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WEB HOSTING ARTICLES

Don`t Spam Your Customers!
By: Terri Wells
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    2007-06-20

    Table of Contents:
  • Don`t Spam Your Customers!
  • Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  • List Usage
  • Keep it Honest, Keep it Clean

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    Don`t Spam Your Customers! - Subscribing and Unsubscribing


    (Page 2 of 4 )

    If someone on your mailing list wants to get off of it, honor the request, and do so promptly. If you continue to send offers or newsletters after the person has unsubscribed, they're justified in considering it spam. You don't need to make them angry.

    While we're on the subject of unsubscribing, just how easy is it to unsubscribe from your list? You need to have an easy to spot method of unsubscribing in every mailing you send out. Let them reply to your newsletter with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line, or click on a link in the email that will take them to a site where they can unsubscribe. Better yet, arrange it so that both ways work. And check your unsubscribe link to make sure it continues to work! No one wants to try to unsubscribe only to reach a 404 Not Found error.

    How about opting in to your mailings? This is where honesty and transparency are important. Some web sites have registration forms that automatically sign a user up for a whole bunch of newsletters. They'll have the checkboxes ticked and include some kind of text such as "click here to opt out of receiving our newsletter." That's counter intuitive, and it won't win you any friends among the folks who are duped. Leave all checkboxes empty by default, and make it very clear what the user will get if he or she opts in.

    After a user opts in for your email, send a confirmation letter via email before sending a newsletter. Better still, make it a special letter that includes a link to click for the recipient to confirm that yes, he or she really did sign up for your newsletter and really does want to receive it. If you don't get that confirmation, do not add the person to your mailing list. In industry parlance, this is called "double opt-in," and it's the best way to make sure that everyone who is on your mailing list really wants to be there.

    In general, it's a good idea to make it as easy as possible for your subscribers to contact you. You can put a link directly to your "contact us" page on your web site. It's even better if you include your email address, street address, and a phone number right in your email. In fact, the CAN-SPAM Act requires that you include your physical business address in your email. After all, not everyone who wants to contact you is doing it to complain - and for the ones that do, if they can't complain to you they're likely to complain to someone else, who may then choose not to do business with your company. It's much better to give them an opportunity to contact you so you can take care of their problems (to say nothing of making it easier to make the sale!).

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