Trust me, I’m an emailer! 8 tips for building trust with your marketing emails

Are you more likely to do business with someone you trust? Of course you are!

How can you build trust through your email marketing?

Here are eight tips to get you started. In a follow-up post, we’ll give you eight more that explore the role of recognition, professionalism and content!

Building trust through list management

Tip 1: Make the opt-in explicit

When you collect addresses, make sure people know that whatever action they’re taking means their address will be added to your email list. Then they can make an explicit choice. Trust comes through transparency, so don’t disguise or hide the opt-in.

Tip 2: Offer privacy reassurance

Reassure people about how you will handle their email address. But…tests show that such reassurances can have positive or negative effects on sign-up rates, depending on the wording. Try different approaches to find what works best for your program.

Tip 3: Use testimonials

Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report found online consumer reviews are second only to recommendations from friends and family as the most trusted source of brand information and messaging. So post up testimonials from happy subscribers.

Tip 4: Make it easy to unsubscribe

Make your unsubscribe link easy to find and click. Don’t make it an image (they can be blocked) and don’t pick a color or size that makes it hard to read. That just leads to frustration, mistrust and a few more spam reports.

If you do want fewer unsubscribes (who doesn’t?), there are a many legitimate things you can do to avoid them.

Of course, once people click that link, you can offer alternatives to a blanket unsubscribe.  Some options include a reduction in frequency or the option to opt-out from certain types of emails you deploy. You can also point to other ways of staying in touch (like your Twitter account).

Tip 5: Process unsubscribes quickly

Most anti-spam laws give you a grace period to honor an unsubscribe (it’s 10 business days in the USA). Process the request as quickly as you can, though. Consumers won’t welcome further mails once they unsubscribe, even if those emails are technically still legal to send.

Building trust through your communication policy

Tip 6: Display full contact details in your email

Go beyond the minimum legal requirement and give people the feeling you’re open to communication and value their opinion. Consider listing or linking to all the various ways people can contact your organization, not just your postal address.

Tip 7: Encourage feedback

Use your email copy to encourage interaction with you, for example through feedback forms, customer ratings and reviews, blog post comments, or forum posts. Monitor email replies and, if that’s not possible, provide subscribers a clear alternative to hitting the “reply” button.

Tip 8: Encourage sharing

Sharing content or offers is like a third-party endorsement (assuming the sharer has something positive to say!). Giving subscribers content and offers actually worth sharing is key, but you also need to make it easy to share. Ensure landing pages feature appropriate links to relevant social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+.

Stay tuned for eight more trust-building tips…

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