Email Marketing: Don’t be a Spammer

spamWhen Google was founded in early 2000, the basis of the unofficial slogan was that a company could be successful without “exploiting [their] users.” Since then, the 2003 CAN SPAM Act has restricted outright underhanded tricks by email marketers, but a good email campaign shouldn’t have to worry about legality in order to be successful. There are many strategies that your company can do with an email list to promote your reputation as reliable and honest. There are also things companies should never do with an email marketing campaign.

For example:

  • Never buy email lists. It’s probably illegal, you’ll lose subscribers as fast as you get them, you’ll be pinged as a spammer so many times you may have you IP address blocked from sending email, or be dumped by your email marketing provider.
  • Don’t sell your customers’ information. This is also illegal, unless you clearly inform customers that this is your policy before they sign up. Note: to most customers, this is a major turn-off to signing up for your newsletter, or even buying your products.
  • Be honest. It’s not only against the law to misrepresent your email content in the subject heading, it’s a poor way to retain customers. Personalized, specific subject headings and informative content will get your higher click-throughs and conversions than big promises that are too good to be true. Most customers would rather mark you as spam from the inbox than open a suspicious-looking email to find the unsubscribe link.
  • Make sure you are checking your email direct mail company’s reports regarding bounced emails and unsubscribes. Keep your list updated.

Similarly, your email list has the power to leave a positive impression; they can assuage the most common worries customers have when they place their trust and their money in a company.

  • Be an open communicator regarding the ordering and shipping process. Send an email confirmation when an order has been placed, a shipment has been sent, and if a shipment has been delayed.
  • Include important information in every communication with customers like: tracking number, customer service phone number, a short order confirmation number, and a printable invoice.
  • Make it easy for customers to complain and seek a refund or exchange. If your customer has expressed dissatisfaction with your product or service, send them an email apology with a link or phone number to customer service. If you can offer a refund, shipping label for a return or exchange, or compensate them for the problem your company or product caused, then you have retained this customer and generated a positive story they may relate on their Facebook or Twitter.
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