VeriSign is a company built around trust. The VeriSign Trust Seal is found on the leading web sites of the world, in an attempt to inspire confidence. VeriSign uses the Trust Seal to help clients build online trust, credibility and loyalty.
Seeing their use of terms such as trust, credibility and loyalty, I was bothered by getting yet another barrage of snail mail and emails from them which use deceptive marketing tactics. I first wrote about this in February in On deceptive email I get from VeriSign; and in nearly 9 months, nothing has changed.
Observe the envelope which on the outside says “answer 5 questions, and we’ll give you Sony Earbuds with remote and mic”. When you open the envelope, notice that it is only at the bottom of the page where they write the disclaimer that it is for the first 500 who reply.
Note the email with the header “take our survey and get a gift”. In this case, the small-print disclaimer is for the first 200 who reply.
The folks in marketing know that their response rate would be fraction had they written a trustworthy phrase such as “answer 5 questions, and we’ll enter you into raffle to win Sony Earbuds” or “take our survey and qualify to get a gift”.
These communications are deceptive and misrepresent the facts. In the big scale of things, this falls under don’t sweat the small stuff category. But this is from VeriSign, not your average company, and whose level of trust and credibility need to be higher than some Joe selling sports memorabilia on eBay.
The irony is that if there were a marketing Trust Seal, which companies could use to build trust, credibility and loyalty, VeriSign would fail, inn a most epic way.