Doing email marketing the right way

Email marketing is the most direct method of marketing and allows you to target your customers and/or subscribers in the shortest time possible. You are able to advertise your products/services to them and they have the chance to be the first set of people who buy from you. Even then there are some set of rules which you must follow so that you don’t end up spamming your customers and blacklisting your mail server.

1. Newsletter subscribe option

First you need to have a newsletter subscribe option on your website. Please bear in mind that email marketing is ethical and legal only if you are sending email to customers/subscribers who have explicitly expressed their intent of joining your newsletter. If you don’t have a newsletter subscribe option and you really want to send email to your users then you can place a newsletter opt-in option on your registration/sign up forms however you need to mention this on your website so that your customers know what they are getting into.

2. From: address

When sending emails to your subscribers make sure that the From: address in your email is that of your domain and not of any other website or email provider (like GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc). It would look highly unprofessional if you use another email address other than the one for your domain to send emails and it could get you blocked by your subscribers. Not only that this would be seen as attempts to spam your subscribers.

3. Contact information

If you are a legitimate business offering information about your products/services then you should mention your complete contact details in your newsletter so that people know who they are dealing with. They can use the contact details of your company to contact you and you may ultimately achieve a sale.

4. Unsubscribe option

The option to unsubscribe must always be available to your subscribers. It should be clearly visible on your email and the link should work i.e. if some one clicks the link then it should unsubscribe the user easily.  It would be preferable to have an unsubscribe option on your website as well. If you don’t have this option on your outgoing email then people can report you for sending out spam and your mail server may be blacklisted.

5. Plain text format

Most companies send out a very fancy and attractive newsletter template to their users. While this may all be good as it helps subscribers to view the offer in one go it may not help those who view their email in plain text. Some subscribers do not want to view graphics in their email and if you don’t send your email in plain text then you will simply lose out on a sizable number of subscribers.

6. Avoid BCC

Never enter and send emails to your subscriber from the BCC of your email. The technique of this method is put your email address in the From and To section and pack the BCC section with all your subscriber emails. Sending emails via this method is very dangerous as mail servers have become very intelligent and you may see some of your emails not being delivered to the recipient.

Last but not least check the USA CAN SPAM law of 2003 for more details on what you should not do when email marketing.

Hope the above helped.

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