The Zero Trust concept is about protecting your customers' personal information. While many businesses use email as the main channel of communication, a small business owner cannot afford to do so. However, if you are using email to communicate with your customers then you need to know how to protect your customers' personal information from people outside your company.
This is because your customer's email information is one of the most valuable resources they have. They are able to pass this information on to others that can use it for their own purposes without your consent. For example, an internet merchant can use your customer's email address to create multiple accounts. In order to avoid any legal issues, you need to learn how to prevent this from happening.
Firstly, you must ask yourself 'what does an email address contain'. An email address contains the name of the customer, the email address and the domain name of the website that the customer is using. Therefore, it is vital to have this information in clear text. If you do not then potential hackers can use the personal data to hijack your customer's identity and take out money from their bank accounts.
Secondly, you should never use your home address when advertising or marketing your product or service. This is because emails from your home address may contain sensitive personal information that could put your business at risk. Any advertising or marketing material from a friend or family member should never be passed onto an intended recipient.
You should also be very careful when answering any customer questions. If they are asking personal questions, you should first check that the information is correct. If it is not, then it is probably best to delete the inquiry and move on to a more generic question. Never share your actual address or any other information on the phone or in writing. It is essential to protect your customer's identity at all times.
An important piece of advice is that you should never ever submit any sensitive customer information through an email. All this does is put you and your company at greater risk. For example, a hacker could use a phishing attack or he could pretend to send you a valuable email as part of a viral marketing campaign. In either case, you are putting your customer's identity at great risk.
As well as this, you should avoid emailing customers as much as possible. It really is best to just send them an email or a short message every once in a while. Your best bet is to send them a message offering something of value for free or as a thank you for opting in to your list. Do not provide too much valuable information at once or else this will also put your customers off.
This advice may seem a little harsh for smaller businesses. However, it is the only way that you can truly ensure that you maintain zero-trust with your customers. The more you put your customers at risk, the more they will be leery of doing business with you. After all, even if you are only running a small business, you should still strive to keep your customers happy so that they will keep coming back.
The best way to do this is by avoiding situations that would cause your customers to feel that they are being exploited. For example, is there an ongoing issue with your website or in your newsletter constantly full of promotional material? If so, your visitors will become suspicious of what is going on. This could lead them to believe that you are trying to sell them something when in reality, nothing is being offered. This is where the clever copywriting and email marketing come into play. You need to write emails and newsletters that instill confidence in your products and service, but also make your customers feel that they have some control over the situation.
This is why it is vital to get yourself and your small business listed with major search engines such as Google, MSN and Yahoo. All of these search engines allow you to put a link to your website, which is then visible to customers searching the internet. By adding this important contact information, you will be creating instant trust in your email correspondence.
Finally, try and use email to communicate more than just your basic sales pitch. The best way to do this is through articles, reviews, tips and other useful information. You can then add a reference section to each one of these articles, thus creating yet another link back to your website. By doing this, you are now using this single contact form to promote all of your services, products and information. Not only will this provide more trust to your customers, but it will also generate income for you through affiliate commissions, which can be a reliable source of income to support your business activities.
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