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by David Booth
Founding Partner at WebShare, LLC

If you’re doing conversion marketing and statistical testing on your website and you haven’t explored trust logos yet, then you’re missing out. It’s no accident that you see the same logos appearing on more sites day after day – it’s because they’re working.

These little trust marks have the ability to get more people to push the button, sign up for the newsletter, enter their credit card information, or even pick up the phone and call the number. We do quite a bit of testing with trust logos, and one of the most successful ones we’ve come across is the HACKERSAFE logo, an image that by now you surely recognize.

We asked HackerSafe Senior Director of Business Development Cresta Pillsbury to talk about what’s new at HackerSafe and why this logo and program have been so successful in increasing website conversion rates:

WebShare:What has ScanAlert been up to lately? Can you tell us about the headway that’s been made in comparison shopping?
CP:, and Yahoo! Shopping have each integrated HACKER SAFE into their comparison shopping listings. It is the first time since the invention of comparison shopping that consumers can evaluate merchants on more than just pricing and merchant ratings. We’re the only trustmark company doing this, and market this syndication opportunity as the HACKER SAFE Feed.ScanAlert customers can subscribe to the FEED for an additional charge above their regular HACKER SAFE subscription cost. The FEED is sold as an annual, unlimited clicks package, with rates varying according to the retailer’s site traffic and the engines they want the seal to show up in. Enrollment, which takes about five minutes, is an easy, self-directed process via our portal. We provide a pricing matrix that looks just like an advertising rate card. Every day, we send a whitelist to our shopping partners so the product searcher sees real-time security information. This is how the HACKER SAFE seal integrates with’s listings, for example.So far, the results have been great and the FEED is making retailers lots of money.

For example, saw the number of orders from rise 35%, and sales in dollars more than double (112% to be exact).’s Online Marketing Team Leader Ryan Douglas is not surprisingly very happy. He told us this week that while he had been getting steady sales growth in 2007 using other search tactics, he hadn’t seen anything like the results he got when he added HACKER SAFE to his listings. (Readers will be able to read more about this in the November issue of Internet Retailer magazine).

Our comparison shopping program is very exciting. We’re continuing to add new shopping partners, the holiday retailing season is picking up speed, and retailers have a great way to stand out and close even more business.

WebShare:How can a website owner go about getting the HACKER SAFE trustmark on their sites, and what kind of testing can they do to see if it’s really helping?
CP: It’s easy. They can go through a HACKERSAFE partner such as WebShare, visit or call us toll-free at 866-872-3011. As far as determining an ROI, there are several testing options. While some of our customers use testing and optimization services like Offermatica or Verster, the vast majority work directly with us to implement a very simple A/B split test. More than 800 retailers have run these highly transparent, statistically valid tests with us. During the test period, visitors either see (research group) or don’t see (control group) the HACKER SAFE image. Conversion rates between the two groups are then compared.On average, the number of orders from the research group has been 14% higher than the control. The difference between one site and another usually tracks to issues like brand equity; large chain stores typically see a 4.0-9.5% difference, while smaller, less well-known sites can see up to 30% higher conversion. In other words, if you’re a smaller retailer with a 2% conversion rate, you’ll likely see a 2.3-2.5% rate by having the site HACKER SAFE certified. Multiply this against weekly, monthly and annual sales figures and you can see that the ROI is considerable.
WebShare:Of all the trust logos out there, why do you believe the HACKER SAFE logo in particular has had such a profound positive impact on website visitors?

The impact really is profound; almost every media outlet covering the online marketing world has published something in which our customers rave about the experience and ROI. Some of the media coverage (and the profiled customers) include:BtoB Magazine (Stuller), DM News (Stacks and Stacks), DIRECT, Ecommerce Times (JL Hufford Coffee), InformationWeek (,, Internet Marketing Report (4WD Hardware), Internet Retailer (American Musical Supply), Internet Retailer (Yankee Candle Co.), Internet Retailer (Shari’s Berries), Marketing Sherpa (PETCO), Multichannel Merchant (Stylin’ Concepts), SearchEngineWatch, , and STORES (Frederick’s of Hollywood).

There are several reasons why HACKER SAFE works best. Thanks to a decade of unceasing media coverage about hackers, consumers are extremely conscious about security and hackers so the words “HACKER SAFE” really resonate with shoppers. The HACKER SAFE standard has been adopted by so many name brand companies (from AIG, Ace Hardware, and Cabela’s, to FootLocker, GNC, and Prudential) that consumers are much more aware than ever about what companies need to do to meet the standard. HACKER SAFE builds the trust that builds online businesses.

 One way to test out if the HACKERSAFE logo works for you is to get it at a discount through WebShare, and then use Google’s new Website Optimizer tool to set up and run a conversion marketing test. Whether you’re looking to increase leads, sales, downloads, signups, or clicks, it’s very likely that this little logo can help you make better use of the visitors you have on your site. Statistical experimentation can tell you if you gain anything (and how much) by making small changes to your website, and can be the most powerful tool in your search marketing arsenal.


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