3 Strategies to Earn Consumer Trust in Email Marketing

Research shows that most Americans are troubled by companies’ usage of their personal data. Perhaps paradoxically, however, consumers also prefer personalized marketing — which requires data. The author suggests three strategies for brands to use in email marketing to personalize messaging while earning and maintaining consumer trust: 1) Make your privacy and opt-in policies clear, 2) Optimize for humans, and 3) Create, test, learn, repeat.

Seventy-nine percent of Americans are troubled by companies’ usage of their personal data. In fact, 62% of Americans are so cynical about the state of data privacy in this country that they consider it impossible to move through everyday life without having their data collected and used.

To be sure, their anxiety is not unfounded. Last year alone, 4,145 publicly disclosed privacy breaches compromised more than 22 billion records. And increasingly, company leaders are being held to account for breaches: Under the GDPR, the EU’s data protection regulation, authorities can impose fines of up to €20 million (roughly $20,372,000), or 4% of worldwide turnover for the preceding financial year — whichever is higher. In October, a UK construction company received a €4.4 million fine following a 2020 phishing attack that compromised the personal data of up to 113,000 people.

One might think that stories such as these would deter consumers from sharing personal information with brands. Yet in a paradoxical turn of events, consumers also demand highly personalized marketing messages — and above all else, personalization requires data.

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