Don`t Spam Your Customers! - Keep it Honest, Keep it Clean
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You'd be surprised how easy it is to stumble on these two issues. Making sure that subscribers can clearly see how to unsubscribe is one example of keeping it honest. If you do share your list with other parties, you also want to be honest about that to your subscribers - and make it easy for them to opt out of receiving mailings from third parties.
Honesty includes transparency, and this can definitely help you. Make sure your contact knows why they're receiving your email. Put "You're receiving this email because you signed up for special offers from XYZ Company" right at the top of your newsletter. Or "You're receiving this email because you recently purchased blue widgets from us, and we'd like to make this special offer to you." Or even "You're receiving this email because you signed up to receive special offers from the partners of Company X" if you got the contact information from Company X. If your recipients can see up front that they have some kind of relationship with you already, they will look at your email in an entirely different - and much more positive - light.
Let your email recipients know how frequently they will receive email from you. For some people, once a week is just right; for others, once a month is too much. If you're not sure how often you're going to contact the people on your mailing list, don't be afraid to ask them how often they'd like to receive mailings from you. Also, let them know whether you'll be doing a regular newsletter, a one-shot mailing, periodic advertisements, or what have you. Time is a very precious commodity; everyone wants to know what to expect, and how much of their time you're trying to take up. It's only polite to let them know.
Keeping it clean takes us back to the principle of due diligence. Yes, if you're using a third party for anything, you need to employ due diligence, but you also need to use it on your own mailing list. How old is your mailing list? When was the last time it was purged of suspicious email addresses? How do you handle email addresses that bounce? Also, if your company is growing, you may be getting new databases; have you taken care of the duplicate addresses? Is information synchronized across all databases, or spread out so that a customer may still get your publications after unsubscribing from everything? That can happen if an unsubscribe request is recorded in one database but not other relevant databases.
This kind of housekeeping is tedious, but it's very important. It's invaluable for helping to manage your customer relationships. If you engage in the right practices, your recipients will be happy to see your email in their inboxes - or at least won't treat it as spam.
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