Trust Signals: How They Work & When to Use Them

By Dan Shewan

Trust signals and how to use them

It cannot be bought, forced, or demanded. You can have it, but not hold it. It can take years to gain, and can be lost in seconds – and it’s the single most important element of any transaction or relationship.

What am I talking about?


Although technology and shifts in how we do business has made it easier to buy and sell without fear of being ripped off (or offer some sort of recourse in the event you are), most transactions we engage in every day are based primarily on trust.

Many websites and ecommerce retailers use trust signals to put prospective customers at ease, but what are trust signals? How do they work? What makes them so effective? And – perhaps most importantly – how and when should you use them?

These are all questions we’ll be answering in today’s post.

What Are Trust Signals?

Trust signals are elements that are often displayed on websites and at physical points-of-sale in brick-and-mortar businesses to help customers feel more secure in their decision to patronize a specific business or buy a specific product or service.

Trust signal logos

Some trust signals are little more than logos that offer reassurances that a retailer or site belongs to a certain trade organization, whereas others are proof of a business’ conduct or trustworthiness. Trust signals can and do vary widely in form, but they all perform the same function – making prospective customers feel better about doing business with a company. As such, trust signals are an element of conversion rate optimization.

What Are Some Different Types of Trust Signals?

Some trust signals are instantly recognizable, whereas others are more subtly implied. It all depends on the type of business in question, the industry or vertical that business is in, and dozens of other factors. As a result, there are many different types of trust signals.

Guarantee Trust Signals

Among the most common type of trust signal is the guarantee.

Trust signals guarantee logo

These trust signals can be immensely powerful (and even expected, in some industries), as they offer peace of mind to the consumer. They assure prospective customers that, in the event a retailer or website turns out to be unscrupulous, or the customer changes their mind or is dissatisfied with their purchase, their money or investment is protected. This can be something as unique to your business as a specific refund or returns policy, to the inclusion of the Visa or MasterCard logo on your website.

These trust signals are everywhere in the financial services market, and for good reason. These are also among the most commonplace and recognizable symbols in the world, simply because we’re so used to seeing them. In fact, they’re so common, it’s often more jarring or suspicious if we don’t see them.

Social Proof Trust Signals

The meteoric rise of social media brought with it many things, not least of which was the explosive growth in “social proof” as a trust signal.

Trust signals customer testimonials examples

Example of a “social proof” …read more

Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider

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