Consumer expectations have reached new heights, and as such, business organizations have been forced to accept the reality of today’s consumer-driven marketplace if they hope to maintain relevancy. Though modern shoppers have come to expect seamless online shopping experiences, real-time communications, and virtually instantaneous fulfillment times, perhaps the most significant characteristic consumers look for in a business relationship is trustworthiness.
It’s tough to pinpoint exactly when this evolution took place – maybe it was the Enron Scandal of ’01 or the Great Recession of ’08 that caused consumers to lose faith in corporate America – regardless, consumers have taken a stand and will no longer support a brand that can’t be trusted.
As we’re all well-aware, trust isn’t something that’s built over night; it’s cultivated over time through the consistent delivery of quality and value. And although this requires a multi-faceted, business-wide approach, email marketing offers businesses with a digital method for establishing trust with their prospects and customers.
Easy-to-Implement Email Marketing Strategies that Help Build Trust with Consumers
Working as a digital marketer for a Denver-based inbound marketing agency, I’ve seen first-hand just how much of an impact consumer trends can have on the state of the business landscape. With ‘trust’ continuing to be a main driver behind most organizations’ digital marketing efforts, we took a look at 5 easy-to-implement email marketing strategies that help to build trusting relationships with prospects, leads, and customers.
Get PermissionContacting individuals who have not explicitly asked to receive communications from you or your organization is bad business – simple as that. Not only does it have negative consequences in terms of engagement, conversions, and unsubscribe rates, but it also dilutes your marketing team’s efforts. Rather than crafting one-size-fits all marketing emails that vaguely apply to all but appeal to none, marketers need to be much more targeted in how they communicate. A great way to achieve this is by giving people the option to ‘opt-in’ to all, or some, of your organization’s marketing communications. Gaining permission from recipients will help your marketing team create content that is both relevant and applicable to goals, challenges, and interests of your audience while minimizing spam reports and low email engagement. In addition, a more ‘active’ and concentrated database will result in more accurate and actionable reporting and analysis.
Leverage Company NewslettersIt’s tough to build a relationship with someone you don’t know – and this is coming from a millennial that uses apps to avoid most forms of social interaction – so you know it’s real.
In order to build strong relationships with both prospects and customers, it’s important to provide insight into your organization’s culture, mission, vision, as well updates on new services or product features. Creating a company newsletter that provides email recipients with monthly insights and updates is a great way to inform and educate readers without coming off like you’re just trying to sell them something.
Send Welcome EmailsSetting clear expectations early and often is critical to building trust in any relationship, but is particularly so in business relationships. To achieve this, marketers can create a ‘welcome email’ that is sent whenever a contact subscribes to an organization’s marketing communications. In this email, it’s important to clearly state how often subscribers will hear from you, the types of content that will be shared, and the topics that will be discussed. For example, if a contact subscribes to an ‘industry insights’ newsletter, don’t send them a sales-related email – ever. Setting honest expectations, and fulfilling those expectations, is absolutely key to establishing trust between your contacts and your organization.
Avoid Misleading Subject LinesThis may seem obvious, but coaxing email recipients with compelling yet entirely misleading subject lines is not the way to establish trust. Although it may seem appealing to use ‘liberal’ verbiage in your subject lines and preview text to increase open rates, the long-term consequences of doing so will not work out in your favor. Yes – it’s important to make your subject lines are enticing and captivating as possible, but you should never sacrifice the integrity of your email to increase surface-level metrics that won’t result in the form of conversions.
Utilize Personalization & Contextualization TechniquesI’ve said it before and I will most definitely say it again, but personalization is absolutely critical to establishing trust with prospects and customers. Today’s consumers don’t want feel like they are one of the many, they want to feel understood and appreciated. By taking note of individual specific goals, challenges, interests, and preferences, marketers can provide relevant content that delivers real value – not just a sales pitch. Not only does this ROI in the form of customer conversions, but it helps to establish your organization as a trusted advisor.
Establishing a business relationship that is built on trust isn’t just the ‘right thing to do’; it’s what will dictate the value and longevity of your relationship with a given prospect or customer. As we move deeper into the age of the customer, ‘trust’ is going to continue to play a larger role in the consumer purchasing process, and it’s important that modern business organizations invest in building trust now so that they can reap the benefits of long-term, fruitful business relationships.
If you’d like to learn more about email marketing best practices, request an inbound assessment.