Early this year, the Edelman Trust Barometer released its 17th annual trust and credibility survey. Their results reported that “trust is in crisis around the world. The general population’s trust” has declined across all institutions—from business and government to media and even non-profits.
I suspect the January 2018 report will show little, if any improvement. Given this information, it’s more important than ever to build a trusting relationship with your customers. As they say, people do business with people they like.
You need to prove yourself to your customers. Establish trust. And you can use email marketing to do it.
To rebuild trust and restore faith in the system, institutions must step outside of their traditional roles and work toward a new, more integrated operating model that puts people—and the addressing of their fears—at the center of everything they do.
Unlike customer reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations, your email list is a ready-made marketing channel that completely belongs to you, which makes it your best tool for building customer relationships.
Every email you send is a new chance to prove yourself and reinforce your image as an authority in your field, whatever it may be. Reliable messaging that consistently provides value positions you as an ally and a partner and keeps your company at the top of your prospects’ minds.
Be a Real Person
Whether it’s your regular email marketing campaign or an automated campaign, take the extra minute to specify a real reply-to address, and preferably a name. If you’re using an email marketing provider like MailChimp or ConstantContact, it’s a simple thing to set up.
“Your Name” or even “email@example.com” is much more personal than “firstname.lastname@example.org”. That’s not a sender I want to see in the From field unless I’ve just received an automated order or shipping confirmation, and even then it seems a little lazy since it could so easily be changed to include the name of the company.
Not sure what areas to segment? Basically anything is an option, as long as you have the data to do it. Location, industry, age, and interests are all good choices, but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg.
Now that anyone can publish any information they want on the web, we’re much less likely to take what we read at face value. You can talk about how amazing your product is all you want, but why should prospective customers believe you?
As businesses, we work around this issue in a number of ways, like leveraging positive reviews from other customers and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends. But unfortunately, those aren’t things you can control.
What you can control is your email list. A healthy list requires care and maintenance, and you should always continue growing it to replace those subscribers who fall off—because they will, no matter how hard you work at it. But you can minimize those attrition numbers by fostering a sense of trust and partnership. A solid content strategy you can stick to and a little consistency will take you a long, long way.
Email Marketing—The Right Way
Catherine has a degree in English literature and a passion for all things marketing. As Digital Specialist, her focus is on web design, search engine optimization, social media, online presence management, and project coordination.