The Doctor Will See You Now: Trust Psychology and Your Landing Page Performance

By Harris Fellman | TrafficForMe.com

Jan 03

Okay, so we’re not exactly doctors at Traffic 4 Me – but if anyone was going to have a PHD in traffic it would be us. Our studies were built on piles of emails, and after you spend that much time looking at different campaigns – trust us, you learn a thing or two.

Of course, we know there’s more to making traffic work for you than simply having those prospects arrive at your company front door. You’ve got to make them want what you’re selling too – and that’s where your landing page performance comes in.

If you met some guy in an alleyway tomorrow and he asked you for a few hundred bucks for a new iPhone – would you just hand over the cash – no questions asked? If the answer is yes, then you seriously need to go and reevaluate your life chances. In fact – maybe you should speak to an actual psychologist.

On the other hand, if the answer is no – then congratulations – you’re part of the vast majority of sensible people who won’t trust their cash to people they don’t know.

Even if the random guy – let’s call him Jerry – told you that the iPhone was in pristine condition and worth double what you’d be paying. You’d probably still say no. Let’s face it – Jerry might be a nice guy, but he’s also a shady character selling phones in a back alley.

However, what if your best friend tells you that Jerry is actually a distributor for Apple? What if he showed you his own phone – straight from Jerry, and raved about how happy he was with the purchase?

Maybe you’d think again.

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What Makes Us Buy Stuff?

We buy items because we want them, need them, or feel as though we have to have them. However, before you hand over cash for anything, you take part in a risk/benefit evaluation that measures the pros of getting a new product, against the cons of using your hard-earned cash.

While the pros of buying an item straight from a reputable dealer often outweigh the cons, the pros of buying from a person, or business that you’ve never done business with before are yet to be determined. In other words – you’re more focused on the risk, then what you’re going to do with your sweet new phone.

As a business, if you want your target customer to convert, then you need to convince them that the benefits of buying something far outweigh the risks. There are plenty of great ways to do this – but one of the most effective is social proof.

The Truth about Social Proof

You need a few very important things to make a sale in today’s digital world.

The first is traffic – no doubt about it, if you want to make a sale, then you need people to sell to.

The second is value – the item you’re selling needs to offer something that your customer wants.

The third is trust – you need your customers to believe that handing over their details to you isn’t the same as giving their cash to that Nigerian prince they keep hearing about.

The biggest problem that our buddy Jerry had – is that he didn’t have any trust.

Let’s think about it from another angle.

Do you trust infomercials? Probably not. I mean – just look at these people – they don’t know how to lay out a towel, stack Tupperware, or use cling film. Just by looking at a few of the most idiotic infomercials in the market today, you can see that the guy in that advert is being paid to sell you a product. He’s making cash off every sale – and there’s a good chance he’s biased about the item in question.

Just as you probably don’t trust infomercials, most customers don’t trust online marketing. Even if you have the most authentic website online, you still need to convince your traffic to trust you before they’re going to convert. Fortunately – social proof can help.

Your customers might not trust you – but they definitely trust other people. After all, your friend didn’t have to say that he loved his product from Jerry – he wasn’t getting paid to do that – so his opinion is authentic and worth more in the eyes of the consumer.

That’s why simply placing user reviews on a website will make 63% of your potential customers more comfortable with making a purchase. Those little padlock things on the search bar will also increase your sales by around 42% too.

So how can you go about adding social proof to your landing pages?

No worries, at Traffic 4 Me, we know people (we deal with them every day) – so we have a few helpful tips that might help to make you more trustworthy to the traffic that we send your way.

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1.    Throw Together Some Stories

Once upon a time, there was a business that made a ton of profit.

The end.

Nothing sells like a story.

Using case studies in your marketing efforts can turn your current customers experiences into stories that give your potential customers the chance to vicariously experience what it’s like to use your service or product.

After all, if we see that something turned out to be worthwhile for someone else, then we’re all the more likely to take the plunge ourselves. You don’t just jump into a pool of icy-cold water before your friend does it first – right?

In addition to giving your prospects an insight into what your offer is going to do for them, case studies give your customers an idea of the type of success they can expect. For instance, if your case study talks about how your product saved their client $5000 a year, then your customer can measure up the cost of the product against the potential rewards.

Case studies aren’t ideal for every business – some people won’t even bother to read them. But in the right circumstances, they can do wonders for your business credibility.

2.    Use Some Killer Testimonials

Testimonials are a fantastic way of adding a human element to your page – making your company seem more trustworthy. In fact, many companies find that testimonials are the best type of social proof out there.

After all – what better way to convince your customers that you’re awesome – than to get a bunch of other people saying it for you?

Just remember that your potential customers will be able to tell if you’ve doctored your testimonials. So don’t add extra crap that’s intended to make you look better than you are. Just let your clients talk about whether the experience you gave was good for them.

Here’s an industry secret you won’t hear often – your customers understand that businesses aren’t perfect – they just want to know that you’re more trustworthy than not.

Of course, since testimonials are pretty easy to fabricate, it can be difficult to make your testimonials truly compelling. However, if you do it right, and pick the perfect phrases from your audience members to draw more leads to your webpages, then you’re going to have amazing results.

Studies have shown that customer reviews increase sales by around 18%, so it’s well worth your time to put together testimonials that leave your customers thinking – hey that sounds great! Sign me up!

3.    Try Some Social Media Strategies

One quick and simple way to establish credibility? Include follower counts and like numbers on your landing page.

Why? Because peer pressure still works.

If 100,000 people tell you that a company is incredible – and that 100,000 people like the company so much that they actively choose to get regular updates about them through Facebook and Twitter, then you’re probably going to respect that.

I mean – thousands of people couldn’t be wrong, right?

Fortunately, there are dozens of simple plugins to use that are easier to install than a energy-efficient light bulb. Once you’ve done that, your visitors will know how much other people love you – and this will make them more inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Just remember that social media proof only works if you have a large number of loyal fans.

Twelve likes from your mom and grandma aren’t going to generate a lot of interest. Because of that, it can help to combine your follower counts across various social media platforms. 1,000 total likes always looks better than 500 Facebook followers, 100 LinkedIn fans, 200 Twitter friends, 2 followers on Google+ and 188 Instagram fans.

If you’ve used us to get some pretty serious traffic – you can always show off your traffic numbers too. After all, people who see that you get 600,000 visits a month are inclined to believe that you’re selling something worth buying.

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Trust Matters

At the end of the day, while we’re all about traffic at Traffic 4 Me, we know that sales still come down to trust. Every decision starts with risk-benefit calculations – and if you can’t ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks, then you’re going to suffer.

The right mix of testimonials, case studies, and social media proof on your websites and emails can give your potential customers the comfort and peace of mind that they need to throw money in your direction, or convert with subscriptions and other valuable actions.

Trust us – trust matters.

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About the Author

Harris Fellman has been involved in online sales & marketing since before the web existed. He began his online sales journey at pioneers Galacticomm, iBill, and MSN in the 1990's. He then went on to own a successful multi-million dollar Email Marketing company from 1999 to 2005 before embarking on creating numerous products and services that teach and help other online entrepreneurs to succeed. Harris has a passion for comedy, travel, and inspiring others to live life to the fullest. Harris, along with his wife, Andrea, and two children currently live in beautiful Barcelona. (Andrea is a powerhouse social media maven in her own right, by the way.) Harris Fellman's life mission is to "Make You Richer" - not only in income, but also in life.

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