The Thin Line between E-mail Marketing And Spam

The Thin Line between E-mail Marketing And Spam

Anybody starting an e-mail marketing strategy will know that spam is unwelcome. Most of the time, these are the questions that marketers ask themselves before sending out e-mail campaigns

  •   Is my e-mail going to be viewed as a legitimate marketing e-mail or will it be unceremoniously dumped in the spam folder?
  •   How can it affect my business’ ROI if it is viewed as spam?

These are a couple of critical questions and to answer them, you need to understand the basic difference between ‘spam’ and authentic ‘marketing e-mail’.

The ‘Difference’

There are certain e-mails that just about anybody would classify as spam. That would be, for example when you didn’t ask for the e-mails, don’t know who the senders are, you find that the title and the content are misleading, the e-mails are invasive and you have expressed no interest in the content in the past. On the other end, marketing e-mail can be classified as the ones that anyone will agree are ‘legitimate’. For example, when you visit an e-commerce store and you fill out a form at the website, you then tick a box asking them to send you weekly updates. That would be classified as legitimate, because you showed interest in the product/services previously and you additionally signed up for updates.

The hard truth however, is that an awful lot of marketing e-mails are directly classified under the dreaded ‘S’ word. The explanation behind it? The e-mail marketers would have simply started off on the wrong foot!

What You Can Do

If you don’t want your important e-mails to be treated as spam and you want to significantly improve your odds of reaching out to prospects, here are some top tips to get your e-mail marketing strategies to work!  

1.     Get Permission

‘Permission’ is when the client allows you to send marketing e-mails to him/her, which means that some sort of deliberate action was taken on the client’s behalf (ticking a box for updates), with the purpose of receiving your e-mails. Make sure that the mailing lists contain the e-mail addresses of prospects who have specifically asked for this information from your end. The caveat here is, you could up being irritatingly invasive if you don’t stick to your mailing list.

Also, if there is an option that allows clients to tick a box if they don’t want e-mails from you, that doesn’t mean that the people who haven’t ticked are giving you explicit permission to send them marketing e-mails. Be doubly sure for your business’ sake.

2.     Send Relevant Content

Since permission is not ‘etched in stone’, you don’t necessarily need to keep asking your clients for permission, but send them relevant content that they want to see instead. If you begin to falter in terms of the quality of content, chances are, your e-mails will land up in the spam box.

3.     Use Honest Lists

ISPs penalize senders with slapdash e-mail lists. Avoid buying out lists as sometimes there could be fake e-mail addresses and the addresses of people who never gave permission in the first place. Build your own verified list or risk sinking your reputation. 

4.     Use Smart, Catchy Subject Lines

If you get an e-mail with the subject line in CAPS or that contains phrases like i.e. VIAGRA! FREE INSIDE or YOU’VE WON $ 1,000,000 DOLLARS; you know what it is. Keep your subject lines interesting, honest and crisp. As per a survey, more than 58% of people said that they will never open an e-mail if they don’t find it interesting.

5.     ‘Unsubscribe’ Button

Good marketing e-mails offer the ‘unsubscribe’ option at the end of the link while spam e-mails do not. Did you know that it was illegal to not give your clients this option? Take a look at the CAN-SPAM Act o 2003!

At the end of the day, your business’ reputation is at stake and your e-mails deserve to be taken seriously. Why be considered a spammer? Start by incorporating these basic e-mail marketing practices to take your business to the next level.

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