The prevalence of direct marketing and the unwelcome nature of some communications has led to regulations and laws such as the CAN-SPAM Act, requiring that consumers in the United States be allowed to opt out.
There are (obviously) unscrupulous email marketers among us, and you don’t want to be confused with any of them. Being illegal is, well… a bad thing. So, what are the email marketing laws that we all need to adhere to
Don’t make people dig around your site to stumble across subscription options. Keep your offers up front, and include calls-to-action on multiple pages of your website. Some key places to consider include your website’s homepage, your ‘About Us’ page, and your ‘Contact Us’ page.
As consumers, we are therefore naturally more receptive to things in our inbox— which most of us tend to guard like a mother bear guards her cubs—because they are filled with things we elect to see with some privacy.
Add a QR code (a bar code that people can scan with a smartphone app) to print ads, direct-mail post cards and other printed marketing materials. Use the code to allow people to opt-in to your email list simply by scanning the code.
Where consumers have a right of withdrawal (the consumer’s right to resend any goods to the seller, or to cancel the order for services, within a certain time limit and thus annulling the sale), the marketer should inform them of the existence of this right, how to obtain further information about it, and how to exercise it. Where there is an offer to supply products to the consumer on the basis of “free examination”, “free trial”, “free approval” and the like, it should be made clear in the offer who will bear the cost of returning products and the procedure for returning them should be as simple as possible. Any time limit for the return should be clearly disclosed.
The DMA, first established in 1917, is a trade organization that provides research, education and support for developing direct marketing. Its membership includes more than half of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as non-profit organizations. The DMA estimates that every dollar spent on direct marketing yields a return on investment of $11.73—compared with an estimated $5.23 for indirect advertising such as newspaper or magazine ads.
Set expectations – Before diving in head first, do the math to determine what are likely outcomes, perhaps based on past campaigns you’ve run or research you’ve done elsewhere. Naturally, make sure you’ve defined exactly what it will mean for a customer to convert so that when the time comes you’ll be able to effectively measure your ROI.
The way to get ideas for what to give away is by speaking with your existing customers. If you have a support team or happen to be doing support yourself, you already know what questions customers ask and what their biggest challenges are.
“The lists were not cleaned and opt in like he said the (sic) would be and were full of spam traps and complainers. I lost my mail servers and because it was down for 4 days I lost revenue. I even lost my website because of complaints to my host.”
Several years ago, I was on the hunt for the perfect top to sport during a half-marathon I was running. I found said sportswear at an outlet of a national name-brand store you would absolutely recognize the name of if I decided to throw them under the bus. (But they shall remain nameless because I’m a nice person.)
Email addresses are processed to verify deliverability, and IP addresses are checked for legitimacy. We follow all CAN-SPAM laws and suppress opt-outs in compliance with the CAN-SPAM guidelines established for business data.
For example, if someone subscribes to our blog, we don’t send them additional offers unless they download something and subscribe to our Marketing Information list. On the flip side, if someone downloads one of our resources, we don’t subscribe them to our blog unless they opt in while filling out the form (which they can do by checking a box). This ensures that we are honoring the subscriber’s intent.
In the 19th century, Aaron Montgomery Ward believed that using the technique of selling products directly to the customer at appealing prices could, if executed effectively and efficiently, revolutionize the market industry and therefore be used as a model for marketing products and creating customer loyalty. The term “direct marketing” was coined long after Montgomery Ward’s time.
Certain things go better together. Wine and cheese. Beer and tacos. And you can definitely throw direct marketing and digital marketing into that mix. If your marketing campaign is stuck, consider adding some digital spice to the concoction. You can do this in a number of proven ways and through myriad channels: social media, email and even offline campaigns with digital components, such as PURLs and video cards.
Include social sharing buttons and an “Email to a Friend” button in your marketing emails. That way, you’ll gain access to their friends, colleagues, and networks and expand your contact list. At the bottom of your emails, include a “Subscribe” CTA as a simple text-based link so that the people receiving the forwarded emails can easily opt-in, too.
If you insist on using social proof, I highly recommend you to use more quirky numbers. It is more powerful saying ‘Join 4,693 other ecommerce fans. Get your tips now.’ It seems like the number is the exact number of subscribers and will seem more accurate.
Make sure your subscribers can read your emails. Although the videos, graphics, flash animations, and logos look impressive on an email, they are often blocked by email filters. Upload video, graphics, and flash files to your site and use a flat text with hyperlinks to the site. Once your recipients get to your site, you can show them as many graphics as you want.
Regarding the previous paragraph, you can create as many free email marketing lists under different criteria as you need. Thus you pay only once, and get a year of free updates and an endless number of leads’ contacts. Note that this email scraper even collects hidden email addresses!
When you buy a mailing list you must define the area you wish to target. Targeted mailing lists are proven to increase response rates. You may define your direct mailing list by state, county, city, SCF, Zip codes, and even by radius.
Spring, summer, winter, and fall — your community probably has at least one street fair or similar event throughout the year. Participate in the event and collect email addresses right at the fair. Sweeten the deal by offering new subscribers a discount on their first (or next) purchase in exchange for sharing the email with you.
If you’re promoting a new social media channel or post, send it to your biggest fans first; they’re more likely to share, comment, like, and so on. As a bonus, when you email the rest of your list and they click through to the post/page, they’ll see the activity from your fans, which makes it easier for them to share/like/comment as well.
Do you really need their postal address, job title, date of birth and telephone number? If you don’t really need all that data, don’t ask for it. People are understandably nervous when the form asks for too much personal information.
Select contacts. Hover your mouse over a contact’s profile picture (or their first initial if they don’t have a picture), then click the checkbox that appears below your cursor and repeat this process for each contact you want to add.
Wait a second. Most people who visit my site do not care about these links. They are here to learn about business. So we changed it to specific content pages that I know people who read my site would be interest in.
In doing so, I can get early measurements and compare those against my needs / assumptions to see if it’s worth emailing the other 900 people, or if instead I should spend more time working on my pitch or target a new audience altogether.
That is excellent news for you – and you can get even more out of it. By giving them the option to subscribe to your newsletter during checkout, you can indeed collect some relevant and valuable emails from people, who have already shown an interest in what you have to offer.
Whether you’re at a trade show, community event or in your own storefront, collecting email addresses in person can be as easy as putting out a signup sheet and encouraging people to write down their details.
Your tip about CTA’s really hit the spot. I’ve been noticing that some of our competitors are using wordy yet highly specific buttons like ‘Get My Free Consultation Now!’ or ‘See Other Works From ____’. I was skeptic at first, but reading your logic behind it, it makes sense. I’m looking forward to implementing this on my own sites. Thank you, Brian.
Incorporate a QR code into your print marketing collateral that people can scan for more information on the printed content. Create the QR code such that it requires an email address to access the additional content. (There are many free QR code makers online that make this process easy.)
Incentivizing or at very least conveying the benefit of joing your list is critical. ”On exit’ style popups can increase subscriptions (in addition to simple sidebar integration.) Coregistration services like coRegMedia.com can also help to grow you r email list.
REALLY GETTING THE LIST YOU REQUESTED: Is this really an affluent email list? Is this really an email list of seniors? One way to verify your email list is with a basic Demographic Enhancement Report. Send us a random sample of your email list, and we’ll provide you with a detail Demographic Report ($199) … which will show the age, income, gender, net worth, and other demographic profile of your list. Of course other analytical vendors provide the same report.
IF there’s a guarantee, be sure to have the email list supplier clarify. Does the undeliverable guarantee mean they will simply send you more bad email addresses to compensate for the undeliverables … or does the guarantee include a “money” refund? IF you find a “money” refund guarantee, then let me say congratulations because I’ve never seen one … not a single one … of the low cost email list sellers provide a “money back” guarantee. It’s always … we’ll send you more bad email addresses.
“The legal industry refers to the unsubscribe features as “opt-out” requests. A one-click opt-out is not required, and the statute expressly permits more detailed options, such as a menu listing specific types of email from which to opt-out. However, a message covered by CAN-SPAM must contain a return email address or ‘other Internet-based mechanism, clearly and conspicuously displayed,’ within the email that a recipient can use to unsubscribe from the mailing list.
I want a refund! What about refunds? This question reminds me of another victim who bought a 60,000 name boat email list for just $950. A steal! So he thought. A week later his transmission company locked his account … before they even email blasted the list. Transmission company informed that their email cleansing service classified the list as a low quality list … and quality email transmission companies will NOT touch a low quality list … since doing so would damage their reputation with servers (AOL, Gmail, etc). Anyway, the victim called the email list seller for a refund, but after receiving voicemail too many times to tally … he gave up.
Explain to them that if they collect emails, they will be able to send out tailored offers and thereby make the customers return to the store. That will make it clear to the staff why emails are valuable – not only for you but their business as well.