Adding credibility to your membership website: A checklist of 14 factors you must consider in order to be perceived as trustworthy

The casual visitor makes an impression of your subscription website based on numerous factors. Whether consciously to unconsciously, most potential members are looking for certain elements that indicate to them that you and your business are legitimate.

Focus on good site organization, navigation and design.

Here are the most important and easiest ways to prove that you are trustworthy:

State clearly the site owner’s name. A complete Who We Are section is even better. Members like to know they are dealing with real people, not a nameless, faceless organization.

Add Contact Us information, so that sending an e-mail to the publisher or webmaster is effortless.

List a physical mailing address (not a P.O. Box).

Post a phone number that is answered by a live person. A toll-free phone number is even better.

Offer links to a few sample articles that give the potential member a flavor for your content and writing style.

Add testimonials from subscribers (with their permission, of course) and include their full name and website URL.

Create a privacy statement that discloses how a member’s personal information will be used. Best practice: Assurance that a member’s name and e-mail address will never be published, sold or shared.

Add updated content frequently. If your site looks stale or dated, potential members will be reluctant to join.

Avoid pop-ups, pop-unders and “sliders.” If you do employ these controversial and annoying elements, use them to offer a free e-zine or autoresponder course. Never use them to ask for any information other than an e-mail address.

Avoid banner ads or other forms of advertising. At the very least, make a clear distinction between ads and editorial content. Best policy: Focus on the premium content you are offering and how it will benefit the new subscriber.

Post your guarantee and any policy on how the site deals with refunds, mistakes, etc.

Link to a Frequently Asked Questions section for a more detailed explanation of policies and conditions.

Don’t hide the price of admission. Fully disclose costs and price structures before trying to collect the name and address of the potential member.

Always use a secure sockets layer (SSL) encrypted connection for executing financial transactions, and display the logotype of the SSL site certificate.

Focus on good site organization, navigation and design. Potential members always sense greater integrity from an orderly, logical and uncluttered site appearance.

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    auto r.

    Thanks for this info I have a membership site. I did not know all this. I was implementing a couple of things into my site, but I could do alot more!


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