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How to build trust as an affiliate, post GDPR

Tagged: Analysis

GDPR went in to effect in May of 2018. Nearly two years later, the number of consumers seeing improved interactions with companies has decreased. As affiliates, it’s difficult for us to develop trust with customers, as we aren’t the ones dealing with their enquiries or the products.

How can we improve trust with potential customers post GDPR?

Building a brand

The best way you can develop trust is by building a strong brand. Having a professional appearance online is one of the ways to easily build trust. Websites like Compare The Market and Trip Advisor are affiliates, but they’ve built a great brand that people can believe in.

Demonstrate your value

As an affiliate, it can be difficult to pinpoint how you enrich your users’ experience. But there will be at least one value feature if you scratch beneath the surface. In the case of Compare the Market, they bring quotes from many companies into one place. They save customers time by offering them convenience.

Maybe you’ve done the research and can help them select the best product, or maybe the service your offer will save them time and frustration.

Social proof

Social proof is one of the easiest ways to create trust. People often actively seek out testimonials to see if a product or service is worthwhile. The best testimonials are from real people, including a picture and address common concerns.

When asking for reviews, direct users by asking them questions that get to the root of common anxieties. I.e. How did you find our customer service? Was our site simple to use? How much money did you save?

High-quality imagery

This one ties in with the brand, but we’ve separated it our as it’s rather important. The photos and graphics you use affect the perceived trustworthiness of your company and website. Use high-quality imagery, make sure it’s well-lit and not pixilated. Use imagery of people as that helps to build trust. Please beware of stock imagery, as photos that look too contrived may work against you.

Trust logos and security accreditations

Having a security accreditation on your website really helps to bolster trust. Norton, McAfee and TRUSTe are three of the most well-known. Though some of these can be a little on the pricy side, they set users mind at ease.

Another thing you can do is to use partner logos. Say you work with Google or Instagram or the main player in your industry if it’s appropriate to do so use their logos. Associating yourself with reputable brands is a great way to increase trust.

SSL certificates

Ever been on a website that isn’t secure, and Google has said ‘hackers may be trying to steal your information’? Avoid this by purchasing an SSL certificate. Not only will your website actually be more secure as a result, but users will feel safe entering their information into a form if they know that the page is secure. This is a simple yet effective method.

Good copy

Your copy must be free of spelling and grammar mistakes. This is a no brainer, but spelling errors and such can have a huge effect on the way users see your brand. Spelling and grammar errors make you appear unprofessional and incompetent. Stick your content through Grammarly before you publish it, it’ll make all the difference.

Another thing you can do to help build trust is to use facts and reference studies in your copy.

Transparency

In order to build trust, you need to be open with your users. Let them know that you are a third party and aren’t associated with the service providers. You don’t need to shout this out with size 40 red, bolded text, but you do need to point it out to your users.

If you’ve got an enquiry form on your landing pages, tell them what will happen once they’ve submitted an enquiry.

Providing a telephone number

If your affiliate network provides it, a great way of building trust is to show a telephone number in your header bar. This shows that you are contactable and ready to answer any questions should a user need help. An easy-to-find phone number will boost conversion because users feel comforted that, if they need you, they can call. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they will call, it just means that they can.

Ensuring there are no issues on your website

Code issues and website formatting issues are one sure-fire way to lose the confidence of your users. If your form breaks on mobile, users will question the security and whether your site is reputable or not. Avoid losing customers by ensuring your website works in all browsers across all devices.

Privacy policy and T&Cs

These are required by law, but some people still leave these out. Make sure you have both legal pages on your website. Most users won’t read them, but it adds a piece of mind knowing they’re there. It also shows that you’re serious about protecting your user’s data.

About the author: Claire Harbour