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Want to earn and build customer trust? Email is the most powerful tool businesses have

Leverage The Power

Today’s customer has more choices available to them than ever before. At the same time, technology has made it easier  to switch between those choices. For example, switching banks or insurers can be done in a matter of minutes, with just a few taps on a smartphone. 

In this kind of environment, organizations need to provide their customers with reasons to remain loyal. The most powerful of them being trust. 

In fact, a recent study by Deloitte Digital found that trustworthiness is the trait that makes customers feel the most aligned with their favorite brands.

That loyalty has big upsides too. Returning customers routinely spend more money on brands they’re loyal to.

They are six times more likely to try a new product or service from their preferred brand

Four times more likely to have referred that brand to their friends, family and connections

Twice as likely to make a purchase with their preferred brand, even when a competitor has a better product or price

Email as a preferred channel 

The thing is, trust can’t be built in a vacuum. It requires organizations to practice ongoing communication and engagement. Importantly, it requires them to do so on whatever channel, each of their individual customers prefer.

And for most customers, that preferred channel is email.

The numbers might vary, but study after study has shown that most people would rather have organizations communicate with them via email than text, phone calls, direct mail, or social media. This holds true, regardless of age and socio-economic background.

There’s a very good reason for that: email is accessible (most internet users have an email address), the customer can read it when they want to and it provides the kind of exceptional customer experience that drives loyalty.

More than almost any other form of customer communication, email allows for hyper-personalization, customization, and the kind of data that ensures each customer gets maximum value from the organization’s communications.

It should hardly be surprising then that global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company found that the rate at which emails prompt purchases is three times that of social media, and it also delivers an average order value 17% higher.

Relevance and safety

It’s worth noting, however, that there are two key elements, organizations need to keep in mind if email is to be used successfully in building and maintaining trust:

  1. The email communication has to be relevant
  2. Security is key

Technology has made the former a lot easier to deliver.

Real-time data, dynamic content and artificial intelligence are all powerful tools when it comes to creating the perfect message for each person, at the perfect time.

Even with all that technological power, however, it’s still vital that an organization’s email communications feel authentic. Being the digital equivalent of a sleazy salesperson is no way to build trust.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, people have to feel secure, when engaging with emails they receive from a business. Email-based cyber crime is a major concern for many consumers.

An organization can go a long way to easing those fears by educating consumers about what it’s doing around email security and how they can keep themselves safe –  this is particularly important, as it empowers customers, further driving trust and loyalty.

Fostering connection

Ultimately, if a customer is really going to trust an organization, they need to feel connected to it. 

Building and maintaining that sense of connection requires ongoing, relevant, and useful communication. And on all those fronts, email’s power is hard to beat.

We can help you leverage the power of email to ultimately build and maintain your customers’ trust

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Ross Sibbald

Ross Sibbald

Commercial Director, South Africa

Ross is the Commercial Director at Striata for the African region. Ross is focused on leveraging the power of digital communication to achieve the desired results for his clients.

Ross began his career as a lecturer educating the next generation on marketing strategy. He was deputy HOD in the marketing department at the Durban University of Technology and also lectured at private colleges and various Business Schools. Keeping abreast of the market, Ross managed an IMM franchise (3 years) during his tenure as a lecturer.

Before joining Striata, Ross was a partner and director for an online property valuation company. He then joined Striata in 2010 as an Email Marketing Strategist, and was promoted to Head of Email Marketing in 2012. In March 2014, Ross moved to ABSA where he was acting Head: Digital Commercialize. His focus was on managing the various Commercialize teams with the goal of increasing the Bank’s digitally active customer base, increasing online sales via digital channels, driving revenue opportunities across digital channels and taking innovative digital products to market.

In Sept 2015, Ross returned to Striata to head up its newly formed digital communications agency.

Ross holds an Honors degree in Marketing (Technikon Natal).

Read more of Ross' blog posts here or connect with him on the following social channels: