Author Archives: Adestra

Why Trust Is the Key to Customer Loyalty

It’s Marketing 101: The marketer’s two jobs are customer acquisition and loyalty/retention.


When it comes to retention, there’s an often-overlooked factor that plays an over-sized role: trust.

Trust comes from a relationship and it builds over time, with every interaction and at every touchpoint. Over time, someone’s trust in the complete consumer experience with a merchant may be more important than other factors, like selection or price. If someone becomes convinced that she’ll always get a reasonable deal with no hassle, she may make that merchant her go-to and stop worrying about price comparisons.

You can lose trust easily: Over-marketing, irrelevant content or ads, or not offering value in your communications are common ways to rupture the relationship. But let’s look at ways to build trust.

Trustworthy tactics

  • Provide useful information. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, provide solid, unbiased information that may help them not only in the purchase decision, but also in their daily lives. Quality content, delivered via third-party distribution platform or email, cements your authority in people’s awareness.
  • Be available. In this world of self-service and lean organizations, customers are often expected to help each other via forums and questions. Offering a clear way to reach customer service or tech support lets people know they can rely on you.
  • Create case studies. A recent Gartner study found that people are more than 2.5 more likely to make contact or buy from a company if they see a case study or use case.
  • Encourage referrals. Customers are much more likely to trust a company that’s been recommended by an entity they already trust.
  • Offer an explicit, money-back guarantee for merchandise returns. On the enterprise level, that might mean offering a proof-of-concept engagement before a full contract.

Trustworthy email

  • Let them opt out. Of course, you must provide an email opt-out mechanism to comply with CANSPAM. Make sure our opt-out is clear, simple and works immediately.
  • Make the most of your data. Make use of as many factors as you can in first-party and third-party data to segment your customers in meaningful ways.
  • Be recognizable. Make sure your emails come from a branded domain that customers will recognize. Enforce digital design parameters that provide the look and feel customers are accustomed to.
  • Use dynamic formats. Make sure your email platform delivers your messages so they appear correctly across devices and environments.

The power of retention

A greater sense of trust leads to better customer retention. Using email to build trust is effective and cost-efficient. Consider Google and Facebook. A massive percentage of their revenue comes from companies that retarget customers and prospects on their platforms. But for brands, this is expensive. CPMs for display video are $10 to $40; even CPCs for search can cost multiple dollars.

Email, on the other hand, costs just a dollar or two per thousand. Building a retention program via your ESP lets you use many of the same tools and techniques, such as location, time of day and purchase history. You can possibly include third-party data such as household income. Add to that dynamic content delivery and propensity modeling, and you can create a powerful retention program via email at $1 to $2 CPM.

Plus, this inexpensive and robust retention program will work much better if you can build trust.

Not all companies selling to consumers need to build trust. Some audiences may be more price-sensitive, always searching for the best deals. Meanwhile, for more considered purchases, shoppers may spend more time researching, so their decisions will be based on facts instead of emotion.

But for many, this unconscious value can be the key to consumer loyalty. No one wakes up in the morning and thinks, “I’m only going to buy from brands I trust.” But people unconsciously see more value in brands that they do trust. Trust is a powerful motivator that’s well worth investing in.


If you are interested in increasing consumer trust and retention contact us on 1800 737 266 or to see how we can help you achieve your goals.

5 ways to boost your email open rates

80% of marketers use open rates as one of their key metrics for success.

We’ve derived this figure from the 2017 Email Marketing Census Report by Econsultancy in collaboration with Adestra, and it may well ring true with your own email marketing strategy. In my experience, however, a considerable number of marketers don’t know exactly what can be done to improve their email open rates. To ensure you improve these metrics, here is a list of the main elements that influence your open rates:

1. List segmentation

Segmenting your lists and sending more targeted content can significantly enhance not just your open rates, but your click-through rates too. According to the Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report, 39% of email marketers who segmented their lists saw an increase in open rates. So, what are you waiting for?

2. ‘From’ name

As mentioned, people get hundreds of emails a day. That’s a lot of competition for you to face, so it’s crucial that you capture your subscribers’ attention promptly. According to Chadwick Martin Bailey, 64% of people stated that they are likely to open an email because of who the email is from. Choose a name that will be recognisable to your subscribers: your brand/company name or an individual’s name (not a random employee, but someone that your subscribers will know and trust).

3. Day and time of send

Do some research regarding what time and day your subscribers are opening your emails (if you are a MessageFocus user, you can use our Timeline report feature to analyse when your subscribers are engaging). This can ensure your email is with the right person at the right time.

4. Frequency

Finding out the perfect send frequency for your emails is complex, but it is crucial to your performance. For example, if you send too many exclusive promotional emails, they will lose their exclusivity, right? On the other hand, if you send emails too infrequently, your audience may lose interest in your brand or even forget about it. Analyse your data and try to find the best cadence for each segment.

5. Test, test, test!

We keep saying it, but that’s just because testing provides such valuable understanding about your audience as well as your email performance. The results will lead you to improve those elements that are not performing well, delivering more relevant and effective emails.


Wrapping up …

Strategy optimization is key if you want to enhance customer engagement rates, not just in email but in any marketing channel. Use these tips to analyse your current strategy and decide what could be modified or applied to improve your open rates. A final point to remember, however: if your subscriber blocks image downloads then the open doesn’t get recorded. Open rates are a good indicator, but don’t rely on them entirely – focus on clicks-to-opens and conversions, too.

Transforming your subscribers into long term brand ambassadors

As the year is now in full swing, many email marketers will be taking stock of the year’s performance and looking for ideas which could provide a welcome boost to KPIs.

Yet one of the most powerful weapons in the marketing arsenal could be hidden right in front of our bloated stomachs.

Over the holiday period you may have acquired lots of new subscribers, with the public scouring the online sphere for slashed prices on the latest holiday gifts – so why not consider the value that these new subscribers may hold for you year-round?

Although you may measure their worth to you by the value of the purchases they have made, or the subscriptions that they pay for, these customers should not solely be judged on their financial investments. Instead you should consider that these contacts have the potential to be much more; with the right approach these contacts can be nurtured into brand ambassadors and a powerful marketing tool to help you bring in new customers and encourage them to become purchasers as well.


Proving the Concept

Encourage your subscribers to use your product and/or services. Start by using an attractive email design to grab your subscribers’ attention: build familiarity around your brand logo and colours by delivering consistent brand communications, which may positively influence the perception of your brand in your subscribers’ mind. Don’t forget to create an engaging content strategy, using the right tone in the copy.

As previous studies have shown, your copy can help you encourage your subscribers to convert or take an action. There are different strategies you can adopt in order to get your contacts to engage with your brand and, eventually, become ambassadors for it.


  1. Ask them to connect with you on social media

Drive these holiday subscribers to your social media channels and really build that cross-channel relationship. Encourage them to share their excitement and brand stories, potentially using incentives if needed.

Drive them to social and to engage with your brand on the channels which lend themselves more easily to sharing.

  1. Provide them with reviews or comments from other customers

A great way to throw some positive reinforcement behind a product is to provide an evaluation of your brand/product/service written by another customer. Customers are much more likely to trust the words of independent adjudicators than taking your word for it that your latest release is “the best yet”.

  1. Ask them to write a review

Leverage your new subscribers while they’re keen and let them do your marketing for you! Encourage customers to leave a review after they’ve made a purchase, and ff you have delivery information available then try to ensure this is done after they have successfully received their purchase. Incentivising this segment with an offer or even prize draw entry can have a huge impact on conversion rates, with one study finding that it increased conversion rate by 18.5 % on average, and one industry finding an uplift of 106%. Then make sure you harness the reviews that customers have provided to help reinforce the decision-making process of would-be customers.

  1. Add some peer pressure

Another means of leveraging your customers is to use their activity itself to encourage others to follow suit. This is something which the travel industry executes extremely well, especially within the hotel and air travel markets. Increasingly, however, we’ve seen more companies from other industries – such as events – adding this to their email communications.

Take the Email Design Conference’s live feed as an example. As you open the email you find Twitter users talking about the conference – conveying both excitement and a sense of urgency before tickets sell out. These are very powerful tactics of persuasion, as they play on our ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) and the complete uncertainty of other consumers’ activity.


As excellent a marketing tool as this is, negative reviews can arguably have a more potent negative impact. Avoid these at all costs.

  • Reviews/Testimonials – Not having enough of these can be harmful; keep quiet until you have at least 5-10
  • Review stats constantly – If your strategy isn’t working as well as you’d hoped then either try something else or, if you think it’s having a negative impact, turn it off! If you use a well-known review platform, such as Trustpilot, then make sure you keep your overall rating in each email as an ongoing reminder of the excellent service you provide
  • Test, test, test – Like all things, you probably won’t hit that nirvana of optimized performance at the first time of asking. Put together a testing and optimization plan to make sure you’re squeezing every last conversion out of each feature, and never stop evolving!

Tips and inspiration for your birthday emails

As marketers, we have different objectives to achieve. However, we all know that our main objective is to improve our conversion rates.

To achieve this, we spend our time developing an email marketing strategy, creating the perfect email template, looking at the content, and gathering data. I’m often interested (actually, I’d say annoyed rather than interested) when I give my date of birth to a brand and then don’t receive a “Happy Birthday” email from them. Therefore, when I do receive one, I open it and appreciate the brand a bit more. Yes, I know it’s a triggered email that they sent to everyone else in their list, but it’s still nice to receive an email from the brands I’m subscribed to wishing me a happy birthday.

If you’re looking for an easy way to nurture your subscribers and keep them engaged, I’d suggest setting up a birthday email. Whether you have a strategy in pace or you haven’t started to develop yours yet, I’ve selected some of the emails I’ve received on my birthday to inspire you.



The colour palette, the wrapped presents and the birthday card are perfectly in line with the brand. Additionally, the copy of the email is in the right tone, making the subscriber feel special. However, I’d change some things about this email: for instance, the CTA text seems quite aggressive and desperate to sell. Why not write something like “let’s celebrate” instead? And even though they’ve used my name in the subject line, why not also add it  to the copy inside the email? Adding my name into the copy would make such a difference in making me feel loved by the brand.



I love the idea behind this email. The typical IKEA tag that you can find on any piece of furniture at any IKEA store used to wish me a happy birthday. However, as in the above example, this email has a lack of personalization. If there is a brand that definitely has my name (apart from my bank or my  gas, water, electricity and telephone company) that’s IKEA. Why not write my name on the tag, instead of ‘to an IKEA favourite’? I mean, they are talking about me specifically in the copy. So, why not add my name to the tag, as they do with their furniture? (Not that I’m a piece of furniture, but that’s the idea behind their email, isn’t it?).


Not On The High Street

I think this is one of the best birthday emails I’ve received (besides Winterbourne’s). The cupcake with the candle, the copy… It does, however, lack personalization (which could be added as they do have my first name stored somewhere in their CRM), but the copy and even the CTA text nevertheless make me feel special. It’s all about me, and who doesn’t like being spoiled on their birthday?


Wrapping up… 

1. Personalize your emails. If you have your subscriber’s date of birth, I’m sure you have their first name. Why not use it? It’s a nice touch that can make a huge difference in your relationship with them.
2. Be subtle. 
Yes, you have a KPI conversion to achieve. We know it. But try not to be too obvious. It’s true that in sales emails like Black Friday or Cyber Monday you need a ‘salesy’ tone of voice. However, if you use it in your birthday email, you may make them feel that you’re wishing them a happy birthday because you want their money, and that you don’t really care about them.
3. Test the treat. 
Are you going to give them a coupon or a discount? Maybe you’ll achieve more conversions if you give them a free gift when they make a purchase. Test different treats and check which one works best for your brand.


Feel free to contact us on 1800 737 266 or  to discuss your emails in relation to your particular needs.