One way the police put at ease suspects and witnesses they are interviewing is to be open and transparent with regards to the reasons for the questions. Another rule is never to lie to the interviewee or their legal representative. It’s all about trust. There is a distinct parallel with email marketing.
It is probable that many people might be more than a little wary when asked to share their personal data with you. It’s not an unreasonable position to take considering the cavalier way in which many multinationals treat data. To get them to subscribe to your email marketing list requires overt action; a campaign in fact.
Continuing with the analogy of police interview techniques, one of the first questions put to a witness or suspect is, ‘Have you any questions?’ If the interviewee is unsure of procedures, they will be worrying about what will happen rather than how they can help. You should do the same.
To be rather harsh, ethical behaviour is all about the bottom line. It is a profitable stand to take. If a subscriber is deceived, once they realise, they will be inclined to click the unsubscribe button. Whilst you may lose an occasional lead by being overt, once you’ve got them on your lists, they are unlikely to leave through distrust of you. Further, they will know exactly what is happening with their data.
Be clear about what subscribing to an email marketing list means. Have it on a click-through. Entitle it, ‘What we will do with your data’, or maybe ‘. . . information you entrust us with’.
‘Why do we need this information’ is another explanation that might break down barriers against trust. A picture of your DRO or telephone receptionist can work wonders, making your security processes more personalised. Provide them with the ability to gain all the information about what you do with your email marketing data.
Trust, the one thing that can be depended on to boost and maintain your ROI, is easy enough to build up. All you have to do is be honest with your subscribers from the start.