According to Keith McCauley, Director of Marketing for Container & Packaging Supply, Inc., the “Internet has been very good” for the family-run distributor of everything from 55 gallon drums to small glass perfume samplers. After a quarter century of slow and steady growth, headcount tripled, and the customer base expanded across the United States over three frenetic years. One of the key drivers of this growth were online sales which now account for 2/3rds of total revenues. That’s because the website has enabled the company to grow well beyond (fi guratively and literally) its former niche of selling packaging to agricultural businesses within a 300-mile radius of its Boise, ID home.
“McAfee SECURE is a no-brainer marketing expense.”Keith McCauley
Director of Marketing, Container & Packaging Supply, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing (primarily through Google AdWords) generate site visits that McCauley is charged with converting into customers. To increase conversion, McCauley has systematically improved what he calls the site’s professionalism. The use of privacy and security trustmarks are one of his tactics to convince prospects to select Container & Packaging Supply over alternate sources. After experimenting with SSL and privacy trustmarks over for the last several years, McCauley decided to try the McAfee SECURE service in 2008.
“Having worked in marketing and media, I was familiar with site security, and we all knew of McAfee as a security vendor. We’d seen the McAfee SECURE trustmark on many other sites, so we had a good idea of how the online consumer perceives it.”
“When everyone saw the A/B test results and calculated what the increase represents across an entire year…let’s just say that it is defi nitely worthwhile. When it comes to our marketing budget, McAfee SECURE Service is a nobrainer. It is money well spent.”Keith McCauley
Container & Packaging Supply, Inc.
For thousands of retailers, the McAfee SECURE trustmark has proven highly effective at reassuring site visitors that their personal information will be safer and more secure at participating retailers. The technical foundation of the McAfee SECURE service rests on daily, comprehensive site scanning that tests the retailer’s website for more than 10,000 vulnerabilities. In addition to this daily hacker testing, sites that earn the McAfee SECURE trustmark also undergo a series of periodic tests for accidental practices that can lead to bad publicity and lost customer confi dence. For example, McAfee SECURE testing includes checks for unwitting linking to malicious websites, the hidden presence of browser exploit code, and the accidental sharing of customer e-mail data with spammers.
Once certified to the McAfee SECURE data security standard, sites can then display the McAfee SECURE trustmark on the sites as well as in search engines annotated by McAfee SiteAdvisor® software. Consumers who see the trustmark when browsing or searching Google, Microsoft Live and Yahoo! (and 19 other search engines) see certifi ed McAfee SECURE sites as safer, and more secure places to shop than sites that don’t undergo daily testing. McCauley again:
“Visitors coming to our site have almost certainly seen the McAfee SECURE trustmark elsewhere. Having a recognized IT security brand like this on our site adds to the professionalism that our online marketing program is designed to create.”
As part of the trial, McCauley wanted to run an A/B test to generate hard data on the conversion lift he expected to see. The single variable test, in which 50% of visitors see the McAfee SECURE trustmark, while the other half (the control group) do not, accurately measures the positive or negative conversion effect the trustmark has on visitor behavior. The fi rst step, however, was to certify the site security.
The initial security audit was followed by the remediation of the discovered issues. Once they were fi xed with the assistance of McAfee’s technical support staff, McCauley added the trustmark code to the site, following recommendations to place it in an appropriately prominent location.
Results and ROI
During the test, Containerandpackaging.com registered an increased conversion rate of 8.3% thanks to the McAfee SECURE trustmark.
For McCauley, the trial was proof positive:
“I don’t think anyone doubted that it would increase sales but we were just curious about the degree to which it would.”
McCauley’s confi dence that the McAfee SECURE service trial would be a success paid off.
For Container and Packaging, the daily security audits and the visual proof of those tests provided them with effective competitive differentiation.