Essential EM elements
Email marketing (EM) can be very effective as long as it is not viewed as spam. This is critical because when your emails are viewed or interpreted as spam (viewed through spam-colored glasses) they will not likely be read by recipients and may not even reach those recipients if they are trapped by spam filters installed by some Internet service providers. It is for this reason that business owners must work hard to ensure their email marketing campaign messages are not viewed as spam by either their recipients or the recipients’ Internet service providers. That having been said, we will take a closer look at various aspects of email marketing and, specifically, how business owners can ensure that their emails are not viewed through spam-colored glasses.
The distribution (or opt-in) list for an email marketing campaign is one of the essential elements which can help to ensure that emails sent by a business owner are not viewed as spam; but before this can be accomplished it is important to understand exactly what spam is, so let’s delve a little deeper into what spam really means. According to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2004, email marketers are required “…to include their physical address in the email as well as an “opt-out” link in every email designed to give consumers the ability to reach the marketer and tell them they no longer want to receive information from them after which the email sender must remove this email address from their data base within 10 business days.”
Essentially, the law prohibits marketers from sending any email which is unsolicited, and sent for the sole purpose of advertising or promoting a product or service. And yet – in spite of this law and all that it encompasses in the way of prohibitions – Internet users still receive mass quantities of spam on a daily basis; quantities which, for some Internet users, is a huge source of frustration even as other Internet users have become so used to the spam sent to their email address that they barely even notice these emails. Neither of these scenarios, however, will bode well for business owners who are using email marketing campaigns to promote their products or services, because Internet users who are angered by spam mail in general, may react harshly and report such emails – legitimate as they may be – to their Internet service providers.
Comprising the opt-in list
Furthermore, Internet users who do not even notice spam are likely to either automatically delete emails they previously opted-in for and/or might block the sender’s email address to prevent future emails from getting through to them, because they have reached the point where all emails to their inboxes are viewed through spam-colored glasses. So if you are a business owner who intend to initiate add email marketing to your already established business operations, or you’re already engaged in email marketing activities, you may find it helpful to pay special attention to your email distribution list and make sure to only include recipients who had specifically asked for additional information, since such actions will help to keep your emails from being viewed as spam.
You can take certain specific steps to accomplish these goals, the most important of which might be to invite individuals to subscribe to your opt-in list. In other words, simply ask visitors to your website – especially repeat visitors who seemed to have more than a casual interest in your content – to register with your website and specify whether or not they wish to receive future emails with additional information, advertisements or other helpful and useful tips. This ensures that the recipients of your emails are genuinely interested in your products and services and are not likely to view your emails as spam. Don’t allow your marketing emails to be viewed through spam-colored glasses!
Another way to ensure that this does not happen is to offer recipients the option of being removed from the distribution list with each email (an option required by CAN-SPAM Act, anyway). This is important even when the recipients specifically asked to receive these emails; but they are entitled to change their opinion at any time. Offering your email recipients the opportunity to remove themselves from a email distribution list whenever they want is worthwhile because it allows recipients to have some control in the situation. This is a stark contrast to spam in which the recipients feel as though they have no control over the situation and, therefore, no way to stop the spam from bombarding their inboxes on a daily basis.
De-spamming your business emails
Finally, business owners can help to ensure their email marketing campaign is not viewed as spam by including quality content in the emails they send to recipients of their email distribution list(s). This may include providing feature articles, product reviews or a series of short useful tips which will likely be hold interest to all who receive your emails. These emails may also include a soft sales pitch but such a sales pitch should not be the primary focus of your emails. Putting too much attention on the advertising is likely to lead recipients to assume that your email is nothing more than spam. Conversely, providing quality information which is useful to recipients and subtly urging them to perform an action such as making a purchase or investigating the details of a product can make the email seem much more worthwhile, and less like spam.