You’re a trustworthy expert right?
Of course you are, I know that, and you know that, but when writing sales copy it’s easy to take for granted that your readers should trust you.
Even if you’re marketing to an audience that knows you, it helps to have a checklist of trust-builders you can use.
So here we go:
When previous customers write to tell you how great you are, don’t just enjoy the warm glow and file away the compliment, use it in future sales pages. As consumers we know that a company is going to present their offer in its best light, so we love to hear what real-life customers think.
Having said that, we’re also savvy enough to know that on a sales page, the business will choose the most positive testimonials, but they are still effective in building trust so if you’ve got some great testimonials or are thinking of asking for testimonials, use ’em.
2. Past results
A simple way of building trust in your product is to explain directly what you product has done for other customers in the past. You can even just include a section that lists these results.
But here’s a tip, try and make them as specific as possible. So instead of writing:
Our productivity workshop helped employees work more efficiently
You could try something like:
After our productivity workshop, one attendee managed to get from 1,245 emails down to zero in just 30 minutes.
3. Social proof
Customers are pack animals and there’s safety in numbers. When it comes to making a purchase, it’s a small percentage that like to stick their necks out on something new.
Most people want to know that this product or service has been used by other people (see no.1 testimonials). Some of the ways you can build trust through social proof on your sales page are:
- Screenshots of people talking about your product on Twitter
- Photos of people attending your event
- Listing the number of people who have already registered / purchased
A guarantee is a classic risk-reversal copywriting technique to build trust. Guarantees are used to make your prospect feel comfortable making an order with you, even if he isn’t 100% sure that your product is right for him.
It also shows a lot of confidence from the seller and shows that you are approachable (especially if your guarantee terms are simple and you don’t make your customer jump through hoops).
You can also read this blog post on writing a money-back guarantee.
If you’ve got relevant qualifications to deliver your service or sell your product, let your reader know. It builds trust to know that the company or consultant has invested time and money in learning a specific skill that is used in the product.
It sounds obvious, but I’m listing it because many business owners assume that readers know what their qualifications are. Even if you work in an industry where you wouldn’t allowed to practice without your qualifications, list them anyway. It makes your customer feel safe with you.
6. Awards or Media Coverage
If an organisation, newspaper, magazine TV or radio show feels that you are important enough to win an award or be featured by them, this can gain a number of trust points from your consumer.
So many businesses I know forget to use these in their future sales pages because they feel that the event has come and gone. One owner I spoke to recently happened to mention that her product had been featured in a major Hollywood film. But because it was a couple of years ago, she felt it was no longer relevant. Wrong.
Now, it goes without saying that the award or the press coverage you use should refer to your product or service or your business, (if you were interviewed on CNN as a bystander to a parade you shouldn’t use this…) but don’t be shy.
And use logos. If you were in the New York Times, you let people know about it. If you won an upcoming business award (even if you nominated and voted for yourself) you get it on there.
These elements show that you exist in a world beyond your sales page, and that makes you easier to trust.
Another valuable trust-builder that you might overlook is your experience.
And it’s not just the years you’ve been selling your product or offering your service, it includes:
- The industries you’ve worked for
- The clients you’ve had
- The countries you’ve worked in / sold to
- The challenges you’ve overcome
Look over your business life-span and you’ll probably find more experience stories than you realised. They are perfect for building trust because it shows that you have been there, done that and succeeded.
As a copywriter, I love the power of words but I also know how powerful and persuasive photographs can be. If you have time to collect high-quality photos to sell your product, do so.
Good photo ideas for building trust include:
- Photos of you (especially if you are a coach or consultant)
- Photos of your product
- Photos of people using your product
- Before and after photos
- People attending your workshop / gig / conference
If you really want to build trust, take the rules for photos and turn them into a video.
If you’re a coach then a video can give readers a better feel for your personality, if it’s a product they can see it in action and if it’s an event they can get a better taste of the live atmosphere.
Ultimately, it’s about helping your reader (or viewer in this case) visualise what it is like to work with you or buy from you, and feel comfortable with it.
10. Answer objections
In the past I’ve worked with business owners who have been afraid to tackle possible objections in their sales pages because they feel it will draw attention to something negative.
The thing is, sometimes NOT talking about something can make it even more noticeable.
If there are aspects of your product or service that you think make your customer nervous, tackle them head on. Take that shaky spot and turn it into a selling point.
So there you go, 10 quick ways to build trust in your sales pages. You don’t have to use all 10, but this is a good list to look through once you’ve finished writing your sales copy.
Mk akan says
As a rule i assume my readers dont believe me because most wont. So i back all i say with images. And all kinds of testimonials and endorsements. If i said i did something i show proof with images.
I love copywriting but I’d be a fool if I thought images didn’t sell. Good point.
Andrew Button says
This is all pretty good advice. The whole idea of “trust” is generally way overlooked by most copywriters, especially internet marketering copywriters. One of the easiest ways to spot an underperforming sales letter (without ever looking at the numbers) is to look at the general “vibe” it gives off. Does it look like a typical sleazy sales page that uses all the cliches in the book? Then it’s not likely to convert. Trust-building strategies like those you mentioned above, are just one great way to avoid falling into that trap.
Also, regarding testimonials, I find that it’s worth it to go out and find people who are willing to do video testimonials. They work 1000 times better than text testimonials!
Thanks for taking the time to comment Andrew!
Trust gets overlooked (by good business owners) because they see it from their own point of view. They know their customers don’t have to worry about buying from them and forget that a new customer might be wary, afraid and need some gentle coaxing.
It’s definitely worth taking the time to build in the trust factors for more hesitant buyers.