The e-Mail Marketing Campaign
You’ve got a list. You’ve written some great content. It’s designed and published. Before you click the send button, use this checklist to ensure you’re on target.
Are the sources of all e-mail addresses in your contact list apparent?
If you don't know where the contact information came from, how can you be sure that you have permission to market to the e-mail address? If your e-mail is reported as spam, you need to be able to defend yourself against accusations from federal and provincial privacy commissioners.
Does your list contain many duplicated e-mail addresses?
If so, you may be sending multiple messages to the same people, and destroying the trust and good will that e-mail marketing works so hard to build.
Are your messages CAN-SPAM and PIPEDA compliant?
If you are sending messages to US contacts, those messages must comply with the governing US legislation (CAN-SPAM). In Canada, your messages must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). If you fail to do so, you risk the wrath of both federal and provincial privacy commissioners.
Do your messages look like advertising?
Traditional, one-to-may advertising is inappropriate in the one-to-one medium of e-Mail Marketing. e-Mail Marketing's purpose is to build on the initial relationship created when your prospects give you permission to market to them. Your e-mail messages should acknowledge this relationship and seek to build on it with each new communication.
Because people use the Internet to search out information actively, they tend to ignore what they perceive to be Marketing hype. Your e-mail messages should provide the information and references they are looking for, rather than pure advertising pitch.
Are your messages heavily laden with graphics?
If so, they might be causing your readers some frustration, or they might not even be getting through their spam filters. e-Mails that are constructed as one large image take more time to load than predominantly textual ones, which can be frustrating for the recipient. Since no text appears while the image is loading, your message may be reported as spam before the contact even sees it. Many spam filters, such as SpamAssassin, place a high spam score on e-mails that have a large image to text ratio. Therefore, the chance that the message will be trapped by a spam filter is increased.
In addition, text rendered in an image does not print as clearly as real text, and requires more memory.
Are your messages personally addressed?
Unlike traditional advertising, e-Mail Marketing is a one-to-one medium. The contact's Inbox is his or her private domain. Addressing contacts by name makes a message appear more personal, and contacts are less likely to report a message as spam if they believe there is a reason for them being on the list (i.e., if they are addressed personally, they will believe they must have subscribed at some point).
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