Is Email Marketing spam by another name? Some would say that it is, but others take a more positive view of it. Is there any situation where this is OK? Or is it a dying way to connect with would be customers? Like many other aspects of marketing, it all lies within how you do it.
Email marketing drifts in and out of favor with web based companies, but it never goes away. It has become increasingly popular as of late for getting the word out about products and services – by way of free information. Free is a good thing! However, as more and more businesses turn to email marketing, email recipients are becoming jaded and hit the ‘spam’ button on their email window. How do you avoid being marked as spam?
When too many people receive unwanted email, the word gets out – resulting in a concerted effort to brand you (and your business) as a spammer. This can quickly evolve into a be a marketing nightmare. There are ways to get around this if you are smart and patient.
Consider following these simple rules of thumb before you launch an email marketing campaign. It could be the difference between winning like Charlie Sheen or going down the tubes and realizing little gain or a net loss at the end of the day.
Ask First. being polite works! Don’t send out mass emails to lists of people you have obtained in any way, unless you have their permission to email them. This means it may take longer to build a good email list, but it also means that the people receiving your emails have actually expressed the desire to receive them. That means a higher conversion rate and money saved by not buying useless lists. Limit your emails to the select group who say ‘yes’ when you ask, and save your time and money as well as your reputation.
Only send emails to folks who opt-in. The best way to ask people to ‘opt in’ is through an online form that allows them to check a box if they want to get your emails. Place something on your site and/or blog so they have many easy options to subscribe. This checkbox can be located in your shopping cart checkout form, a newsletter sign-up form or a “contact us” form. Leave the checkbox blank, forcing them to consciously perform an action in order to start receiving emails.
Make it easy to unsubscribe. Taking people off the list should be every bit as much of a priority as putting them on; so give recipients the option of unsubscribing from the list. This can be taken care of in the form of a simple link at the bottom of each email: “click here to unsubscribe”. If you keep it simple and make people comfortable you will have far more success than blasting out campaigns to people that have never requested your information. Make security a priority and let people know you handle their information with extreme care. If you follow a few simple steps like these you will realize success.