8 more tips for building trust in your email marketing

In a recent post, we explained how your list building practices and communication policy help build trust in your email marketing. Here are eight more tips to help ensure subscribers feel comfortable with your messages…

Building trust through recognition

In order to leverage the trust you’ve built in your brand or organization through email,  it must be clear the message comes from you. We’ve written before on inbox recognition, but here’s a quick reminder…

Tip 1: Set expectations

Once you’ve determined your focus and content, be sure to communicate the specifics on your subscriber landing page.  Explain exactly what you’ll be covering in your newsletter, how often subscribers should expect to hear from you and who will be sending it.

Tip 2: Build recognition elements into your email

In most inbox scenarios, people will see your from line, subject line, perhaps a snippet of text (usually your preheader) and possibly a preview of the upper (left) portion of your actual email. Check that your elements contain enough visual and written cues to ensure recognition. For example, is your sender name an unhelpful “sales” or “info”?

Tip 3: Use a design that won’t break

Your design doesn’t have to adapt perfectly to each and every display environment, but it should be functional when viewed using a range of email software and devices. Determine how it looks when images are blocked. Are key messages still communicated? Can the reader still take the desired action?

Use an email design tool like Litmus to see how your draft email displays in a variety of situations and find problems you can correct.

Tip 4: Ensure your email works

Don’t just check whether your email links are clickable, verify that they go to the right destination page (something automated link checkers don’t do, for example).

Tip 5: Ensure your email processes work

Most email list functions are set up once and then forgotten. This can be a benefit…as long as the functions keep working. Audit the mechanics of sign-up forms, unsubscribe processes, etc. on a regular basis to make sure everything works as intended. Our partner ExactTarget found, for example, that 15% of brands did not respond to an apparently successful sign-up.

Tip 6: Ensure your emails are authenticated

Email authentication helps ISPs confirm the identity of the sender. Check with your ESP or IT people to ensure your outgoing email complies with standards like SPF, DKIM and, if relevant, DMARC.

Tip 7: Check for the small stuff

Rushing won’t help you put your best foot forward. Take the time to review your copy for typos, grammatical errors, ambiguities or misleading expressions that won’t be flagged by spellcheckers.

Tip 8: Give without taking (sometimes)

Balance  your promotions with educational, relevant, timely information. If you have truly exciting news about a product, service, or your company, of course, highlight it. Otherwise, leave out the promotional parts.

Try these tips to kick-start or freshen up your efforts … and then, test, test, test!  You’ll soon discover your secret sauce. Thanks for checking in!

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