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email marketing not spam

Email marketing is a powerful and highly cost effective way to promote your business, but only if you do it right. 

So often email marketing can be seen as spam, unsolicited junk email.  The result of which can cause damage to your company reputation and lost revenue.  To minimise the risk of your email marketing being considered as spam here are just a few tips and rules but are by no means limited to.

1) Your audience

Ensure everyone you are about to send an email to has "opted in" to receive email from you.  Be careful if you purchase a list from a third party to ensure there are "opted in" addresses and always do a test sample before buying.

2) Understand your audience

Rather than just send the same email to everyone in your database, consider who you are sending emails to.  The message you want to convey to someone you have already done business with in the past isn't necessarily the same message you want to send with companies you are cold calling.

3) Make your message relevant

As part of understanding your audience you'll also need to understand the relevance of that message you are sending.  If you send a message that is not relevant is a sure-fire way to get them to unsubscribe and "opted out" of your list, or worse tag your messages as spam.

4) Keep it simple

Most people will delete their emails by what they see in the preview pane only.  Therefore your message needs to be short and sweet and to the point.  Avoid “War and Peace” marketing material, instead use a link to a "read more".  This is a good way to measure the success of your email based on clicks through to your site.

Keep in mind a lot of people do not allow the automatic download and display of images in a email, therefore design your email marketing with a careful balance of text and artwork.  Remembering that if your image consumes the whole of the preview pane that email could get dismissed and deleted without reading regardless of the relevance.

5) Stay in contact

Communicate with your contacts on a regular basis.  So often companies only send out quarterly news letters.  Prolateral research shows that the more infrequently you communicate with your customers the more likely they are to tag your message as spam.  Further results from the research show that a good frequency is weekly, however depending on the subject matter monthly is equally acceptable.

6) Sending the email

Consider the time of the day you want to send your email.  Traditionally in the UK spam peaks on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons so it’s probably not the best time to send your marketing email.  Likewise consider sending your email in smaller batches rather than all at once.  Major ISP and even email service providers monitor for this type of activity and you could find your message being automatically blocked and/or your ISP terminating your own service.  Please be sure to read terms and conditions from your ISP regarding bulk email sending.

7) The legal's of email marketing

Please note that there is no one law or legal system governing the Internet and its usage.  You must comply with the laws of the country you are sending the email from and to.  However as a guide to good etiquette email marketing and to cover the core legal requirements you should note the following

  • Enable the recipient to unsubscribe and "opted out" of future mailings regarding the relevant subject or even to "opted out" completely from receiving any material from your company.
  • If you are a UK registered company it's mandatory as of August 2008 to include a email footer that contains your company information, company registration number, place of registration and registered address.  It is no longer enough to provide a link to this information on your website in the footer.

About Prolateral

Prolateral Consulting is in business to put your organisation back in control of your own Information Technology, specialising in information and messaging security, computer forensic services, and disaster recovery planing.

Contact Info

Prolateral Consulting Ltd
Luton, Bedfordshire, UK
Tel : +44 (0) 8450 763760
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