OR: How to connect with your audience in a meaningful way
Connecting and engaging with your target market through email is the best way to build trust. You have probably heard this a gazilllion times on the interwebs: BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST. It’s the most fabulous tool to build relationships with your target audience and has the highest conversion rate.
It is also a very good way to break that trust relationship. Come off sleazy or pushy, buy or otherwise illegally harvest email addresses, have no unsubscribe option… there are many ways that email, when used for evil, can turn folks off. In a hurry.
So how do you use your email marketing powers for good?
How to Create Email Lists that Build Trust
1. Be honest
Collect email addresses through honest channels. Use a double-opt-in process and a reputable email marketing program like MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, or Ontraport (depending on what your needs are).
Please don’t add folks to your email list if you just met them at a business conference, they bought something from you, gave you their business card, or any other activity where you might be given their email address.
Ask them if they want email updates from you!
Have a handy app like Chimpadeedoo for those times you don’t have access to your website’s opt-in forms. Heck, put opt-in forms on the footer and sidebar of your website, embed them in every page (get fancy-pants with a plugin like Opt-in Monster), create an opt-in form on Facebook (I’ll teach you how to do that next week), and exclaim the goodness of being on your list at every chance you get!
And then promise me that you’ll treat folks with the respect that humans deserve with the right to choose. Let ’em CHOOSE if they want to be on your list. They’ll like you more for it.
2. Deliver Value
Quality email marketing is an intimate opportunity for you to create a connection with the human beings on the receiving side of your message. That connection is built by delivering valuable content that folks find useful. So how do you figure out what your people will find useful?
Create a survey (use Google Consumer Surveys or Survey Monkey), ask questions on your favourite social media channel, even ask specific questions to folks on your email list. You’ll be surprised at the answers you get!
3. Be consistent
This is the point that I think I struggle with the most. When you are a small business owner and you manage AAAALLLL the things (yes, I was yelling a bit there) sending a regular email out to your list can be a bit tricky. It means that you will have to plan ahead. You will also have to schedule a regular time to write and edit your emails. You’ll probably also find yourself working a little bit later some nights just to get it finished. But it’ll be SO worth it. You know why? because by consistently sending out an email to your people on the same day each week they’ll not only get to know you better, but you’ll be proving that YOU DO WHAT YOU SAY.
And that? It builds trust.
More useful Resources on building trust through email
- WP Beginner: Why you should start building your email list
- Marie Forleo: The #1 Marketing Strategy Almost Everyone Overlooks
- Paul Jarvis: How to run your mailing list like a total jerk
- Ash Ambirge: 10 Phrases You Need to Eighty-Six From Client Emails…FOREVER
- Rebecca Coleman: What you need to know about the new email SPAM laws