Russell Parsons

This in mind, a recent report by Nielsen last made for interesting reading. It starkly demonstrated the important of trust to direct marketers. Coming second only to personal recommendation in a list of ‘most trusted forms of advertising’ was signed up for emails.

Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of those polled indicated they had some degree of trust in emails they had opted-in to receive, almost twice that of the other direct channels, such as social and texts rated.

Even better news, 61 per cent of those surveyed are likely to take some form of action upon receiving an email they have chosen to receive, again almost twice the percentage reported for other direct channels.

This is positive news for all those using email to communicate to customers prospective and existing.

However, email marketers tempted to pat themselves on the back at a job well done should take a moment. ‘Some degree of trust’, although better than no trust at all, is far from an unequivocal endorsement, while ‘likely to take some for of action’ could mean a host of things and does not necessarily mean a ringing endorsement to a colleague or one for the ROI column.

There is still too much opt-in by implicit consent. It is not enough to obtain an email address. While consent of sorts, it hardly classes as engagement. Consent is far too often obtained by what the most critical would describe as surreptitious means.

Consent forms or landing pages should be welcoming affairs. They should honest about what opting in means, the value of choosing to receive information, rather than just words to the effect of ‘would you be OK to receive information from us about future promotions’.

Be clear, transparent and honest and then trust and action reports will be so much more meaningful.