Just because you can legally send marketing emails to your customers and potential customers, doesn’t mean it is open season for selling by email. There are still rules.
Emailing Rules for Marketing
If you want to cash in on the most cost effective marketing ever, please do your homework first. The rules are very straightforward and they all make sense. And every great idea you think nobody has ever come up with before is probably on the list as something to never do. So, look at the CAN-SPAM Act and keep your company (and yourself) out of trouble.
Why Did my Email Marketing Software Suspend Me?
MailChimp, Sendinblue, ConstantContact and hundreds more, have rules. And their big rule is that people on your mailing list must have opted into your mailing list. There are plenty of reasons for this, all of them are valid. You must respect this rule.
Many small business owners, in their eagerness to get the cash rolling into their door, will try to skirt the rules with these common list building methods:
- Put a business card fishbowl out for a drawing
- Collect all the emails from a trade show
- Generate a list of all customers who have ordered from you in the past
- Scrape email addresses from websites
- Rent or purchase a list from a list seller
- Compile every business contact into a list
Every one of those methods of building a list is illegal and will get you suspended from your email marketing software. People must give their permission to receive marketing emails. The safest way to do this is to direct them to a subscription form to fill out themselves. And sure, you can make that a part of your entry to win the prize or other promotion, if you tell them they are subscribing to your mailing list.
When the Email Recipient Complains
What happens when the person receiving the email hits the abuse button because they didn’t sign up for your list? That sends a message to alert your ISP that you’re sending spam and it sends that message to the company you’re using to manage your list and send your emails.
When enough abuse reports come in after you send your marketing email, you’ll be suspended by your email marketing software. And the recipient’s ISP will put you on numerous blacklists.
You might be thinking, well, so what?! I’ll just switch email marketing software! Well, you could, but it won’t matter. You company domain (your website address) will become banned by email servers all over the world. Most of your customers won’t ever see your emails again – and that means for anything, not just marketing. Every email you send will be deleted by the recipient’s ISP. That includes responses to their questions, order confirmations, and all business correspondence. They will never hear from you again.
Using Regular Email to Send Marketing Emails
Avoiding CRMs or email marketing software and using your own email address is never a clever idea. All the same things will happen, it’ll just happen at a faster pace. My blog post 3 Reasons to Never Send Email Marketing with Your Business Email goes into detail on reasons to never do that.
How to Build a Legitimate Mailing List
You can do several things to build a mailing quickly so you can get started with your marketing right away. All these methods are completely legal.
- Run FB or Google ads to get them to subscribe in exchange for a free (usually a digital) item
- Have trade show attendees sign up to your mailing list as their entry into a giveaway
- Install a popup on your website to get them to sign up to your mailing list
- Have a form on your webpages inviting them to sign up
- Put a check box on orders inviting them to be added to your mailing list
Some of those methods collect new subscribers over time and some collect a lot of subscribers quickly. You should do all of them that apply to your circumstance.
Start Emailing Your Customers Right Away
There is a lot of money out there if only you ask. Email marketing is the best thing to come along in the business world. It is so inexpensive to do and brings in a lot of money instantly. Every company should be sending marketing emails. But it must be done correctly to benefit you.
When you need help with your email marketing, contact me at CrumpleGroup.com. I’m happy to create effective campaigns for you that keep the cash rolling in.