Build a bond of trust into e-mail campaigns.
One of every marketer’s primary aims is to earn consumer trust. Judging from a recent Forrester Research survey, many marketers need to get the trust issue right. Although trust plays a role in all forms of advertising, it has particular importance for us email marketers.
Consumers (mostly female, tech savvy, and affluent) responding to this survey indicate their trust level in terms of different advertising forms:
Other forms of advertising near the bottom of the heap include banners, search, and product placement.
The survey also looks at product categories in terms of trust. The key findings:
Most other products are below 50 percent, and financial services and telecommunications rank under 33 percent.
So how do these stats affect the email world? Very simple. For consumers to respond to email marketing messages, they must have some degree of trust in:
You can’t control the product category you operate in (unless you want to move to another company), and it’s difficult to change how your company is perceived. That leaves one area you can control: the email message itself and the practices surrounding message delivery, including opt-in practices, frequency of mailings, and opt-out practices.
Just a few more relevant stats from the same study:
Dealing with these last three is easy:
Dealing with a problem category, an unknown company or brand, or both is much more difficult. Here are some ideas:
Let’s look at the definition of trust to see what else we can learn. According to "The American Heritage Dictionary," trust is "firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing."
There you have it. The best advertising is advertising we can trust. And advertising we can trust is backed up by integrity and character.
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Paul Soltoff is the chief executive officer of SendTec, Inc., a direct marketing services company specializing in customer acquisition. SendTec combines extensive direct response experience with proprietary technologies to produce scalable results. Principal services include performance-based online marketing, offline direct response marketing and direct response television. SendTec represents advertising agencies and advertisers such as RealNetworks, AARP, Monster.com, AAA, Punch Software, MyPoints, Grey Worldwide, CosmetÍque Cosmetics, Columbia House, and Euro-Pro. Prior to starting SendTec, Paul was a founder and EVP of Saatchi and Saatchi's DRTV division in New York and has over 25 years of advertising, media and direct marketing experience.
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