3 Strategies to Earn Consumer Trust in Email Marketing
Research shows that most Americans have concerns about how companies use their personal information. Paradoxically, however, consumers also prefer personalized marketing that requires data. The author suggests three email marketing strategies for brands to personalize messages while earning and maintaining consumer trust: 1) Make your privacy and opt-in policies clear, 2) Streamline them for humans and 3) Build, Test, Learn, Repeat.
79 percent of Americans are worried through the use of personal data by companies. In fact, 62% of Americans are cynical enough about the state of privacy in their country to think twice impossible to move through everyday life without their data being recorded and used.
Of course, their fear is not unfounded. In the last year alone, there were 4,145 public data breaches more than 22 billion records. And increasingly, business leaders are being held accountable for breaches: under the GDPR, the EU’s data protection regulation, authorities can impose fines of up to €20 million (approx. $20,372,000) or 4% of the previous fiscal year’s global revenue – each whichever value is higher. In October, a British construction company received a fine of 4.4 million euros following a phishing attack in 2020 that compromised the personal information of up to 113,000 people.
You’d think stories like these would discourage consumers from providing personal information to brands. Paradoxically, however, consumers also demand highly personalized marketing messages – and personalization requires data above all else.
Take email marketing for example. In 2020 there was 4 billion email users worldwideAnd 59% of consumers said marketing emails influenced their purchasing decisions. However, for email marketing to be effective, it needs to be individualized. Consumers are so convinced of this fact that 72% will only engage with brand messages tailored to them. So the question is how to create personalized campaigns that don’t scare and destroy the audience Trust between brand and consumer? Here are three tips.
1. Make your privacy and opt-in policies clear.
About 59% of Americans say they don’t know what companies are using their personal information for, and yet they know it worried enough regularly delete cookies (41%) and install ad blockers on their devices (30%). Help close these understanding gaps by spelling out exactly what consumers consent to when they sign up to your email list and how their personal information will (and will not) be used.
Also, consider setting up a double opt-in for your email list. With double opt-in, once consumers have completed your opt-in form on the website, they must confirm their email address via a confirmation email to complete the registration process. This extra step helps reduce the number of spam accounts on your email list and allows you to segment your audience by interest level.
For example, how many users canceled the registration process after step one? Redirect this segment into a series of emails designed to move them forward in the registration process. Anyone who completes registration without delays can receive targeted, personalized emails.
2. Optimize for humans.
I’ve found that the best way to build trust in your email marketing is to optimize emails for humans first, not robots. Start with the language as you need to focus on the human reading it and not the robots scanning it. That’s why it’s important to read emails aloud to make sure they sound conversational.
Ultimately, email is a private forum, so you can usually get away with more personal messages than social media. However, if the tone feels “out of place,” your personalization efforts could come off as contrived or even creepy. The goal is to create an emotional response through language—starting with personalized subject lines that have higher open rates. Providing a person’s first name is always a good place to start. If you have access to the data, you can also use recent purchases or birthdays.
Next, play around with the design. The psychology of color is well researched and the results are of great relevance for email marketing. According to Kissmetrics, 85% of consumers Identify color as the primary reason for purchasing a product, and different colors can have different implications. Blue is generally considered a trustworthy and professional color, while red often indicates danger or safety.
Finally, design your e-mails the principles of universal designThis ensures that the emails are accessible to people with different tastes and abilities. Relevant, eye-catching images can encourage recipients to understand the content of your email, but every time you use an image, you need to add alt text. That way, people with visual impairments can still get all the important context that the image offers. In addition, the following applies to young consumers: Recording is one of the best ways to build trust — not to mention it’s the right thing to do.
3. Create, Test, Learn, Repeat.
Build automated email workflows to help your team create bespoke campaigns at scale. Welcome emails are among the most opened emails – with one over 50% open rate – so start there. Birthday emails are an easy next step, followed by abandoned carts, website bounces, and so on. By tweaking these categories first, you can acquire the skills and reports needed to understand and learn from your audience.
As with any marketing initiative, even the best email campaigns are not the result of gut feelings. Rather, effective email marketing is achieved through systematic testing, measuring, learning, and adjusting. At this point, A/B testing your subject lines should be a given, but why stop there? Start A/B testing the pre-header text, calls-to-action, design, layout – everything – of your emails to see what’s resonating and what’s not.
Don’t be afraid to get direct feedback from your target audience. Collect opinions by setting up preference centers and encouraging subscribers to use them. Would you prefer to receive and read e-mails at certain times? Are your emails too long for your liking? Even too short? How many times per week? This tactic helps discourage people from unsubscribing and, if used wisely, can even improve open rates. Use the feedback you receive to build these hubs and empower subscribers to shape their email experience.
It makes sense that marketers would embrace personalized email marketing: email is what consumers care about. preferred way of receiving brand communication (And it doesn’t hurt that email is impressive ROI from $42 to $1). But as privacy concerns mount, you need to reassure consumers that they do may Trust with their references. Incorporate these three strategies into your email marketing initiatives and watch even the most skeptical begin to grapple with your brand message.