All posts by Chris Zemdegs

Don’t Get Faked Out


The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) has announced an investigation into the review policies of sharing economy platforms as part of an international initiative targeting fake reviews and endorsements.

As CHOICE head of media Tom Godfrey says “With many consumers relying on user reviews to help inform their purchasing decisions, it’s concerning to think that around 15% of all online reviews are fake.”

This is exactly why we created Trusttd.

With the Trusttd platform, ONLY genuine, paying customers are invited to and able to leave a rating.

We can do this through our unique integration with the sales platforms and shopping carts used by digital product marketers. This integration makes the review invitation and collection process both automated (saving you time) and robust (meaning your customers can trust what they read).

In using Trusttd digital marketers demonstrate their transparency to their potential customers and that they have nothing to hide.

It’s a way of differentiating yourself to all those other marketers out there. You know the ones we mean…

More info on the investigation here:

Get started with your 30 day risk free trial here.

Tap Into the Power of Automated, Genuine Social Proof

Tap Into the Power of Automated, Genuine Social Proof

Reading time: <5 minutes

Customers not buying from you?

You’re not alone.

Thousands of info product creators, marketers, coaches and wantrapreneurs are trying to get customers to buy their stuff, all day every day.

Some of them are selling modern-day snake oil.

So how exactly does a customer know whether you’re the world’s best <insert your thing here>, or the world’s best purveyor snake oil?

In the small window that you get to make your case, using genuine social proof helps customers see immediately that you have the authority and are worthy of their trust and attention.

Trust is the key to making more sales.

Every Transaction is Based on Trust – Seth Godin

So What is Social Proof and Why Does it Matter?

Social Proof is a now well-studied phenomenon  that humans look to each other’s behaviour for an indication of what is acceptable,  reasonable or expected.

It’s powerful. If your customers can see that others have bought into you,  your product or your service it lowers the barriers in their mind towards making a sale.


Think about how ingrained social proof has become in almost all aspects of physical sales and services online:

When you’re looking at a book on Amazon, do you read the reviews?


When you’re deciding on whether to watch a movie, is your choice influenced by what your friends have said, or what you read on a review site?

When you buy something through eBay, how much of an impact does the seller’s rating history have?eBay

When you book accommodation through AirBNB, would you make a booking without reviewing the ratings first?

This list could go on and on, but you get the picture.

Seeking out social proof to help validate that they are making the right decision is now an ingrained part of many online buyer’s buying habits.


How Much Can Social Proof Help Sales?

So let’s take a look at what some assessments from the world of physical sales and local business marketing have to say.

These industries are both very mature in terms of the use of genuine social proof and provide some good cues as to the benefits available

The stats vary in terms of uplift or conversion increase, but here’s the important thing.

Most importantly, they all talk to an increase in sales:

  • 79% of consumers prefer to review product and seller ratings prior to making a buying decision according to BrightLocal, Mintel puts this figure at 70%.
  • 88% of consumers trust an online review as much as they trust a personal recommendation according to Brightlocal, Nielsen put this at nearly 70%.
  • 90% of consumer who read online reviews were influenced by the reviews in their buying decision according to Dimensional Research
  • Consumer reviews are trusted 12 times more than descriptions from producers according to eMarketer.

They are compelling figures, and consistent finding. Social proof is a norm in online buyer habits, and it helps increase sales.

So As a Digital Marketer, What Are Some of Your Options?


This old chestnut. We’ve all seen them. In fact you may very well be using them now.

Testimonial blocks on your sales page with a handcrafted quote and a picture.

But there’s a problem.

Everyone uses them. Even those guys selling snake oil.


No-one knows: are they real?

In fact, it would be a reasonable predication that in an increasingly-transparent online world, consumer mistrust will only grow in anything that has no substantiation attached.

Even worse, what about the work that has to go into requesting, chasing and then crafting these testimonials to embed them. Handraulic is so last decade.

Result: Don’t waste your time. Use at your own peril.

Facebook Plug-In

Maybe a bit better than handcrafted testimonial, these types of plug-in on your sales page at least include comments from real people.




FB Plug-In

….Including those from people who may not have even bought the product or used your services.

Result: Not a Recommended Approach to Build a Strong Business

Automated Tool Which is Integrated with your Sales Platform

Did you know that Trusttd offers a service which:

  • Integrates with your sales backend/cart/platform to automate the collection of ratings and testimonials from real, paying customers;
  • Provides an embeddable certificate for your sales page which aggregates your ratings and expands to showing testimonial comments providing genuine, verified social proof to your potential customers; and
  • Provides a built-in customer care process to manage any reviews which need attention.

Trusttd is a platform built specifically for digital product marketers.

Trusttd is offering a 30 day free trial for you to see for yourself how genuine social proof can help you increase sales here.

Three Key Steps to Building a Successful Relationship with your Customers


Customers not buying from you no matter how hard you’re working, no matter how much work you’ve put into your product?

You’re not alone.

Thousands of info product creators, marketers, coaches and wantrapreneurs are trying to convince potential customers to buy their stuff every day.

And some – in fact more than just some – of them are doing nothing more than selling modern-day snake oil.

So how does a customer know whether you’re the world’s best <insert your thing here>, or the world’s best purveyor snake oil?

How do they know that can trust you with their money, with their time and with their attention?

Ultimately trust is a psychological bond between individuals. At the end of the day, there’s a real person at one end of the transaction getting their credit card out, and they want – need – to know the person at the other end of that transaction has their best interests heart.

So here are three key behaviours employed by successful marketers to help increase customer confidence and likelihood of generating a sale from the relationship. Trust doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time.


11943555 - handshake

Has someone ever done you a favour and you felt compelled to help them out when you next had the opportunity, even if it was a much later point in time?

That’s the concept of reciprocity in action.

As an online marketer there are numerous ways you can provide value up front to a prospect, which in time will convert some of them to customers once they see the value you are providing.

Here’s just a few ideas, depending on what type of products you offer:

  • blog posts or giveaway eBooks full of free, relevant, legitimate value that stands on its own;
  • podcasts and interviews with luminaries relevant to your target audience;
  • free appraisals, assessments or initial consultations;
  • survey results with insights relevant to your target audience;
  • infographics and slide decks; and
  • free templates and checklists.


44240269 - engagement ring wedding bride offer hands and hearts the gift of love. retro style pop art

Not that sort of commitment.

Micro-commitments can be a significant step to garnering larger commitments over time.

Micro-commitments are lower-risk, lower obligation commitments that start a relationship of buying into what you have to offer and giving you the opportunity to earn more trust by the value you provide.

Examples of the types of commitments you can construct that help build a strong foundation of trust include:

  • opt-in to a mailing list offering regular, valuable content;
  • gaining a Facebook page like or follower on Twitter;
  • getting a social share;
  • download of free giveaway eBooks and tools; and
  • participation in a free trial period.

Help them Understand Your Why

42154643 - cartoon illustration of man thinking and connecting dots on complex network

You need to watch Simon Sinek’s famous Start with Why presentation.

In short, people won’t buy from you because of what you’re doing, or even how you’re doing it. They’ll buy from you when they buy into the why you’re doing what you’re doing.

So, weave that into your messaging wherever you can.

As you communicate help your customers get to know you, and get to know your why and why that’s important to you.

Soon enough they’ll buy not just because what you offer solves a problem, but because they are buying into you and what you are doing for them.

Trusttd’s why is simple – we believe that genuine marketers who care about their products and their customers deserve to be recognised and trusted, and have that recognition help them make more sales.