There is one basic email marketing mistake some marketers make that will virtually guarantee a high percentage of their emails are unopened, deleted, or worse – marked as spam and reported. This is to send emails without the recipient’s permission. It is not best practice email marketing, as it generally gets poor results and brings some unintended consequences.
Apart from running the risk of getting into trouble with the law or with their ISP, they have wasted a lot of time and energy for poor results. But the bigger cost could be in the opportunities lost by having the door closed on them. This could have so easily been avoided by following the simple rule of getting permission to send the emails in the first place.
Why Get Permission?
We all know a golden rule in life is to treat each other with courtesy and respect. We need to approach any email marketing campaign with the same attitude. How do you react when you get an unsolicited email? Are you annoyed because the sender assumed you would want to hear from them? I know I am. If you are like me, you have given your name and email address to a number of people in the course of doing business online. If I get an email related to that same subject from a person other than the one have I given permission to write, I feel affronted. Why should others feel any different?
If the people on your list have given you permission to write to them, they are interested in hearing what you have to say. This means they will most likely open your emails. They will at least give you a hearing. It is then up to you what you do with that. If your follow-up emails are well written with the obvious intention of providing them with worthwhile information that will help them, then you will have a receptive audience. It is a win-win situation and that is why it is regarded as best practice email marketing.
Is Your List Current?
Even with permission, make sure your list is current. How long is it since they have heard from you? If it is, say, six months, they have probably forgotten you. If you are starting a new campaign it is a good idea to get their permission again. You cannot assume their original permission still stands unless you have been in regular contact.
You cannot assume they want to hear from you. You are one of thousands who are trying to get into their inbox. Have you noticed how spam emails are growing? You only have to check your folder. It’s no wonder people are reluctant to open emails from an unknown or unsolicited source. Many people have a simple rule of not opening emails from an unknown source.