Firstly, why would you want to be responsible?1. Reputation - keep it intact.2. Improving customer relationships (and not harming them).3. To be a good internet citizen, and make the internet a better...
Firstly, why would you want to be responsible? 1. Reputation - keep it intact. 2. Improving customer relationships (and not harming them). 3. To be a good internet citizen, and make the internet a better place.
Responsible email marketing consists of the following:
Subscribers - only email those people who have subscribed to receive your emails, or where you can justifiably demonstrate that their consent to receive your emails has been implied. So what is justifiable? Here are a couple of examples:A/ You have a bowl in your premises asking people to drop in their business card to win a prize, and you have a notice on the bowl that email addresses will be added to your mailing listto receive information from your business. B/ As part of the process of selling a product to a person, youask for the customer's email address.
Relevance - only send out information that is relevant to the recipient and associated with the purpose for which you received the email. For example, if you gathered the email address in response to selling a motor vehicle to a customer then sending that customer an email about a business opportunity would be inappropriate. However, sending an email about vehicle accessories, servicing, road-side assistance and new vehicles may be relevant.
Volume - I recently ordered self-address label printing from an online printer. After receiving the printed material, I now receive approximately one email per day regarding some deal or other, or requesting that I complete a survey. The constant emails are very annoying. With each email I receive I become:1) less likely to recommend the company to anyone else, despite the fact that their service was very good and inexpensive, and 2) less likely to order from the company again, and more likely to ask to be removed from their email list.
Keep the number of emails you send to your contacts to a reasonable volume!
Attachments - keep them small in size; no more than 300KB. You can't assume that everyone has broadband and therefore can download emails quickly. Nor can you assume that everyone checks their email everyday and wont run the risk of exceeding their mailbox size limit.
Unsubscribe - always give the recipient the opportunity to unsubscribe from your emails, and make it easy. To make this easy for yourself you should use an un-subscribe service, which will also ensure that you don't accidentally send a later email to that address. The only time you may send another email would be to confirm that you have in fact removed the recipient from your list, and to ask for feedback as to why they wish to be removed (if you didn't get this at the time they un-subscribed).
Business or Pleasure - try to only send business information to business email addresses, and only send personal information to personal addresses. In this way, a person will consider their personal email most likely when they are at home outside of working hours and will have the time to focus on it. On the other hand, they will receive their business related email at work, rather than during the personal time. If at all possible, when you collect an email address find out whether it is a personal or business address, and try to obtain both types of email addresses. If one of the email addresses bounces (i.e. the email cannot be delivered, perhaps a person has moved employment), having an alternative email address can be helpful.
Bouncing - don't continue to send emails to addresses that have previously bounced. This is just increasing the traffic on the internet for no good purpose.
Email Format - give recipients the choice of receiving text only emails (as opposed to HTML format), and then only send the format that they choose. The recipients who only want text emails (for security or other reasons) will be very grateful.
Much of the characteristics of responsible email marketing described above are actually embodied in spam legislation. Spam legislation also applies to SMS and other electronic messages. It is no longer a matter of just being considerate and maintaining your reputation, but also a matter of law.
If you need help implementing some of the characteristics described above, you may need a tool such as eNudge(TM)(www.eNudge.com.au) which allows you to easily manage bounced emails, un-subscribe, and email formats.