When it comes to email marketing, the elephant in the room for many clients is the legitimacy of their mailing list. The source of many mailings lists client provide us is often shrouded in mystery. And not ironically, the law is also shrouded in mystery. As a result, different email marketing service providers have their own sets of standards and practices to help keep them (and you) out of hot water.
But mailing lists are not the only thing to be considerate of. More importantly, you need to be considerate of your audience in general. So at the very least, it’s important for prospective email marketers to be aware of the law and adopt their own set best practices.
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 is federal legislation passed to help control SPAM and hinder the spammers that send it. However, in spite of its intent, the CAN-SPAM Act is largely unenforced and affords spammers a myriad of loopholes.
So from a legal standpoint, the repercussions of not following Bicycle Theory’s ‘recommended best practices’ (below) are low. However, from a practical standpoint, the stakes are actually much higher.
Recommended Best Practices
When it comes to brand marketing, Bicycle Theory recommends that managing your brand image should be one of your top priorities; otherwise, you risk doing more harm than good.
If you send out too many messages, your recipients are likely experience a negative brand impression. If you bombard them with information they don’t find valuable, your recipients are likely experience a negative brand impression. And if you send messages to people that didn’t ask for them, your recipients are likely experience a negative brand impression.
Over time, bad practices may turn your audience against you all together. They could even result in your email services provider giving you the boot for receiving too many SPAM reports. So as a matter of best practices, remember these three things:
- Only send email marketing messages to subscribers that opt-in to receive them.
- Only send valuable and relevant information to your audience.
- Curb your enthusiasm and stick to a regular (but not too regular) schedule.
More Email Marketing Suggestions
Additional ‘best practices’ can be found within the CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business published by the Federal Trade Commission’s ‘Bureau of Consumer Protection’ …
About Bicycle Theory
Bicycle Theory is a brand marketing company located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN. Bicycle Theory provides strategic and tactical brand marketing services, including Web design and development, Internet marketing, brand strategy, and identity building.