Remember when the term “junk mail” referred to unwanted catalogs and coupons that you somehow were signed up to receive? Some even went as far as to only say “To Current Resident” before your address, not even bothering to learn your name.
Well, today there is a whole new form of junk mail we receive, only now, it’s all digital. They don’t need anything more than your email address to send you whatever they desire.
That’s why most of us think twice before freely handing out our contact information to anonymous websites that have nothing to lose by giving it away. Our anxiety over this typically stems from a time or two when we made the mistake of giving out an email address only to find an inbox full of offers we will never look at, let alone use.
If you are determined, maybe you will try unsubscribing from and deleting the unwanted messages, but eventually the issue leads to the creation of a new email address, leaving the previous one to be overrun by useless messages.
Luckily, many email providers weed out spam on our behalf and many people keep a separate address just for any concerning sites, but there are a few too many horror stories out there of those who have fallen trap to emails claiming to be foreign royalty for us to even consider giving our addresses out without a bit of anxiety.
What this really subject really boils down to is whether or not your site is portrayed as reliable, and your brand as trustworthy. Visitors need to feel secure that if they provide their information to sign up for a newsletter, download a free offer, or purchase a good or service that you offer, that you will then not do anything other than what they agreed to with their information.
And when they provide that information and jump from the “visitor” category to the “lead” category, their privacy should be of the utmost importance as you move on to selling them with a killer email marketing campaign.
Make Security Obvious
The best way to give off a trustworthy image is to make security a clear priority. If your site is doing everything in its power to keep email addresses private, but users have no idea, they won’t be very inclined to give you their information.
Any page that requires personal information for a prospective lead to move forward, whether it is a sign up or registration page, a purchase agreement, or just a way for them to get more details about your company, you should include a security assurance statement detailing your company’s privacy policies.
Simply attach an asterisked note at the bottom stating, “Client privacy is our main concern here at XYZ. As such we never share or sell email addresses received on our site.” Be straight with your clients about what could happen, but also, that it won’t.
If your website needs particularly sensitive information include security seals, a BBB rating, or any relevant certifications that will make feel safe while giving up their personal details on an anonymous site.
Show Satisfied Customers
People love hearing success stories about your goods or services. They may have even come to your site based on a review from a friend or even an anonymous Internet user.
That’s why websites like yelp.com, angieslist.com, and other review-oriented sites have become so popular. More than 78 percent of Americans look at company reviews before making a purchase, creating a bandwagon effect of satisfied customers.
So take that validating mentality right onto your own site by including testimonials from your satisfied customers. They will make leads feel much less concerned about the safety of your business if there are real people out there willing to vouch for your services.
In this day and age, the virtual world is full of contradictions. One of the most interesting is that society freely gives away its personal information on social media, including phone numbers, email addresses, pictures of everything we do (and a lot of what we eat), and where we are almost every second of every day. But we are simultaneously much more private with our personal data when it comes to divulging it on company websites.
That stems from the fear of unwanted calls, texts, and emails that might interrupt our lives with offers that we have no interest in. So be prepared for the anxiety your customers will feel whenever you ask for so-called sensitive information by taking security precautions.
The key to these precautions is to make your viewers aware of them through security assurances, terms they can read, and testimonials from satisfied customers. These steps will ease their weariness and establish a trustworthy name for your brand and your website.
Take your cue from the wise-beyond-their-years Boy Scouts of America and “Always be prepared!”