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11 Ways to Build Trust when you have New Email Subscribers

Building trust between your business or organization and your email contacts is essential for effective email marketing. Find out how you and your contacts can benefit from a trusting relationship.

Building trust between your business or organization and your email subscribers is essential for effective email marketing. You’ll benefit by having a more engaged audience. With more engagement and trust, the information you provide, offers you promote and advice you give are all made that much more powerful. Depending on your focus, this can mean more purchases from your online store, more signups for your group, or more donations to your charity.

1. Target the right audience and use trusted methods for building your list

You want to start off by reaching out to who is most likely to be receptive and benefit from your messages, brand, products, or organization. We’ve said it a million times (for good reason!) don’t use a purchased contact list or a general database of email addresses known to be associated with your industry. Using a list that you got from a colleague or that were gathered through some other unrelated form is going to set you up for disaster.

Sending mail to unsuspecting people who have not asked to receive it is the worst way to start a trusting relationship. Use a double opt-in form, proper landing pages, and targeted ads to build a list of interested recipients.

2. Use a consistent from and reply-to address

Keep your mailing details consistent, contacts want to understand and trust where email messages are coming from. Use a ‘from’ and ‘reply-to’ address that is consistent and both related to your email verified sender domain.

3. Send an initial sequence of emails – set expectations

Right from the first time they see your website, the information available should be communicating a set of expectations about your product, business or organization. This should be taken a step further when they sign up to receive mail from you using your double opt-in form by way of a sequence of events that are consistent.

There should be a branded confirmation sign up email, and at the very least, a comprehensive welcome email that includes information about what they can expect next.

4. Email regularly – follow through on promises

If you told your new contact that they can expect a weekly email from you, then make sure you deliver within a week and every week thereafter as promised. Trust is built when expectations are met by reliable action.

5. Send valuable mail

Don’t lock up your best content behind another form or a paywall. Share your best articles, tips, knowledge, advice and promotional offers freely.

The abundance of relevant and valuable content you send demonstrates competency, reliability, and creativity, and these qualities will shape and develop a framework of certainty for your recipients. They’ll understand and trust the benefits they are receiving via your emails because you’re demonstrating that you can run your business with access to lots of resources and useful information. 

6. Use conversational language and share personal details

Nothing too complicated here, just keep things a bit more familiar sounding. Using conversational language can bring you a step closer to what feels like a real conversation with your contacts. Write as you might talk to someone you know. While you’re at it, share some personal details when possible about the “real” you.

No matter the size of your business or organization, there are real live humans running the show. Give your contacts the chance to get to know you and you’ll have a list of subscribers that feel more like friendly faces than just an anonymous crowd.

7. Personalize

While you’re divulging your own personal details, use the information you’ve gathered about your contacts to personalize mail for recipients too. It can be as simple as merging a name or segmenting your list based on location. People want to feel like individuals, not another cog in a massive email marketing scheme.

Make contacts matter to you by taking note of patterns, interests, and purchases and take steps to demonstrate that you’re acknowledging their uniqueness with an email program tailored to them.

8. Use social proof for building trust

You’ll no doubt have some subscribers that take more time and require more effort on your part in order for them to truly trust your business or organization. This is when using social proof will help bolster your reputation for skeptics.

People are more likely to trust the recommendations they hear or read when they are from a group of peers, family or another familiar source such as a heavily used social media platform. Proven testimonials and referrals are something you should readily share with your contacts to help them understand how others have benefited from the information or services your business offers.

9. Offer a reply-to option and then respond

Still, another way to build up your contact’s confidence is by direct communication. If you provide a means for your subscribers to contact you and then consistently reply to their queries or comments, this can truly make an impression. People feel validated when their voices are heard. When you are able to respond to a reply-to email, with at least some degree of personalization, then you’ve tapped into a powerful way to build trust.

10. If you ever make a mistake – admit it

Did you send out an irrelevant email? A repeated template? Make a major image snafu? Don’t stress, but don’t ignore it either. Your contacts noticed. So now what? You need to own the mistake, apologize if necessary and then move on. The ability to admit error and learn from it is an appreciated quality and your subscribers will trust a demonstration of humility more than a cover-up.

11. Remove inactive subscribers

Even after all your efforts to build trust you’re still going to see some unengaged contacts. Don’t fret, this is actually another way you can build trust. You can ask contacts if they still want mail from you and if they say no – remove them. Even if they don’t say no, but have not opened your mail in the last 10 sends, remove them from your lists.

You’ll be doing them and you a favor. When you keep your contact lists clean, up to date and engaged you’re helping to improve delivery to every single contact you have. And let’s face it, for there to be an opportunity to build trust between you and your subscribers, they need to consistently and reliably receive your mail in their inboxes.