As effective as email is in growing your business, it can also be used with disastrous results.
Particularly at the beginning of the year, everyone is talking about cleaning out their email. All the spammy messages and wondering how they ever got in there in the first place.
There are a few key things that you can do to keep your prospects and customers happy:
Always use a “double opt-in” sign up process. What the heck is that? When you provide your email address to sign-up for a webinar, download an ebook or just receive more information, it is captured but put into a holding area. A follow-up email is automatically generated to your email address that asks you to confirm that, in fact, it is you and you are allowing your information to be added to the email database for this purpose. Then, and only then, will your information be released and the company is able to send you the information you are expecting. No confirmation, no email.
My thinking: If you receive an email from a company that you have not opted-in to, mark it as spam and send it on its merry way. These are company emails, not personal emails from a specific individual and I did not give my permission to send info to me.
Always provide an Unsubscribe link, typically at the bottom of every email. If you have signed up and approved the use of your email address for communication, but have changed your mind, simply click the Unsubscribe link and you will be removed from that email list.
My thinking: If there is not an Unsubscribe link provided on company email I receive, I usually click the SPAM button and send it on its merry way. If the company does not respect my time enough to provide this simple service, I don’t want to do business with them anyway.
Understand the Can-Spam Act. The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. Ignorance of the law will not prevent you from the heavy hand of government and big fines .
Are you using these tools and steps when sending out company email to your customers and prospects? The easiest way to make sure you have your bases covered is to use one of the top-tier email service providers. Here are some to consider:
I understand from my conversations with many of the top email service providers that they are all cracking down hard on their customers that have not implemented these standards. Companies like AWeber will not even allow a company to upload a customer list unless there is proof and an electronic record of the opt-in process. Probably worth the time to get your email practices in line with industry standards now, before disaster strikes.
Final thought: Isn’t it time to refresh your entire email approach?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas about these thoughts. Leave me a comment and let me know how you approach these things.