It’s tempting to try all the tricks you see other email marketing campaigns using to lure in customers. Somebody must be buying from these companies, or else they wouldn’t continue with tactics that border on spam. Right? Well, maybe, but is that the kind of customer you want? Utilizing unethical email marketing methods simply doesn’t work for a legitimate business selling mainstream products.
Real customers don’t want to be deluged with SPAM!
Besides, more and more nations are passing laws that control the quality of email designed to generate sales, and once your company is on the wrong side of the law, it takes even more effort to repair your online reputation.
Here are some tactics to avoid if you want to generate good customer leads that lead to repeat sales from happy customers.
Stay Within the Law
Covering a complex web of email marketing misuse, Australia’s government passed the SPAM Act in 2003 to fight abuse of email for sales and marketing purposes. Like the American CAN SPAM law and regulations set forth in many other countries, legislation requires:
- Opt-in or consent of the recipient to receive email from youObviously anyone who is part of your group or wants to keep up with your latest sales and special offers will sign up for updates or a newsletter. But you cannot send unsolicited email to just anyone. Opt-in is a feature taken seriously by software like Constant Contact, and these useful programs help you stay honest in this department.
- Proper identification of the authorized sender of the messageLaw requires the authorized sender of the message be honestly identified. Somewhere in the email, the bricks-and-mortar address of the company, as well as phone and website, should be listed. Unethical companies will use a deceptive email address to lure in customers, but the identification requirement will verify to the customer exactly who generated the email, letting them determine whether or not this is SPAM.
- Ability to Unsubscribe from the email listIn most countries, it is required by law that recipients of any email have a clear way to unsubscribe from the email list. Usually there is a simple link to an automated unsubscribe function.
These are the SPAM Act’s main areas of concern, but it also covers abuses such as purchasing address lists, viral marketing, friend-get-a-friend schemes, engaging a third-party to send your email, etc. None of these tactics actually make marketing sense.
For example, buying an email list requires that you have a huge number of recipients to generate even one sale, and it’s just a numbers game. For most legitimate businesses, mass marketing is not nearly as effective as market segmentation strategy, which targets potential customers with laser precision. Target markets have far more statistical probability to actually purchase something. Plus, they are far less likely to report you as a spammer.
Damaging Your Online Reputation
Defying any of these regulations is most serious and punishable by fines, and worse, may be reported online. In Australia, there is a government reporting system called SpamMATTERS that tracks spammers and takes action against them.
Happy customers will build your sales when you stay away from unethical email marketing tactics.
Unhappy recipients are also likely to post negative comments on website comment areas, in chat rooms, and on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Don’t take the chance of tarnishing your hard-won business status in the world. Stay away from unethical marketing methods, and with some patience, the real sales from genuine customers will pour in.
Sarah Boisvert is a seasoned writing professional who covers a range of business topics including marketing communications, social media platforms, and new technologies such as 3D printing. She has profiled business leaders such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Chuck Hull.
Photo #1 Credit: “Spam Target Shows Unwanted And Malicious Spamming” by Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photo #2 Credit: “Happy Girl Doing On Line Shopping” by marin via FreeDigitalPhotos.net