Despite the growth of chat and messenger apps, email reigns supreme as consumers’ preferred communication channel and an integral part of their daily online life.

A business is nothing without loyal, happy and satisfied customers. However, gaining those customers’ trust requires hard work and careful planning. So, how can you build trust in email marketing?

“Building trust is a process that requires time. Trust results from consistent, reliable and predictable interaction over time.”  – Barbara M. White

Back in 2019, the number of email users worldwide amounted to almost 4 billion and is expected to grow to nearly 4.5 billion in 2024. Unfortunately, these billions of people are also receiving tons of spam. As a matter of fact, according to stats, spam accounts for over 28% of emails globally. Thus, it’s understandable that leads/subscribers/customers are very cautious when they get email communications. But, it’s your job to offer reassurance and build trust in your email marketing with every single one of your recipients.

In this article, we’ll help you build trust in email marketing by discussing:

  1. The importance of building customer relationships through email marketing
  2. Top tactics to build trust in email marketing – 

          a) Ask before shaking hands
          b) Welcome aboard
         c) The ‘From’ name & email address
         d) Make it personal
         e) Automation
         f) Social proof

Ready to learn more?

For successful and effective email marketing, building trust with your target audience is crucial. The more trustworthy your email marketing is, the more engaged your audience will be. With more trust and engagement, your email campaign – be it a promo offer, special holiday deal, advice or valuable content – will be that much more impactful and powerful. Subsequently, building trust in email marketing, will drive more open and click-through rates, signups and, of course, sales.

Did you know that 84% of marketers believe that building trust will be the main goal brands focus their marketing efforts on in the future? Hence, one of the best course of action toward achieving this goal would be to bet on an easy-to-use, free for life email marketing platform that shows you who is engaged with your marketing campaign, and perhaps, more importantly, who is not.

Email Marketing & Building Trust

2020 caused mayhem with plenty of unique challenges for businesses all over the globe thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything email marketers thought they knew about their customers’ expectations, experiences and email marketing behaviour changed dramatically. Many brands had to adjust both their short and long-term email marketing strategies to ensure a successful, efficient and effective transition into a post-pandemic email marketing world.

Building trust in email marketing became essential.

Tell me this… If a stranger asks you to give them a lift to the nearby post office, would you? What if it was your friendly, lived-there-forever, shared an occasional pint with next-door neighbour? As you’ve guessed, the answer relies on who is asking. It’s the nature of the relationship that will define your response and subsequent action. The more familiar the relationship, the easier would be to take action. The same applies to email marketing. 

Over time, when your audience knows, likes and trusts you, you will find that you’ve built trustworthy relationships that lead to prospects/subscribers/customers saying “Yes!” to your offers effortlessly. Overall, building trust in email marketing means repeat purchases, referrals and, most importantly, long-term loyalty.

Just to drive the point home, here are some email marketing stats – 

  • consumers spend around 5+ hours a day checking emails (3+ hrs on work: 2+ hrs on personal);
  • 91% of consumers prefer email to any other marketing communication channel;
  • 59% of consumers’ purchase decision-making is influenced by marketing emails;
  • 59% of B2B marketers attest email is their most effective channel for revenue generation;
  • 64% of B2B marketers utilise email automation;
  • 80% of B2C marketers use email to nurture their audience;
  • marketing emails are 6 times more likely to get click-throughs compared to social media platforms; and
  • email marketing has an ROI of 42:1.

It’s pretty obvious why email marketing is crucial to the success of your business. By utilising email marketing to build trust with your audience, you will not only improve your brand’s reputation and drive higher conversions but also sustain that success and reassure your subscribers/customers they’ve made the right choice by choosing your business.

6 Tactics To Help You Build Trust In Email Marketing

You know email marketing is crucial to any great marketing strategy. Yet, as online competition grows, so does competition for the customers’ inbox. Therefore, providing a great customer experience and building trust between your brand and the customers through email marketing is vital. The better the customers’ experience with your email marketing, the happier they’ll be, and the greater your conversions and revenue will become. 

Now, the key to a happy customer goes beyond just giving them a great product/service. It starts with establishing a relationship through building trust via extraordinary email marketing campaigns and results in… you guessed it, conversions. Your customers NEED to trust you to deliver the exceptional product/service you rave about in your highly-personalised email campaign on top of the instant support should they require anything (i.e. further details, advice, alternative approach, tutorials, onboarding meeting, etc.).

Regardless of whether you are building or retaining consumer trust through email marketing, you need a game plan. Yours starts with these 6 tried-and-tested methods to build trust in email marketing

1) Get Permission

As an email marketer, I’m certain you’ve heard of permission-based email marketing (a.k.a opt-in email marketing) and know how it works and why it’s important

I have no clue why I’m receiving this email but I’m glad I did. I guess I’ll go make a purchase now. – said pretty much no one, ever. 

Hence, the first rule of permission-based email marketing: Make sure the audience you are sending your awesome email campaign(s) to wants them and has given you explicit permission to send them email communications. 

How To Build Trust In Email Marketing | - free email marketing software

Contacting people who have not given their express permission is – 

  • a bad email marketing practice
  • will not help you build trust and, most importantly,
  • It’s probably illegal as you will be breaking email marketing laws

Furthermore, not obtaining permission will harm your email marketing metrics such as engagement, conversion and unsubscribe rates.

2) Welcome Aboard

First impressions matter. Thus, after people reach out to you, it is imperative to make a memorable first impression

How To Build Trust In Email Marketing | - free email marketing software

In email marketing, welcome emails (a.k.a onboarding emails) is where you provide further information and guidance to your audience. By clearly outlining what recipients can expect from your brand’s email communications, you will not only build trust in email marketing but also make them feel prepared for what’s to come and more open to engaging with your email campaigns in future. 

People are most engaged with brands within the first 48 hours of signing up. Yet, 41% of businesses don’t send onboarding emails to newcomers during this crucial trust-building window. Moreover, welcome emails are the most commonly used type of automated marketing emails utilised by 58% of B2C marketers.

Remember, in your welcome email, it’s essential to state – 

  • how often you’ll be emailing them
  • what content you’ll be sending, and
  • how they can get the most out of your brand.

When you send subscribers/customers a welcome email minutes apart from their signup or first purchase, you are setting the stage to build trust in your brand and future email marketing communications.

3) Consistent ‘From’ name & email address

You’ve probably gone through hundreds upon hundreds of articles on improving email subject lines and dozens of split tests to ensure your email campaign will tick all the right boxes and entice recipients to open and interact with it. However, as important as subject lines are, what appears next to your subject line – the ‘From’ name – is just as important, if not slightly more.

Are your ‘From’ name and email address recognisable? Your ‘From’ name is the perfect place to start building trust with your target audience. People are way more inclined to open emails that come from actual people rather than brands. However, if they signed up for your email marketing communications, your brand’s name showing up in their inbox will be both expected and welcome.

Moreover, if you are consistently sending highly-relevant, uber-personalised and valuable emails with the same ‘From’ name and from the same email address, your audience will come to associate both with good things. Hence, strengthening your relationship with leads/subscribers/customers and further building trust in your email marketing.

If you are wondering about the ‘From’ field, this rule-of-thumb will help – 

Newsletter = your company’s name
Sales email(s) = an account manager or sales representative
Company news/performance = the CMO or CEO (if recognisable)

4) Personalisation is key

Did you know you can make your email marketing even more powerful by simply knowing how to fine-tune your email campaigns? Yes? No? How?

Personalisation is crucial when you look to build trust in email marketing and your target audience. Your leads/subscribers/customers don’t want to feel like just another name and email address on your email list. They want understanding and appreciation. 

Actually, according to research, one of the basic human desires is to feel unique. Thus, by showing your target audience you know them, understand their needs/desires/interests and appreciate their ‘uniqueness’ (I mean it in a good way!), they will be much more likely to trust and engage with your email marketing communications.

Remember, personalisation goes beyond just the subject line and using the recipients’ first name. If you want to build trust in email marketing and nurture the relationship with your audience, make sure you’ve taken the necessary steps to get to know your leads/subscribers/customers and crafted relevant, personalised, valuable email copy they will most definitely enjoy.

5) Email automation

On top of making your target audience feel valued, appreciated and understood with highly-personalised email campaigns, your timing needs to be perfect. 

The reason people are coming to you is that you offer products/services or information they desperately need and want. When they give you their personal information, they expect you to reach out to them pretty much instantly. This is where email automation comes into play.

From welcome and thank you emails to purchase confirmations and delivery updates, with the right email marketing software you will be able to automate pretty much every email message (i.e. autoresponders) and send it out once a specific trigger has been met. Moreover, with email automation, you will be able to save time and avoid turning into a stress-monkey. 

How To Build Trust In Email Marketing | - free email marketing software

The longer your email takes to hit the recipients’ inbox, the more nervous people get. With being unsure if their purchase went through or if they successfully signed up, people will ultimately question if they can trust your business and, subsequently, your email marketing.

6) Social proof

Some people might need a bit more time – and effort on your part – to trust your business. Human beings are more likely to trust others’ recommendations when making purchasing decisions. It’s just how we are wired. This is where using social proof will help you strengthen your reputation and build trust in email marketing.

Testimonials, reviews, case studies, referrals, etc. are powerful forms of social proof you can add to your email campaigns to show your target audience that other people trust your business and have benefited from what you have to offer.

Final Thoughts

Like any relationship, building trust takes time. It will not happen overnight. Yet, without trust, you have nothing. Email marketing presents the perfect chance to build trust and nurture the relationship with your target audience. However, the crux is to know which method for building trust in email marketing to use and when to use it.

To ensure you build trust in email marketing, remember these five important tips

  • always get permission to contact recipients
  • stay true to what you say in your emails
  • make people feel appreciated with every email
  • be reliable, consistent and reputable
  • always personalise your campaigns

Are you ready to make your email marketing even more trustworthy?

Highly recommended further reading – 

1) Writing Marketing Emails 101
2) Email Design Trends 2021
3) Top 10 Email Campaigns That Convert
4) Email Marketing Campaign Checklist (PDF version here)

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