Who would have thunk it, that honesty and transparency can actually boost conversions and sales? Being honest is not only the key component to a strong marriage between two spouses, but also plays a key role in boosting conversions and sales – not to mention the key to building long lasting relationships with your customers.
Many small business owners will tell that they’re honest and up-front with their customers. That may very well be true but their website tells a completely different story. Most websites today are filled with stiff (boring) marketing copy that really doesn’t inspire the customer or consumer at all (read Is Your Copy Less Than Fresh? by Copyblogger).
Small business owners can benefit greatly by showing more honesty and being more transparent through their web content. Actually, we can all benefit from it. It’s actually become a priority for me to be more honest through my web content, because being honest and transparent has a huge effect on the mindset of your audience.
Let’s dig a little deeper to what I’m saying…
Take Reality TV shows for instance, they’re the most watched shows on the tube today. Why? Because people in general are attracted to seeing other people make fools of themselves. My thinking is this…
(Warning: this might get a little deep – he he)
…each of us has a humble side to ourselves that is screaming to come out. Although it’s tough to be humble, the natural “good” that lives within each of us (the humility, the honesty, etc.) is begging to come out to the forefront. Why? Because the ultimate peace in life is when you’re humble and honest with yourself and others around you. Just ask a recovering thief, cheater, liar, gambler, alcoholic or drug addict, etc.
(Note: We’re out of the deep end, back to shallow ground)
So how does all this tie in with higher conversions and sales? Here’s the point, the honesty within each of us easily comes out when we see other people screw up. When other people are honest, we can be honest as well. Why? Because there’s no high standard to live up to. This carries over to the web world as well. When small business owners and website owners are honest and transparent on their website, the consumers and potential customers feel a sense of peace (which I mentioned earlier) and it leads to a natural reaction of letting down their internet safety guards. When you’re honest and transparent on your site, there’s no need for your consumers to be afraid. They become more honest themselves and are more willing to buy and learn more about the products and services you have to offer.
It’s really simple if you think about it.
Time to Take Action
There are many things you can do instantly to inject some honesty and transparency into your business via your web content. Below are just a few that comes to mind:
- Show Behind-the-scene photos of your business – Post photos of your office space, show your employees at work, show your employees at lunch, and show photos of your staff at happy hour. Any photo that shows a sense of reality is what you want to display. Take a note from Crutchfield.
- Post employee bios, not just senior management bios – This is doable in small shops. It’s a great way to show transparency in your company by displaying bios of not only management, but the everyday hard working employees.
- Create a welcome video – A welcome video is a great way to break the ice and greet your customers at the door (so to speak). Welcome videos are great ways to show your personality. Be creative, have fun with video. The point here is, if you screw up, it’s ok… people are receptive and will commend you for making mistakes. It shows your honesty and a willingness to learn and grow from your mistakes.
- Write a Welcome Letter to your customers – See the letter from the founder and CEO of Crutchfield.com
- Use amateur photography instead of professional photos – Two sites that come to mind are Carmax.com and Ebay.com. Carmax.com does a great job in displaying their new cars in the same way they display their used cars. You can tell the photos are not taken by a professional but the photos are honest and tell the true story of the product. Same with Ebay.com, there’s something about seeing real quality (not professional) photos of the product that makes you feel more willing to buy it.
So there you have it, your very own to-do list. The list above is just a few things that come to mind on how anyone can show more honesty in their web content. I’m sure you could add many other things to this list. The information is simply based on logic and reason that I’ve picked up over the years. The point here is, be honest and more transparent to your customers and see how receptive people will be. People generally like dealing with other people they like, trust and feel comfortable with. Being more honest and transparent to your consumer audience will only improve click-through rate, conversions and lead to increased sales. I guarantee it!