Guarantee best practices to gain your customers' trust

May Marketing Madness Conversion Week, Post # 4

When Skype was launched back in 2003, shortly after the bubble burst, everyone had the same question, "but how is it free?!". We were more cynical back then, distrusting snake oil salesmen and used car dealers promising anything for free and almost-free. We knew there must be a catch somewhere. However, since the rise of web 2.0, services like Gmail and Gdocs, Hulu and Wikipedia, we have all renewed our faith in free products, especially online. The days of ad-ware and malware infesting our every download are nearly behind us, and people are beginning to trust again.

Free Solutions

Banners, badges and seals promising completely free software, services or products aren't necessary anymore. Simply stating that a product is free is often a more effective way of gaining your visitors' trust. Services like Dropbox, Pandora, Picasa and Facebook all offer free solutions with a level of subtlety.

When Skype initially launched, its top banner looked like this:

When Skype initially launched, it's top banner looked like this.

Now you have to scroll half way down the page, to find this:

Paid Products and Services

For paid products and services though, customers still need reassurances. Depending on your customer base, you might want to try a few different messages.

"Money back guarantee" is an old favorite, but "no credit card required", "100% satisfaction guarantee" or "you can cancel at any time" might work better depending on your product and market. Don't be afraid to test a few of these at different stages in your conversion process to see what works best for your customers.

Reassure Your Customers

Reassuring your customers that their personal and financial details are safe is a key role of any website, and should not be overlooked. Perfectly legitimate online businesses have lost customers in the past by simply not stating what they already offer.

A great example of an understated, yet informative, free badge...And an excuse to use a Victoria's Secret model in the blog.

So if you provide free shipping, money back assurances or anything else that could calm the fears of potential customers, make sure you say it somewhere. Just remember that subtlety is king here. Once the customer knows he is in safe hands, you don't have to ram it down their throat.

This post is one out of Clicktale's month long May Marketing Madness series. Each of our daily posts will highlight and explain today's best practices, useful tips and smart tools to measure and improve your online business performance. This week focuses on conversion. Make sure to stay tuned for more great posts!

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