When you think of email marketing, what word comes to mind? Do you think of it as spam? If you do, that’s okay, you’re certainly not alone in that. Some would say that it is, but others view it in a less harsh, more positive light. Is email marketing a dying way to connect with would be customers only the uniformed or desperate individuals are using? The short answer is no. Like many other aspects of marketing, it all lies within the way you use the tool.
Like so many other things, email marketing fluctuates between being beloved and hated by most marketing companies. The only thing more consistent than that is that whether it is loved or hated 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. People love free things, so how can that be bad? The problem lies in the fact that more and more businesses turn to email marketing meaning people are getting more and more solicitations. For many email recipients, it’s just too much. They start becoming jaded and hit the ‘spam’ button on their email window, oftentimes without even opening the email up.
When unwanted email starts piling up and people are not in the mood for it they hit the spam button without hesitation if they do not recognize the sender – or particularly if their inbox has been blown up by a particular sender they do not know. Before long, the word gets out and you (and your business) have been branded as a spammer. This can quickly evolve into a marketing nightmare.
To avoid that harsh result, follow these simple rules of thumb before you launch an email marketing campaign.
Being polite works wonders! Ask first – it’s that simple! Don’t send out mass emails to lists of people unless you have their permission to email them. The days of bulk mailing lists are over. Even if it takes longer to build a good list, you at least have a list of people that actually want to hear from you. That means a higher conversion rate and more money. It’s not only more money from more conversions, but money saved by not buying useless lists.
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 is very simple and it will keep you off the spammer list. When someone opts in, send a confirmation email for the “double opt-in” so there is no mistake about their interest in you contacting them in the future.
As a final note, make it easy to unsubscribe and be security conscious. There is no legitimate reason to make people jump through hoops to unsubscribe. In fact, it is bad business to do so. This can be taken care of in the form of a simple link at the bottom of each email: “click here to unsubscribe”. It should never be harder than that and it should always work – not be a non-functional unsubscribe some companies think they are being sneaky using. 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. Respect your visitors and they will respect you in return.