The Trust Factor: Building Confidence in Your Offer to Boost Response

Your marketing offer might be relevant, well written, and beautifully designed—timed perfectly and promoted through the right media channels—but if it’s missing the “trust factor,” it may not perform up to expectations.

People Buy From People They Trust
While this concept is inherently true, and all marketers are essentially working to build their trust with customers every day, you can’t assume that your prospective customers trust you—even if there’s an established level of brand awareness. They might not know you at all. This makes many direct response offers destined for the recycle bin: they just don’t connect.

People have a natural instinct to question anything (including your honest-to-goodness offer) that sounds “too good to be true” and may be wary to provide their contact information to companies they don’t know. They may also wonder if giving up their email address or phone number will result in daily spamming or annoying solicitations. Too often, responding just isn’t worth the risk.

Building All-Around Brand Trust
The good news is that there’s plenty you can do to build trust in your brand on the whole—and they’re likely things you’re already doing. These more all-encompassing trust-boosting tactics include:

· Customer-centric branding – presenting a company image (supported by imagery and messaging) that’s benefits-oriented and speaks directly to the customer encourages loyalty.

· Social media presence – authentically sharing and engaging with your connections, networks, and groups over the channels your customers use and enjoy points to your relevance, especially if you leverage influencers who champion your brand. (Learn more in What Your Social Media Activity Is Saying About Your Brand.)

· Up-to-date website – delivering a modern, secure, fully functioning online experience speaks to your credibility, as a responsive and mobile-friendly website reflects what today’s customers expect (not what they were ok within 1999).

· Customer reviews – ensuring your company is listed in the appropriate directories and ratings and reviews sites, and encouraging positive (and negative) customer feedback shows you’re sensitive to your customers’ needs and opinions. (Explore the 5 Reasons Customer Ratings and Reviews Boost Your Sales.)

· Reputation management – keeping a close eye on your company’s reputation and managing sparks before they turn into flames can help protect your customers’ perception of your brand.

· Content marketing – supporting your customers through their entire journey through helpful, non-“salesy” content establishes thought leadership and demonstrates your commitment to all of their needs—not just the purchase-related parts.

Getting these things right can make it more likely that existing customers continue to engage with your content, take advantage of offers, and stay customers. But for people in your target audience who lack any familiarity with your brand, you’ve got to work trustworthiness into the offers themselves—so they’re confident enough to click!

Building Trust at the Offer Level
This is what you’d like to see go through your prospect’s mind when they see your offer, whether it’s in an email, social post, blog post, print ad, or pay-per-click ad: “Hmmm…this offer looks great. And legitimate! I’m going to take advantage of this!”

If you’ve successfully captured their attention and drawn them in, having even a modicum of trust in your brand will help seal the deal. Here’s how your offer—the message and creative—can convey conversion-encouraging trust:

· Spot-on messaging. They may say, “Actions speak louder than words,” but what if your words are sloppy or grammatically incorrect? A strange word choice could turn people off, and an obvious mistake makes your company look untrustworthy. Thankfully, offer copy is usually short but sweet—but it’s got to be correct.

· High-quality creative. Your supporting images need to flow seamlessly with your message. If they don’t make sense, or look pixelated or otherwise unprofessional, your audience may get the impression that you don’t know what you’re doing.

· Credibility-raising phrases. Offer copy can contain bits of information that add context and relevance to your offer and help your audience feel more comfortable responding. While they don’t necessarily belong in your headline, details like these can be sprinkled into your offer communications:

· Since 1954…
· Trusted by thousands of customers…
· The Midwest’s most trusted name in….
· Award-winning…
· Top-rated…
· …and so on!

· Personalization. Using your prospect’s first name removes the spammy feel that can come with receiving seemingly random offers from unfamiliar brands. (Learn more in Who, Me? 3 Best Practices for Direct Marketing Personalization.)

Don’t forget your offer landing page!
When your prospects trust you enough to respond to your offer, don’t lose their trust with a poor landing page. Now is not the time to confuse them or get them to start doubting your company’s legitimacy. Read Drive Results With These Direct Response Landing Page Tips to find out how to make sure your offer’s landing page is consistent with the offer and drives action to the ultimate destination: the point of conversion.

Contact us to learn more about improving the effectiveness of your direct response marketing offers.