I am inclined to write about my beef with e-newsletters as of late. I’ve met many new people in the past few weeks due to moving to a new office space and other networking activities. I’ve handed out business cards and listened patiently while other business owners pitched their services to me. Which is all fine and dandy. I love meeting and learning about the businesses in my area first-hand.
But. For some reason. I have been automatically signed up to many of e-newsletters as well, due to handing out my business card. Nowhere did I check a box saying, “yes, please send me your newsletter.” Perhaps it’s due to the fact they are uninformed about CAN-SPAM rules? I’d like to briefly go through some of the do’s and don’ts of email marketing.
The Do’s & Don’ts of Email Marketing
- To become a subscriber, your customer must actively subscribe to your list. Whether that be by providing their email address via a email newsletter sign-up form or by simply saying “yes, please sign me up!” However they do it, they need to be fully aware that you will be sending them an email.
- Many people believe that if someone gives you a business card, it’s ok to take their email address and add them to their subscriber list. This is called Spamming. All you need to do, is simply ask them if they would like to join when you’re talking with them in person. This will help lower your spam numbers and keep you in the white, not the black.
- If someone has purchased from you in the last two years you can email them. But it is best to have a opt-in in your checkout process to make sure it is what they want. Again, you don’t want to receive spam complaints and any negative feedback from your customers. Chances are they will complain to their friends.
- Try to avoid any type of attachments in your emails. Many spammers use attachments as vehicles for viruses or scams. Don’t be included in that group in your customers mind. Email providers can also strip them out depending on the file extension. HTML newsletters should solve the need to include an attachment. If you want to share a PDF or external document, simply load it on your website and link to it, rather than attaching it directly. This gives your customer a chance to decide if it’s something they want or not.
- Always use a professional email service provider. They can provide you with a way to manage your subscribers (and unsubscribers so you don’t accidentally email someone you shouldn’t) send properly tested templates and keep you up-to-date on the rules of proper email marketing.
- And as always, feel free to contact us if you need further assistance with your email program or newsletter design.