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Compliance 101: Your Customers' Inbox is Not a Dump Truck
Helping online marketers stay compliant and achieve optimal delivery results is a major part of what we do at SimplyCast. Our team of deliverability experts do their best each and every day and in general, remain a happy bunch. But as with any profession, the need to vent for the greater good is needed. That is why this month we turned to one of our most honest and unfiltered compliant experts.
Your customers' inbox is not a dump truck
Your customers' inbox is not the back of a dump truck. Meaning, it is not a place where you just shove everything in and hope for the best. Your email marketing message is meant to be read by human beings, and these people should be treated with respect and honesty.
Creating an effective online marketing campaign is a tough job these days with everyone being bombarded with "spam-vertise-ments", viruses and malware each and every day. In addition to navigating through several layers of hardware and software to reach the inbox, your message has to contend with all the other messages that an individual receives in a day. Just think of all the emails, texts, tweets, and status updates you get in a day. It can be quite overwhelming.
So what is a marketer to do in order to get their messages read? Three common things people look for are the following:
- Recognition of who it came from.
- Knowledge that the sender provides interesting messages related to their products/ services.
- Knowledge that the sender doesn't attempt to overwhelm or waste the readers time.
But how do legitimate senders do this?
The first one, recognition, should be easy. You should only be sending to people who have asked to receive email from you, be it through a signup form or a preference in an account. If you are sending email to people who don't know who you are, stop right now.
All you are doing is wasting your time (and money) and tallying up spam complaints until no one, anywhere, ever, receives your email because you've ruined your own reputation. Seems harsh but it is a reality that can't be repeated enough.
Providing interesting and worthwhile messages is a little more complicated. You need to first understand why people have signed up to receive messages from you and what they want to read about.
Stay on target! If you only market one or two products or services, this is easy, but if you market a whole range of items, it may be more effective to gather some information about what each contact wants to read about instead of just blasting everything to everybody. This can be done through user surveys or a much more refined signup process.
Don't try to overwhelm people or waste their time. All it takes is one bad experience and that customer will move on to your competition. This can mean limiting how often you send to your contacts or even limiting the content in your emails. Your goal should always be to create engaging emails that drive people to your website to learn more.
Some of the messages I personally love to receive (and read!) are short and simple. They entice me through a few lines of text and a single image to find out more.
Following the above advice will help make sure that your messages make it through the machines and reach your customers' inbox. More importantly your customers will appreciate that you are not treating their inbox as a dump truck and this will only be a good thing going forward.
For more tips on how you can remain compliant, read our other compliant 101 blog posts.