When discussing Email marketing one has to discuss spam. The two are however far from being synonyms. Instead of sending out as much emails as possible (spray & pray) professional email marketers send out interesting and valuable content to a thought-out targeted list of recipients. Doesn't sound too hard does it? Yet bad email marketing is out there, in some cases ruining the reputation of others.
Spam vs. Professional email marketing
Spam which is an acronym for “Sending Persistent annoying emails” has attracted a lot of attention over the last couple of years. In the eyes of recipients it seems like spam, in other words junk mail, is declining. In reality the amount of spam is increasing, but high performance spam filters are hiding it more efficiently. This way there is more space and tolerance in the email inbox for those email marketing messages that are desired. People always want to read about content that is interesting to them.
A spammer relies on the number, not the quality. The idea is that the more emails are sent out, the higher the chances of reaching more potential customers. There is no regard as to whether the information sent out has been requested or is anyhow relevant to the recipient. Professional email marketing on the other hand should have the following characteristics:
- Content is written with great attention, professionalism and checked for errors
- Emails are requested by the recipients (opt-in) or otherwise proven relevant for the receiver
- There should be an option for the recipients to decline further emails if the need arises (opt-out)
- Conform to regulations and requirements (note there could be regional or country specific regulations and requirements)
By getting caught by a spam filter means that your message is no longer being delivered to the recipients. In worst case scenario an entire server could be blacklisted, thus resulting in none of a company's own email traffic going through if the company's servers were used for email marketing purposes. This is one of the biggest reasons to use a professional service provider's tools and servers for email marketing. In addition to providing its trustworthy and reputable servers, a professional and well-established service provider also guides and directs their customers in doing sustainable and professional email marketing, thus making the road much smoother for their customers.
So why bother if its this hard and so many things to consider? Simply because it's worth it. If done properly, email marketing is both powerful and cost-effective. Email is personal to each of the recipient and thus influental. More and more people worldwide can be reached through email, across borders and independent of time and place. With email marketing results are tangible and easy to measure, in other words a world of reporting data is available to an email marketer that is nearly impossible to imagine in many of the more traditional ways of marketing.
Always make sure that your communication is wanted and interesting and that the recipients are never forced to receive it. If you do it right, the outcome will most likely award you with new customers, happier existing customers, better internal communication or whatever you communication goals are.
Email marketing is very dynamic and enables independent, self sustainable marketing. The software used for email marketing has developed enormously and there are tools out there that are easy to use and handy even if the marketer has no technical know-how or coding experience.
Contact us if you wish to discuss more about email marketing manners and best practices.
Familiarize yourself with LianaMailer if you wish to start email marketing (a tool for professional email marketing, spammers don't bother).