Do you know the single most important marketing tool in retail?

“The ultimate goal of marketing is to generate an intense bond between the consumer and the brand, and the main ingredient of this bond is trust.” (Hiscock, 2001)

Trust is a huge influence in customer commitment to your brand, and we know that consumers consistently respond best to retail companies that are authentic and work to build an emotional connection between themselves and their customers. One moment of sincere connection between your brand and your consumer, can lead to a lifetime of loyalty. So how do we make that connection? Your customers need to see you as reputable, relevant, and trustworthy.

Trustworthiness can’t be taught, but we can teach you to develop a reputation for relevance (see what we did there?) This means that your brand becomes synonymous with delivering information, offers and products that are tailored to your target audience, and you may be surprised to know that your email campaigns can be pivotal in building brand trust.

Tempt, tease and tantalise

What do you sell? Be it a product or a service, can you offer this to your customers in a way that will increase the likelihood of them making a purchase? An easy way to drive sales is to offer your clients, recurring and new, an exclusive discount or incentive. A gesture of ‘free delivery on your first order’ to a newly-signed up customer negotiates that first-sales barrier, and don’t forget that’s easy to do with a time-saving automation email.

Discount frenzy

Discounts can be a tricky road to negotiate- offer enough to entice customers in but not so much it produces negative connotations of ‘desperation’. Offering friends and family discounts help your customers share the love, and it’s important to bear in mind that your most loyal customers are going to be your biggest advocates, so why not reward them? You can schedule automations via your ESP which send these discounts to subscribers who, for example, have not clicked through on one of your emails for a defined period of time. This ties in to the relevance factor we discussed above- giving your customers an offer that is relevant to them will result in increased click-through rates and better sales.

Speaking of sales, have you ever bought something only to receive a discount email the next day? Avoid this by integrating your email service, transactional data and point of sale system. Integration of your transactional data will allow you to target customers based on what was purchased and when, the value of the product/service and whatever other variables your little heart desires. Use this as data for your triggered campaigns so these will recommend products to clients based on their previous antics, and help them avoid that “arrghh!” moment we’ve mentioned above.

Filters, filters, filters

Filters aren’t a barrier to disseminating information. Think of them instead as forks in a road, and your filter is your “diversion” sign, guiding your intrepid explorers down a more appropriate path. Now that’s smart! Smart filtering creates even smarter bespoke lists segregated by age, location, and interests. No longer will your 68 year old chaps receive emails relating to a new line of makeup products! Providing your customers with information and news relevant to them will again foster a trusting relationship, so you’re not wasting their valuable time with irrelevant emails (not that we think any of your emails are irrelevant, but your customers might..!) Even the most loyal of customers can be turned-off by too many uninformative, meaningless emails.

Email Reminders

Speaking of email, bear in mind that you will have some loyal customers who want to receive more emails from you, which will also allow you to create a “biggest fan” list! An opted-in feature can really accentuate an automatic service. Deepen your customer trust by customising emails with their first name and include your company name (this helps generate lead-nurturing too!)

Final thoughts

Within retail, you will sell more when you stop trying to sell, so instead of opting for the hard-sell in your email campaigns, focus on your customers needs, wants and desires, and not yours.

Remember that trust is built over time, but following these simple steps will guide you on the right path to become the trustworthy, successful company you want to be.

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