“Dude, open my email and a purple monkey will run across your screen”. If you’re worried that your email marketing lacks a certain finesse—ahem, like the above–then read on.
There are certain things you should and shouldn’t do as an email marketer. For example: add your extended family to your email list and use forwarding links. If you don’t know which one was right and which one was shady as hell….read on. That was a trick question by the way—both are shadier than an Oak tree.
Without further mumbo jumbo (a word you likely shouldn’t use in an email, or online writing), here are the 5 golden rules of email marketing etiquette that will help put even the roughest-cornered marketer through email-etiquette finishing school:
If your automation routine is down pat, like a McDonald’s drive through, consider toning it down. Nobody likes automation, despite the growth in voice-activated phone systems and other overly-automated services, people detest—and ignore—automated emails. Many marketing automation tools allow for automation rules that break every rule of marketing etiquette there is. Read through this list, then read through your marketing automation services, if your rule(s) violate this etiquette then ditch them (or at least re-work them).
Make Unsubscribing Easy…then Let them Do It
Don’t be THAT guy who hides the unsubscribe button three-layers deep into his webpage, in invisible font. Crap, I may have just given somebody an idea how to hide their unsubscribe button. To be fair to your list, make your unsubscribe button clear and present in every email. Then honor every unsubscribe request. A completely legitimate option to avoid unsubscribes is to offer them a change in email frequency, timing or product information group before they are officially unsubscribed. People will respect you for this and you may earn back their trust/interest.
If you have high unsubscribe rates try applying these 7 tips to reduce your unsubscribes.
Use Only Permission-Based Email Lists
This is not only good karma, its the law. Only adding emails to your email marketing list that want to be there is moral, non-shady and quite frankly more effective. Having only legitimate emails on your list will help build your reputation with spam checkers, and it will increase your success rates (whereas fudging your lists with additional emails will only screw with your open and delivery rates). Also, don’t migrate people from one product list to another—its dodgy.
Don’t Buy Contacts
This is sort of grouped under the permission-based umbrella above but I think it is done so much in the email marketing community that its worth mentioning. Purchasing emails is one: shady, and two: isn’t likely to work anyways. Emails on email marketing lists for sale have been sold to hundreds, if not thousands, of marketers—meaning that they are bombarded daily with email blasts from products/sites they never signed up for. This is bad karma for marketers, but more importantly these rightfully-angry people may report your shady tactics to the Bureau of Investigation into Dodgy People, or whatever bureau penalizes law-beraking marketers . If they do you are out of money for your lists, have blown your reputation and could be liable for fines depending on your state.
Don’t Act a Fool….or Spammy
Sending valuable information with email blasts is providing a service to your email list (provided they signed up to be on your list, as per above) but there is a fine line between being informational, being salesy and being spammy. Despite my making-up of words there, it is still good advice. If you are wondering if your email frequency borders on spammy then consider running some tests to determine your optimal frequency…or just ask your email list—trust me: they will tell you!
Whew, done. If you’ve read this far in the article kudos to you (and thanks by the way)–you’ve made it through step 1 of Email Marketer Finishing School. Now go forth and send emails with the utmost respect for your users.
For more moral-refining tips, click here.