How do you build trust?
As per several studies, you incorporate three core pillars: authenticity, logic, and empathy.
Building trust and credibility with customers is a universal goal for businesses, but achieving it can be an arduous journey. Companies employ various strategies to earn the trust of their audience, from delivering quality products and services to using SSL certificates for credibility.
Yet, in an era characterized by information overload, cultivating trust remains a challenge. In this post, we’ll explore a potent and often underestimated tool in the trust-building arsenal: email marketing.
We’ll dive into how email marketing strategy can be a game-changer in nurturing customer trust, offering insights into its effectiveness and providing practical tips for harnessing its potential.
Why is building customer trust so challenging?
We all know that trust is the cornerstone of successful customer relationships, and its establishment can be undermined by various factors, including inconsistency, competition, and the evolving digital landscape.
It’s not a surprise that only 34% of consumers trust the brands they use, and 36% said they are more likely to engage with brands they trust. The majority (81%) say trust is a deciding factor when it comes to making a purchase.
These stats show how significant it is to build trust between customers and brands.
But this is easier said than done. There are many challenges in today’s market, especially if you’re a new brand trying to build customer trust.
For one, inconsistency in brand messaging and actions can erode trust. Customers look for consistency in a brand’s promises and actions. When a brand fails to deliver on its commitments or presents mixed messages, it creates doubt and skepticism.
For example, Volkswagen faced a severe trust crisis when it was revealed that it had manipulated emissions tests, undermining its proclaimed commitment to environmental sustainability.
Brands like Volkswagen and Facebook have suffered the consequences of trust deficits when they fail to meet customer expectations or mishandle sensitive data.
Secondly, competition in today’s crowded marketplace poses a significant challenge. With numerous options available, customers have become more discerning. Brands need to not only gain trust but also maintain it amidst fierce competition.
A prime example is the smartphone industry, where companies like Apple and Samsung vie for customer trust through product quality, customer service, and innovation.
Why is email marketing an effective trust-building tool?
Did you know that in 2023, an average of 347.3 billion emails will be sent and received per day? And that’s a 4.3% increase from 2022.
Email marketing is a highly effective trust-building tool for several reasons. It enables businesses to establish and nurture relationships with their audience in a personalized and consistent manner.
Here are five more compelling reasons why email marketing is so effective, along with examples of brands that have excelled:
1. Personalization: Email marketing allows for personalized communication, addressing recipients by their names and tailoring content to their interests with the help of an email assistant. This personal touch creates a sense of recognition and relevance.
An excellent example is Amazon, which sends personalized product recommendations based on a customer’s browsing and purchase history. By delivering content that aligns with individual preferences, Amazon builds trust and loyalty.
2. Consistency: Regularly sending emails maintains a consistent connection with customers. This consistency builds trust over time.
Airbnb, for instance, sends periodic emails featuring travel inspirations and updates on listings, keeping users engaged even when they’re not actively booking a trip. This steady communication reinforces trust in the brand.
3. Value-driven content: Providing valuable content through email marketing can improve your brand-building strategies. Brands like HubSpot regularly share informative articles, guides, and webinars related to mobile content marketing and sales. By offering educational resources, it demonstrates expertise and builds trust with its audience.
4. Transparency and honesty: Email marketing can be used to share company updates, successes, and even challenges. Brands that openly communicate their values, mission, and progress can establish trust.
Patagonia is an excellent example. The company uses email campaigns to share its sustainability efforts, from fair labor practices to environmental initiatives. This transparency resonates with environmentally conscious customers and builds trust in the brand’s ethical practices.
5. Feedback and engagement: Email marketing allows for two-way communication, encouraging customers to provide feedback and engage with the brand.
Brands like Starbucks often send surveys to collect feedback via customer feedback tools on its products and services. By actively seeking customer input and acting on it, Starbucks not only fosters trust but also improves its offerings based on customer preferences.
5 email marketing strategies to build customer trust
Building customer trust through email marketing requires a thoughtful approach. Consider five effective email marketing strategies (with real brand examples) to foster trust:
Segmentation and personalization
Divide your email list into segments based on demographics, purchase history, or engagement level. Tailor your email content to each segment to provide more personalized experiences.
For example, Spotify uses segmentation to recommend playlists and songs based on users’ music preferences. The company’s personalized emails make subscribers feel understood and appreciated, strengthening trust in the brand.
Consistency and frequency
Maintain consistency email campaigns so subscribers know when to expect your messages. To do this, establish a regular sending schedule and use email templates for uniformity.
It’s good to maintain a clear and concise writing style, set up email automation for routine communications, and periodically review and update your email content to ensure relevance and effectiveness.
For instance, TheSkimm, a daily email newsletter, sends its content at the same time each morning. Subscribers trust TheSkimm to provide a reliable source of news and information.
Create valuable email content by understanding your subscribers’ needs and interests, segmenting your list, and personalizing messages.
The best practices include offering relevant and informative content, using compelling subject lines, optimizing for mobile, and including clear calls-to-action. Also, be sure to measure engagement to refine your approach for consistent value delivery.
For example, Adobe Creative Cloud sends tips and tutorials for using their software in their emails. Subscribers find these resources helpful, reinforcing trust in Adobe’s products.
Source: Adobe experience
Transparency and trust-building messages
Use email campaigns to share stories, company values, and updates that demonstrate transparency and ethical practices. Highlight your commitment to customer satisfaction.
Toms, known for its one-for-one shoe donation model, sends emails that showcase their philanthropic efforts. These messages reassure customers that their purchases support a meaningful cause.
Responsive customer support
Provide responsive customer support through emails by setting clear response time expectations and acknowledging issues promptly. Use personalized and empathetic language, offering practical solutions, and follow up to ensure satisfaction.
For example, if a customer emails with a technical issue, respond within the promised timeframe, acknowledge their frustration, and provide a step-by-step solution. Follow up a few days later to ensure the problem is resolved and ask for feedback on their experience for improvement.
Holger Sindbaek, the founder of Online Solitaire, says, “In navigating the challenges of customer retention, we discovered the transformative power of responsive email support. We resolved queries and deepened trust with our users by prioritizing swift, personalized responses. This approach led to a remarkable increase in customer loyalty, with a 25% uptick in repeat visits and sustained engagement. It underscored the importance of every email as an opportunity to reinforce trust and loyalty, proving that attentive support is a cornerstone of customer satisfaction and retention.”
Zappos, an American online shoe brand, excels in this area. It offers responsive customer support through email, making it easy for customers to contact the company for assistance. Its dedication to solving customer problems builds strong trust and long-term loyalty.
Customer service software plays a pivotal role in streamlining email support, helping companies like Zappos maintain their exceptional customer service standards.
Best practices: Incorporating email marketing into your day-to-day
Stats suggest that 33% of marketers send weekly emails and 26% send emails multiple times a month. Incorporating email marketing essentials into your day-to-day operations requires a strategic approach and adherence to best practices.
Here are seven best practices, along with brand examples that demonstrate effective implementation:
1. Segmentation and targeting
Divide your email list into segments based on demographics, behavior, or preferences. Tailor your email content to each segment to increase relevance:
- New subscribers: Send a welcome email with a discount offer, introducing your brand and products.
- Past purchasers: Highlight complementary products based on their previous purchases and offer loyalty rewards or exclusive access to new arrivals. This personalization increases engagement and conversion rates.
- High-value customers: Express gratitude for their loyalty with a personalized thank-you message. Offer VIP discounts, early access to sales, or exclusive product previews.
For example, Airbnb segments its email list based on user interests and preferences. They send personalized recommendations for accommodations in destinations the user has shown interest in, enhancing the user experience.
2. Automation and drip campaigns
Implement automated email workflows and drip campaigns to send relevant messages at the right time. This can include welcome series, abandoned cart reminders, and post-purchase follow-ups.
- Welcome emails: Send immediately after sign-up, offer a warm greeting, and provide a compelling incentive. Include clear CTAs and an engaging design to encourage exploration.
- Abandoned cart emails: Send a series of reminders with persuasive product descriptions and incentives. Include high-quality images and user reviews, and craft your subject lines with a sense of urgency.
- Re-engagement emails: Craft a catchy subject line, acknowledge their inactivity, offer a relevant incentive, and ask for feedback. Use an eye-catching design to rekindle their interest.
- Thank-you emails: Express gratitude, offer exclusive rewards, and personalize content based on the customer’s preferences and past purchases. Keep the tone here sincere and appreciative.
Grammarly uses automation to send users a series of onboarding emails that guide them on how to make the most of the writing assistant tool. This gradual approach helps users understand the product’s value over time.
3. Mobile optimization
According to Volmatica stats, 67% of users prefer responsive websites when buying products or services online via smartphones. Responsive design not only improves the user experience but directly impacts conversion rates.
Ensure your emails are mobile-responsive to accommodate users who access their emails on smartphones and tablets. Use a responsive design to create an optimal viewing experience.
Responsive design adapts email content to various screen sizes and devices. For instance, a mattress retailer’s email adjusts layout and images for both desktop and mobile, ensuring seamless shopping and readability.
Brands like Starbucks design their emails to be mobile-friendly, making it easy for customers to view offers, scan QR codes for payments, and find nearby stores while on the go.
4. A/B testing
Continuously test different elements of your emails, such as subject lines, images, CTAs, and send times. Analyze the results to optimize your campaigns.
Regularly A/B test email components by sending variations to different segments. For instance, test two subject lines: “Get 20% Off Today!” and “Limited-Time Offer: Save 20% Now.” Analyze open and click-through rates to identify the more effective option. Then apply winning elements to future campaigns for improved performance.
For example, BuzzFeed uses A/B testing to experiment with subject lines, images, and content to determine what resonates best with its audience. This helps the company refine its email marketing strategy.
Source: campaign monitor
5. Analytics and measurement
Regularly monitor email metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. As mentioned, if a low open rate is identified, test different subject lines. If click-through rates are high but conversions are low, optimize the landing page. Continuously use insights to fine-tune email strategies and improve engagement and conversions.
Use tools like Google Analytics, which provides detailed data on website traffic and conversions from email campaigns.
For example, Mailchimp provides detailed analytics and reports to help users track the success of their email campaigns. This data-driven approach empowers businesses to make informed decisions.
When you implement any new marketing strategy, you want results whether it’s getting more Instagram likes or an increased email subscribers list.
Email marketing helps you get results. Start with establishing trust through transparent and consistent communication. Ensuring email deliverability is vital for reliability. Additionally, respecting subscribers’ privacy and providing best-price SSL certificates demonstrate ethical email practices. Lastly, maintaining relevance over time by consistently delivering valuable content is essential for sustaining your email marketing efforts.
Omniscient is a full-stack SEO and content production agency specializing in bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) content that drives high conversions.
We understand the significance of email marketing in your strategy, and we can help you leverage it effectively to strengthen trust, engage your audience, and boost credibility in your industry.
Let’s collaborate to craft compelling email campaigns that resonate with your audience and drive major results.
Irov is a content marketing specialist, demand generation enthusiast, and team player currently working with 2xSaS. He helps B2B SaaS companies spread the word about their products through engaging content. When he is not working, he likes playing video games on his PS4.