Is Email Marketing spam by another name? Is there any situation where this is OK? Or is it a dying way to connect with would be customers?
Email marketing drifts in and out of favor with web based companies, but has become increasingly popular of late for getting the word out about products and services – by way of free information. However, as more and more businesses turn to email marketing, email recipients are becoming jaded and hit the ‘spam’ button on their email window.
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.
That’s not to say that email marketing is no longer a viable marketing technique. It just needs to be approached with caution and handled with care. A few rules of thumb:
Ask First. Don’t send out mass emails to lists of people you have obtained in any way, unless you have their permission to email them.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. 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”.
As long as you are respectful and don’t spam, email marketing is fine.