My intention with this article is to simply point out the three deadly email marketing practices that I’ve seen from countless people and organizations. Conducting business this way can lead to negative perception of the organization and the brand you’re trying to establish.
No one want’s that.
Follow your nation’s SPAM laws.
An email address is a permission asset, I never gave permission. I don’t ever recall opting into your organization’s email database. Worst of all, I don’t even see an option to unsubscribe.
If you’re a professional organization, you better be following your nation’s laws when it comes to unsolicited marketing.
According to Canada’s anti-spam legislation:
Marketers may only send email to individuals who opt in to receiving them. It is mandatory for senders to enable recipients to opt out of receiving messages. The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) may levy fines of up to $1 million for an individual or $10 million for a business that contravenes the Act.
According to United States anti-spam legislation:
There are no restrictions against a company emailing its existing customers or anyone who has inquired about its products or services, even if these individuals have not given permission, as these messages are classified as “relationship” messages under CAN-SPAM.
If a user opts out, a sender has ten days to cease sending and can only use that email address for compliance purposes. The legislation also prohibits the sale or other transfer of an e-mail address after an opt-out request. The law also requires that the unsubscribe mechanism must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after the transmission of the original message.
Source: Wikipedia, CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
If you wish to be professional, don’t be a typical mass mailer.
When you mass email using CC or BCC from an organizational email address, that just demonstrates a lack of professionalism. This is the laziest form of relationship building. It tells me that you see me as part of large undifferentiated group of people.
This is absolutely annoying.
If you want quality contacts, be strategic in acquiring them.
Deploy an awareness campaign.
Hold offline and online events. Setup landing pages. Share videos and utilize other channels of communication where I’d be compelled to be a part of what you’re doing or providing.
Engage with me.
Once you’ve got my contact and have my permission to send me emails, you should begin with a message that welcomes me to your list and sets expectations of what to expect. Use this opportunity and the following one or two messages to build some rapport.
Lead me to learn more and get involved.
After we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit, funnel me into lists or communication channels where I can learn more and get involved. This is the time to show me what you’re offering.
When I’ve gotten a taste of what you’ve got to offer, go for the close.
Whether it’s to buy something or to give to your case, this is when you should be sending me messages with a transactional intent. Not before.