In business school, aspiring marketers are taught to focus on customer acquisition and customer retention, meaning loyalty. But without establishing trust, there is little chance of loyalty or repeat customers.
Trust is the most overlooked—and possibly most important—factor when it comes to customer retention. Trust is not something to be gained from a single marketing technique or data point.
Trust is earned! Trust between organizations or people comes from a relationship and it builds over time, with every interaction and touchpoint.
Your goal is to become that trusted partner. You want your business to be more than just another vendor.
What makes someone a trusted partner?
A trusted partner is someone you can bounce ideas off, look to for advice, act as a sounding board and most importantly know that you and your success are paramount. Trusted partnerships deliver, communicate, and are interested… in you. They should take responsibility for the client’s success and failures.
How do you as a marketer build trust? The following best practices will help:
- Provide relevant information. Regardless if you are a B2C or a B2B marketer, you must be relevant, useful and timely in your email communications. That relevance shows your customer that you are listening, and that you care about their needs. Listening and empathy can build trust in any relationship!
- Create case studies that demonstrate you’ve helped others. That builds credibility which also builds trust. And people are 2.5 times more likely to make contact with or buy from a company if they see a use case or case study.
- Encourage referrals. Customers are much more likely to trust a company that’s been recommended by a company or person they already trust. only
- Have a Customer Service Charter and live by it. This works as a guarantee. For an enterprise-level company, that might mean offering a proof-of-concept engagement before a full contract.
In addition to following the best practices listed above, you can build trust by how you do your email marketing:
- Don’t oversend and only send relevant content to your subscribers. Over-marketing with irrelevant content destroys trust.
- Allow your subscriber to opt-out, with the option to opt-down. Make sure your opt-out is clear, simple and a one-click unsubscribe. (Also make sure you adhere to CASL, CCPA, CANSPAM and GDPR.)
- Be recognizable. Make sure your emails come from a branded and authenticated domain that customers recognize. Enforce digital design parameters that provide the look and feel customers are accustomed to.
- Use dynamic formats. Make sure your email platform delivers your messages so they appear correctly across devices and environments. You want your subscribers to be able to view your email in the format that they
When done right, email marketing can be an effective and cost-efficient way to build trust with your prospects and customers. On the other hand, trust is easily shattered. It takes time to build trust yet only an instant to tear it down. Be mindful of your long-term goal when emailing, with trust top of mind every time you send a campaign.