’re trying to sell.
Here are a few ways to do that:
- Add details. On some level, everyone knows that liars avoid details. As a result, a testimonial attributed to “Jacob” will seem a lot less believable than a testimonial from “Jacob Baadsgaard, CEO of Disruptive Advertising.”
- Use a photo. Photos take details to an even higher level. If your potential customers feel like they could do a quick internet search and double-check the name and face of your source, they’ll be much more likely to trust your testimonial.
- Include a video. You can’t really fake a person into a video, so almost no one will question whether or not a video testimonial is legitimate. As an added bonus, videos include body language, which people trust even more than what someone says. This is possibly the best type of testimonial to add to your page.
- Get testimonials from recognizable sources. Do you have a client or customer who is a recognized leader in your industry? If you can get them to put their stamp of approval on your page, it will make your product or offer seem much more credible.
- The more, the merrier! People know that only a small portion of your customers will take the time to give a testimonial, so the more testimonials you have, the more happy customers you must have, right? Obviously, you don’t want to bog down your page with testimonials, but if your potential customers feel like lots of people love what you’re selling, they’ll feel comfortable buying it for themselves.
Adding good testimonials or customer reviews to your landing page can improve sales by 18%. Sure, it might take a bit of time and effort to get some decent testimonials on your page, but for results like that, it’s certainly worth it.
So, if you don’t have testimonials (or haven’t updated them in a while), reach out to your current customers and work with them to get what you need.
Ultimately, when you get right down to it, people only convert on your landing page if they feel like the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks. Most of the time, your business is an unknown, which means your potential customers see you as high risk and low benefit.
To change that equation, you need to show them that they can trust you. And, the easiest way to do this is to show them how other people not only trust you, but love what you have to offer.
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- How to Increase Customer Trust on Your Landing Pages - March 15, 2017