How to Avoid Spamming Your Customers
┐by: Julie Martin
One thing an e-business must take very seriously is SPAM. No one likes to receive it, and more and more consumers are sick of it and taking action. Some businesses have even been fined, sued and in some instances, jail time has been recommended.
Far too often, email correspondence from businesses is taken as SPAM, when in actuality; it is a simple email promoting a new product to an existing customer. How can your e-business avoid falling into this trap?
Here are some pointers to make sure you are never accused of sending SPAM.
Tip #1 - The Double Opt-In Mailing List
If you plan to run an e-zine, keep in touch with your customers and collect email addresses on the Internet, you are definitely going to have to utilize Double Opt-In mailing list rules. What this means is that when a customer signs up for your mailing list, they will be sent an email to confirm their subscription. The customer cannot receive your mailing without replying to the confirmation email. It is a very simple step, but one that will save you countless trouble later on. Most mailing list programs keep a log of all subscriptions and responses to the confirmation email, leaving you with important proof that the email a consumer is receiving was asked for.
Tip #2 - Keep a Regular Schedule
If you do send out an e-zine or notifications of new products, make sure you keep the emails to a regular schedule. Let your subscribers know in advance when the email will be sent out and how often you plan to send it. This will cut down on SPAM complaints if everyone knows the schedule in advance. Once you have set a schedule - stick to it! If you don┐t have a set schedule, you may want to let your customers know that emails will come periodically, but not in an overabundance.
Tip #3 - Avoiding SPAM Filters
One way to quickly have your email categorized as SPAM is by using words in the email that will automatically send it to the junk mail folder and in some instances, get your company reported as a SPAMMER. It is not easy to avoid all of the commonly used words, but it will save you time and effort if you check the current lists of commonly filtered words and steer clear of using them in the subject line and body of your email.
Tip #4 - Buying Mailing Lists - Do Your Research
When looking for new customers, one of the most common methods is purchasing an existing mailing list. Several companies compile customer information and sell them to the highest bidder. While you may be getting several million new leads, you could also be getting several million new complaints. If you do decide to purchase a mailing list, make sure that the information you are buying was collected using double opt-in.
Tip #5 - Presentation Matters
When you do send out customer emails, make sure that they look professional, and that they give the best possible impression of your company. You don┐t have to spend a lot of money making it look pretty, but it is important that you put your best foot forward. How many SPAM┐s have you received that were formatted strangely, contained key words that didn┐t belong and where pretty much a mess to look at? You can stand out from the crowd if your presentation and methods are professional.
Tip #6 - Choosing the Right Service Provider
When you set up your mailing list with a third party, make sure that the company will not use your customer┐s addresses and turn around and sell them. Many customers who do sign up for e-zines and product notifications don┐t give out their email addresses to just anyone. It is very easy to be accused of selling information when it was the company hosting your list that is to blame.
When you do collect customer information, it is always a good idea to put yourself in their shoes. Would you want your information sold to the highest bidder? Do you receive too many emails from the same company and get so sick of it you automatically hit the delete key? Keep in mind these things when you do contact your customers.
About The Author
Julie Martin is the publisher of ┐The Iscaweb eZine┐ a weekly eZine dedicated to increasing your online profits, no matter what you are selling. Julie also uses the ┐Plug-In-Profit┐ system to GREAT effect!
To subscribe to the eZine, or to learn more about the Plug-In-Profit system visit: http://www.iscaweb.com