Email marketing and trust

Would you lend Winbox a fiver? We’d like to think so. We also think you’d be happy to fall backwards into our arms knowing we’d catch you, because you can trust us: we’ve got your back.

In business, trust is everything – it’s the cornerstone of a successful sales relationship, which is why we do our best to build it with our customers. We're in a fortunate position, because we're email experts and email is a great way of building trust. Here's how to do it right...

The what

First of all, keep your email campaigns personal. This means more than including the recipient’s name in the text of your emails -  it is also about knowing where they are on the customer journey.

If a recipient has already purchased a product or service from you, don’t bombard them with the same sales material you send your prospects – the customer will think you don’t care about the business you’ve done together, or that your marketing and sales teams don’t talk to each other.

Instead, send them tips on getting the most out of their purchase, including links to user guides and support forums. If you can track (or ask) how they are using the product, even better: tailor your communications to match their actual usage. Your key aim is not neglecting those who’ve already given you their money.

The same goes for prospective customers who’ve shown an interest in your service. Don’t make them wait for the next issue - send them a welcome newsletter that includes all the best bits from previous emails, as well as a preview of what they can expect from future editions.

It would be nice to think that customers wait with eager anticipation for your newsletter to drop into their inbox, but even if they don’t, they will notice if your weekly email does not arrive on time or at all. Once you’ve created a timetable for your email campaigns, stick to it, as reliability and consistency build trust.

The how

Your emails should have a compelling subject line, they should be on-brand, and they must look like they have been put together with thought and care. Leave the bad spelling and poor syntax to the scammers.

Make sure that the email address you use to send your mails is not a generic ‘info@’, ‘sales@’ or, God forbid, ‘no-reply@’. Make emails personal by associating them with a real name. Build on this social touch by including some level of interactivity in your emails. Ask questions, ask for feedback, ask your users to generate content. All of these things are going to help build a relationship, and relationships engender trust.

Some recipients may not want to engage in this way, which is of course their prerogative, so make it easy to unsubscribe. Even if they do choose to opt-out, your brand or product may still occupy their head space. If you make unsubscribing difficult though, by hiding the link or making them recall a long forgotten username and password, you are going to undermine any trust you’ve built up and they’ll be all too keen to forget you.

For those that do want to engage, encourage them to click ‘reply’ and tell you what they are thinking. A statement at the bottom of an email telling you that it has been sent from an unmonitored mailbox and that replies will not be read is just depressing, and you don’t want to leave your customers depressed.

The bottom line? Don’t take you customers for granted. Treat them with respect and treat them like people; ask yourself what kind of marketing emails you’d be happy to wake up to. No-one want to be on the receiving end of a soulless marketing machine.

Looking for help in building up trust amongst your audience? Talk to Marc at Winbox. You can trust him (we promise).

P.S. If you do have a spare fiver available, the Winbox team would be eternally grateful if you could support Marc’s recent bike ride from Bristol to Brussels, in aid of Children’s Hospice South West.