Email marketing is still a fantastic way to connect with customers and prospects. Email marketing can be extremely effective but there are a few little rules that you need to keep in mind when emailing your contacts.
If you are going to send an email out you must follow these rules for EVERY bulk email you send. Not following these rules mean you are breaking the Australian Spam Act and could cost you a lot of money in fines.
1. Do you have approval?
Only send to people who have given you explicit approval to market to them. This means either they have opted into your database on your website or they have verbally said to you that you can market to them.
Most email marketing systems actually have an opt-in process, meaning people confirm they wish to be on your database. As soon as this happens you are able to market to them as much as you want.
Getting a business card at an event does not mean you have approval to market to them. Yes, you can email them personally with a nice message but it doesn’t mean you can add them to your database and send bulk emails to them to sell them your services/products. In fact, a personal message is going to be much more effective than a bulk email anyway. Adding people straight to your database is only going to infuriate them.
2. Do you include an opt-out function
When you send an email you MUST include a function where people can automatically choose to unsubscribe from receiving any emails from you.
There is a heap of email marketing systems out there and they all include this function so that people can unsubscribe straight away. This actually benefits both the email recipient (they can opt-out easily with no fuss) and you (in that they are unsubscribed automatically so you don’t have to do anything).
For those who think these systems are expensive then you need to look at MailChimp.com which allows you to use their system for free (for up to 2,000 subscribers). The ones that charge are really affordable anyway and if you are serious about being successful using email marketing than investing in an email program is a great idea anyway.
3. Include your contact details
Every email you send should have the details of who you are and how they can contact you, and as a best practice how they got to be on your database.
You need to make the email very clear who is sending the email and make sure they can easily get in contact.
Other email marketing best practices
- Never buy or sell an email database.
- Do not harvest email addresses from the internet.
- If you have a subscribe function on your website include a spam disclaimer on the form (e.g. we will not sell or distribute your email address).