The Know, Like, and Trust Factor – How a Big Name Coach’s Recent Email Made Me Unsubscribe

Building the Trust in the Know, Like, and Trust Factor

The Know, Like, and Trust FactorAre you building the know, like, and trust factor with your website visitors so they feel comfortable enough to sign up for your email list? In this post I share how a recent email I received caused me to unsubscribe from a well known and respected coach’s mailing list – just because of his privacy policy.

One of the biggest ways you can help a new visitor develop that know, like, and trust factor, and feel comfortable giving you their email address, is to have a clearly defined privacy policy that reassures them that you will keep their information private and that you won’t spam them.

This has become common practice on the web. Beneath most opt-in boxes you’ll see a sentence or two promising not to share, rent, or sell your information. This promise on your part helps people decide whether or not they trust you enough to give you their email address. It’s a big part of developing that know, like, and trust factor.

My Promise to New Subscribers

Here’s the promise I make to people signing up for my free audio program, “How to Grow Your Holistic Business”:

Don’t worry, I won’t spam you and I’ll never share, rent, or sell your information – ever!

It’s a pretty clear promise. If you sign up for my list I will never use your information for anything other than sending you emails myself. I won’t sell your email address, I won’t rent it, and I won’t share it with anyone ever.

As I said, putting these little notices on our opt-in boxes is a common practice that most online businesses adhere to. The exceptions to this are the big brands that tell you up front that they are going to share your information with their ‘partners’ or other ‘third party’ businesses. (Okay, maybe they don’t tell you up front, maybe they make you click a link or two to find their privacy policy, but somewhere in their pages of legal jargon and gobblygook they tell you that they are free to share your info!)

I don’t think that is a nice way to play. Which is why I recommend that you tell your visitors up front, in clear language, what your privacy policy is and exactly how you will treat their personal information. Making that promise up front helps build the know, like, and trust factor, and can often help your visitor say yes to signing up for your email list.

The email that took the trust out of the know, like and trust factor

So, let me tell you about this email I received from a well-known business coach, and how his privacy policy at the bottom of his email caused me to unsubscribe from his mailing list.

Before I do, let me stress that this coach did nothing wrong. He wasn’t deceptive or anything like that. He may do things differently than I like or differently than I teach my clients and students to do, but that’s his right. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if it is ethical or not. In my mind it is not an authentic or heart-centered way to grow a relationship with those people either on your email list or thinking about joining your email list.

Anyway, I’ve been on this coach’s email list for a long time. Three days ago I received his latest email, and after reading it through I got to the end and noticed that below his signature he had the usual collection of junk down at the bottom of his email. The bottom of an email is where a lot of marketers like to toss in various disclaimers and tell you how to unsubscribe and all that.

I rarely bother reading those things, but for some reason I read this one. Oh boy!

The first section was titled, “Privacy Policy”, and here is what it said:

How not to write a privacy policy!

The privacy policy from a recent email that caused me to unsubscribe from a well-known business coach’s email list.

PRIVACY POLICY: Your contact
information will never be shared with
with any third party that isn’t working
directly with XYZ, Inc.

Your information will never be
rented or sold to anyone EVER.

Say what?

Reading this shocked me. I immediately felt betrayed. What do you mean, “that isn’t working directly with XYZ, Inc.”?

This tells me that you are most likely going to share my name and email address with any third party that you DO work directly with.

That’s not cool, my friend!

Not only is it not cool, it is certainly not a way to grow that know, like, and trust factor. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have signed up for this coach’s list in the first place if I had known in advance that he was going to share my information.

I was irritated to say the least, and was looking for the unsubscribe link, when I decided to pause for a moment. Maybe it wasn’t this coach’s fault. Maybe I just didn’t see his privacy policy when I signed up for his email list. So before I jumped to conclusions, I went to his website to see exactly what his opt-in form looked like.

I wasn’t too surprised. There was nothing there about a privacy policy at all. The opt-in offer on his page didn’t mention my privacy, just asked for my name and email. A quick Google search turned up a few of his other opt-in pages and they were all the same. No mention of privacy or how he would treat my information.

An opt-in form with no mention of a privacy policy.

An opt-in form with no mention of a privacy policy.

Yes, it was my own fault for signing up without knowing how my information would be used or protected, but now that I’m aware of the situation, I can take steps to remedy it – which in this case means unsubscribing from this coach’s email list.

What this coach’s privacy policy can teach you about the know, like, and trust factor

I’m sharing this story with you because there is an important takeaway for you to keep in mind as you grow your own business. Again, I’m not saying that this coach did anything wrong, just that this particular way of treating email subscribers doesn’t align with the heart-centered and authentic methods I practice and teach.

I think it’s important that as business owners – especially in the holistic field – we have to constantly be looking for ways to improve and strengthen the trust with our email subscribers.

Be up front with visitors to your website who might be thinking about opting in to your email list and tell them exactly how you will treat their private information. Give them your word, and then stick to your word. Doing that will go a long way toward strengthening the know, like, and trust factor with your visitors and bring them one step closer to ultimately becoming a client or customer.

Bob-headshot-240x300Bob Crawford is a holistic business coach, helping members of the holistic community take their practice to the next level by attracting more clients and making more money, while still remaining authentic and heart-centered. Learn more at: www.growingyourholisticbusiness.com

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Bob. Thanks for sharing your experience. When I set up my website, I spent a lot of time thinking about my Privacy Policy and all the other policies that I needed to get in place to make sure that I appeared as ethical as I am in real life because I knew that there were people who might sign up for my offers without knowing me in real life. I even got a lawyer colleague of mine to do a high level vet on it. I stick to my rules and if I am going to send out more than the number of emails that I have informed them about in a particular month, I make sure that there is a valid reason for it.

    My rule of thumb is that if I receive daily emails that are all sell and not part of a campaign that I might have voluntarily signed up for, then I just unsubscribe and give that as the reason for moving away. Off to check some of the email newsletter policies to see if I have missed something. Thanks.

    • Thanks Vatsala, I believe the more open and honest we are, the deeper the relationship we can develop with our subscribers and potential subscribers.
      Peace!

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