Did you know that spam filters can flag your company and website as sending dangerous or unwanted content? With the wrong types of subject matter or etiquette, your company’s reputation could be forever smeared and you could be prevented from contacting customers.
An unsolicited email, sent to a list of people, is called spam. By sending spam, you are directly violating the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and could face fines of $11,000 for every spam email you send. To read more on this law, visit ftc.gov.
Spam filters are designed to keep unwanted messages out of their customers’ inboxes. Sometimes a well-meaning business will unintentionally send messages that read like spam to the filters or contact uninterested recipients who flag the message as spam themselves. Too many flags and major internet providers will block your messages.
If you’ve collected your email lists legitimately, then you should have a record of your recipients requesting information from you. Using collection tactics like a double opt-in feature will allow your customers to confirm their request for your newsletter or promotional emails. When they sign up, they are sent a message asking them to click a confirmation link to continue receiving emails from you.
You have to allow your clients the option to unsubscribe from your emails. Make sure this option is clear—make it too difficult and clients will likely flag your messages rather than continuing to receive unwanted content.
On the Ball
If you collect contacts at a tradeshow or marketing event, don’t wait too long to send out your first email. Clients who wait months to send a newsletter or promotional email often get rejected as spam by customers who forgot they signed up in the first place. Instead, send out an email requesting clients to confirm they would like to be on your email lists.
Reliable and Relevant
Customers want relevant information. No one wants to skim through an email, only to find nothing in it is worthwhile and they are being told to buy something. Research your audience and create information that matters to them. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and provide them with extra services. For example: a bakery might provide party planning tips or a weekly favorite recipe that complements one of their breads.
- Don’t oversell; most spam filters (and certainly most customers) are very sensitive to “deals” and calls to purchase.
- Don’t flood an inbox; customers who receive too many emails will opt-out or mark them as spam. Make your intent known at sign up—a monthly newsletter or a weekly promotion? Let the customer decide.
- Stay consistent; just like in social media, your customers will be thrown off if you get busy, disappear for a long amount of time and then try to jump back into a regular flow of content.
Keep it Professional
You may not realize how much looks and content matter to a client. Emails that appear unprofessional will be treated poorly and most likely marked as spam. Hire someone or use an email service to give your emails high-quality appearance. By spending the extra money now, you avoid starting over later when your business is flagged as spam and rejected by major ISPs.