focused female employee reading information on computer in office

Forty-three percent of engineers open most or all newsletters they subscribe to and they either read every one or at least scan for content. Another one-third of engineers scan subject lines and open the ones that intrigue them, according to the research report “2020 Smart Marketing for Engineers.”

These numbers could be higher. The way to increase email effectiveness is to build greater trust with your audience. When engineers trust you, they gain confidence in you, and are more likely to engage and do business with you.

Here are eight tips for building trust via your email communications.

1. Get permission

This isn’t just a tip, it’s a requirement. Unsolicited email does the exact opposite of building trust—it sows suspicion and doubt in the recipient, violates spam laws, and can harm your brand.

When you only send email to opt-in recipients, you are taking the first steps toward building trust.

2. Always make yourself known

Even with opt-in email, you need to use the ‘From’ line to your advantage by letting your audience know who the email is from. It could be from your company or from a specific group within your company (for example: GlobalSpec Media Solutions send out the Marketing Maven newsletter).

You can also use a person’s name in the ‘From’ line, such as a sales representative or a business leader, as long as that person is known to the recipient. This name recognition tactic and one-to-one communication fosters a greater sense of trust.

3. Set expectations—and adhere to them

When someone signs up to receive email from you, let them know how often you will email them and what you will be emailing them about. If possible, give them options for the type and frequency of communications they want to receive.

Don’t violate this pact. If they are opting in for only a monthly newsletter, don’t send them weekly promotions. Keeping your promises is one of the best ways to build trust.

4. Make the content relevant

This is one of the most important factors contributing to the building of trust via email—and to the success of your email communications.

Engineers are looking for educational, informational content that helps them do their jobs better, grow their knowledge, and make more informed buying decisions.

Try to segment your audience into groups based on product interest, roles and responsibilities, or other criteria, and then craft emails targeted to their needs and interests. Forty-five percent of industrial marketers produce content for 2-3 audiences and 27 percent for 4-5 audiences, according to “Manufacturing Content Marketing 2020,” produced by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs.

5. Personalize whenever possible

Personalization creates bonds. Bonds create trust. Personalization can be as simple as using your recipient’s name in the subject line (such as ‘David, here is an article we think will be helpful’) or in a salutation (such as ‘Dear David’).

Using marketing automation software, you can take personalization deeper by tracking what emails or content a recipient has engaged with in the past and using that data to determine what to send them next.

6. Avoid the “Do Not Reply” address

Sometimes you get email that says “Do Not Reply” in the ‘From’ line or elsewhere in the email. This phrase does not belong in email marketing because it shuts down conversation and suggests to your recipient you don’t really want to hear from them.

Again, this is no way to build trust. Instead, give your audience a way to engage with you, offer comments, or start a conversation. For example, at the end of every Marketing Maven, we include this note along with an email link: “Email the Maven. We’re interested in learning from your experiences, too! If you have a question for us or a story to share, please send us an email.”

7. Use Conversational Language

Build trust by being human. One way to do this is to treat your email communications like a conversation, using normal, everyday language. Stay away from formal writing. Put the thesaurus away and simply talk to your audience as you would to someone face-to-face.

8. Track and improve

You can always get better at your email communications, and the better you get the more trust you will build. Eighty-six percent of industrial marketers use email engagement to track the success of their content (“Manufacturing Content Marketing).

Track email delivery statistics, opens, clicks, and forwards to find out what’s working and what needs improvement. As you finely tune your email communications, you’ll also increase the trust level between you and your audience.

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