In today’s marketing mix, email is perhaps one of the most important elements you need to consider. You do want to email your customers, but you don’t want to be reported as a spammer. Read on to find out how to avoid the junk folder.

The importance of email marketing

Email marketing is a very effective method of reaching your customers. As this researcher pointed out back in 2007, there are approximately 668 million email users worldwide, and over 1.2 billion active email accounts. He also noted that consumers find emails the most effective form of marketing.

But you can’t email your customers without their permission.

The skinny on permission

The ACMA web site contains detailed information on who you are and are not allowed to contact. There is a heap of information in the Act, so here’s a summary:

It is OK to contact people who:

  • have explicitly signed up, such as by checking a box on a form. But it is important that the box is not checked by default
  • have completed a paper form, survey or competition and indicated they they would like to receive email from you
  • gave you their business card, provided you told them you would email them
  • who have bought from you in the past 2 years.

It is not OK to contact:

  • anyone who doesn’t fall into one of the categories above!
  • customers you have not contacted for a period of 2 years. This includes those who gave permission to be contacted
  • addresses you have found on a web site
  • addresses from a purchased list.

If in doubt, leave them out!

Don’t include anybody in your mailing list if you have any doubts at all about whether it’s ok to email them.

Getting your messages flagged as spam, even if you believed your mailing was justified, can cause issues for your business’s reputation. It’s not worth the hassle.

Sounds too hard? Thankfully, it isn’t.

If this is all starting to sound like it’s too hard, then take heart. Email newsletter systems are available that take all the pain out of the process.

Our own system, Starfish Send, makes setting up a newsletter properly a simple process, that keeps you out of spam trouble. Part II will explain how and why.

If you’re interested in seeing what email marketing can do for your business, contact us today!