16 Ways to Build Credibility in Your Sales Letter

Not building sufficient and irrefutable credibility in your copy is the number one reason for your audience not purchasing your product or service.

You absolutely must build much more than enough credibility, especially on the Internet. See, your reader doesn't really know you. Yes, it's true. Even though you're really an outstanding person who had a wonderful and truly useful product or service, your audience probably doesn't know that yet.

So you have to prove it.

You have the best of intentions on helping the reader solve a problem or situation that they want solved. But you have to prove it.

In the real world, unlike a court of law, and especially online, you're guilty until proven innocent beyond even the slightest doubt. Or you're a con artist until proven honest beyond even the slightest doubt. Or you're a hype artist until proven legitimate beyond even the slightest doubt. That's the real world. That's people.

Why? Because through the mail and on the web, you could be anyone. We started with me out of my living room. Not that that's bad, it's just that anyone could be there. Anyone can claim all kinds of things. So you have to prove that you really can deliver on your promises.

Elsewhere on this site, I write that Money is an idea backed with confidence. So if you expect your dear reader to part with his or her own money, you'd better be willing to build a lot of confidence in your reader. You have to not only show the reader how she will benefit from your product or service, but you have to prove it.

Too Much Proof is Always Better than Not Enough

Your reader will read and read your proof until he or she is convinced that

  1. You're for real,
  2. Your promises can be gotten by her, and
  3. She's sick of reading your proof and moves on to the other parts of your copy.

Building credibility is vital to making sales, especially online. So build all you can, as much as you possibly can. If you want to see a KILLER sales letter that builds tons of credibility, Click Here. A new window will pop up. Please read the page to see how Marlon builds that credibility and proof to such a level that you'll probably get sick of reading the proof and testimonials and just want to move on to the meat and potatoes of the sales letter. But he also makes you really want that "Amazing Formula" and gives you reason after reason. (It really is as good as he says. Even better.)

16 Ways to Build Your Online Credibility

Here's a few ways to build credibility for your product or service. And it all starts out with a great product or service. When it's great, you'll have more confidence and just write better naturally. Strange, but true. Anyway....

Customer testimonials and success stories. This is the top way to do that. Though if you're just starting out, you won't really have a lot to show. But you can collect them through time and add them later. There's a lot of ways to add them, too.

  • As part of your headline.
  • As part of your lead or hook.
  • To help you prove that your product or service can deliver on each of your promises.
  • To help instill confidence in your close, after your P.S., or on your order form.
  • To help overcome common objections that your readers might have.
  • To build confidence in your company.
  • As a couple or few of your subheads.
  • To end a particular section of your copy.

But until you get real success stories and testimonials, you can't use them. And use them when you get them. And if you can use them, get permission to use their name and email address or link to their site. It's amazing that this one thing will help your readers get that belief in you and your product when you do this.

Don't use initials unless you can't get permission to use the name.

Quote Research that's been done that supports your claims. If you know of any research that anyone's done to help you out, use it. Tell what the source is, especially if the source is a well-known publication or institution.

Get the endorsement of an industry leader. When you have an outstanding product or service, try like hell to get some well-known person to endorse it. That will help your sales dramatically.

Show a picture of yourself or your staff or your building... Pictures help to create the feeling that you are indeed real. They add to the agreement and help the person "know" you a little better. After all, now they know what you look like.

Write Articles for Ezines and/or Physical Publications. Just being in print somehow makes you an expert. And make sure to have a good signature file or short bio that points to your web site or gives your email address.

Write a book or eBook on the subject. If you're not selling it already, or are a professional, you can just give it away. This is covered more in depth in the promotion section.

If you are selling your book, eBook or course, that's pretty good for getting clients.

Write tons of articles or tutorials on your web site and link to them from your main page. Be sure to really appeal to the Reciprocity button or the tutorials will not be as successful. Oh, and make sure they're really simple and get the results you promise.

Use product or service comparisons done by independent firms. If you have software or another product that can be compared in any way to anyone else's similar product or service, and if you score favorably, use it. Quote the source.

Prove your knowledge by relating to the reader. If you've really been there, tell a little story of your own experiences or otherwise relate to what the reader is experiencing.

Start your own ezine or newsletter. This is a good way to prove that you know your field. It'll result in sales long term. How to do this effectively is also covered in the promotion section.

Help people online all over the place for free in discussion groups that are related to your field. This helps establish you as an expert when you do it long enough. Be sure to include a link to your site.

Become a speaker in your field. If you don't mind speaking in front of groups of people, do it. Not only can you get paid to do it, but that also establishes you as a sort of expert.

Get on local radio shows. Not many business owners even think of this. If you can arrange to get a 15 or 30 minute spot interview and take and answer questions in your field, you can also add in where to get more info on your site. Then you can also tape it and make a RealAudio from the tape and let people listen to it online. More credibility and if it's good, you're an expert automatically.

Offer to write a column for your local paper. If the paper is small enough, you can write an informative article each week or month that help others who read the paper solve their own problems in the field. You can also write little "opinion" articles and send them in. You can also offer to have a "Dear Abby" type of help column in your field. You can also write up an informative article and send it to the editor.

Incidentally, you can also do this with various magazines, specially if its free to them and of good quality information that would really benefit their readers.

Call up the different talk shows and offer to appear as an expert in your field. You most likely won't ever called, but it you do you can tape the performance and say make a RealVideo™ of your part of the talk show. You can take a still picture of you on the set and put that picture on your site and say, "As seen on Oprah" or something like that.

Start your own associate program and have others promote your product. That way you have someone else saying that you great, not you. (And you only pay for results. That's the best way to advertise by the way.

So build that credibility strong and in as many ways as you possibly can. The more credibility you build, the more sales you'll make. It's that simple.

And don't say "We're Great!" No one cares. You have to prove that you're great without saying it, and prove it in such a way as to Show the reader how he or she will benefit when they purchase your product or service.

Show, don't say. And give results in advance, as Frank Kern teaches. It really does work wonders.

Links for This Section:
| The Copywriting Tutorials Index |
| What is Copywriting? | The Basics | The Emotions |
| The Headline | Lead or Hook | The Body |
| Building Benefits | Subheads | Why You? |
| Building Credibility | The Withdraw | The Close |
| Creating Urgency | The Guarantee | The P.S. |
| The Order Form |

© 2002 by Russell Burnham. All Rights Reserved.
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