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How to build trust with Email Marketing

The internet is a business distribution channel just like any other – but different to all others too.

Just like retail you can present products in a shop window and change prices whenever you decide.

Just like wholesale you can sell in bulk.

Just like direct selling, you can recruit others to sell on your behalf, typically as affiliates.

So what’s the big difference?

Building trust.

The web is an anonymous medium. True, you can and should reveal who you are, ideally with a photo of you and your team – by doing so, you’re immediately breaking down one barrier. As broadband becomes the norm, you can show videos and offer instant support with a telesales link too.

You can show testimonials from satisfied customers – third party endorsement is a powerful technique proven to increase sales in countless direct marketing campaigns.

In the offline world it’s been proven to take an average of 4 to 7 contacts before making a sale. To buy we need to trust the seller. Familiarity builds the trust and confidence we need to part with our hard earned.

To achieve this on the web we need to replicate what would happen offline. Paying for 4-7 clicks with pay-per-click advertising would be expensive. But if you can persuade visitors to subscribe to an email newsletter or mini-course, you can send them useful information that will establish your credibility and build confidence – at very low cost.

Provided that you don’t abuse it, an email opt-in list can be your most valuable marketing asset.

Statistics from PostFuture:

*82% of online buyers have made at least one purchase
in response to an email promotion

*67% of users open at least 60% of opt-in emails they

*32% have made an immediate online purchase in response
to an email

*59% have gone on to redeem an email coupon in an
online OR offline store.

So how do you get started?

There are two main options. Either publish newsletters from a module attached to your website with your own admin panel or recruit subscribers on your site and then publish via a specialist distribution company such as . This is known as a hosted email service.

One of the big advantages of using a service like AMD’s is that you can measure the number of mails that are delivered and opened, the number of times people click on a link within the mail and the number of products bought as a direct result, assuming you’ve got an e-commerce website. According to a recent survey conducted by E-consultancy, 42% of respondents didn’t know their return on investment from email marketing. If you can’t measure it…….

Other advantages of a service like AMD’s are:

- no need to install and manage software
- access to a an email server that the main ISPs recognise and don’t penalise for spamming
- low cost per mail, from one third of a penny each
- custom design or template service so you can present a professional appearance.

Whether you invest in a hosted service or run your own software, remember that email marketing isn’t just about acquiring new customers. Retaining customers is proven to be more profitable than investing in new – you need both but customer retention marketing is ignored by too many businesses. That explains customer service levels are often so poor – don’t get me started about my Tiscali experience!

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