I have managed email marketing for clients for over 7 years. I see unsubscribe messages that make my toes curl. And the vitriol embedded in the rejection just seems to be getting more intense as time goes by. As with social media, when we can communicate incognito, we tend to use language we wouldn't if it were face to face. What I find very interesting is that often some of the most ungracious unsubscribe reasons given are offered by people who do their own email marketing. I suppose I incorrectly assume a supportive common thread among entrepreneurs. The adage "what goes around, comes around" is very true, as a small business owner you are your brand. If you get negatively personal in any kind of electronic communication, you may find others won't be so interested in what you have to say. But what can be equally damaging, is when an email is reported as SPAM with no reason given.
- According to EConsultancy's Email Marketing Industry Census 2014, revenue from email has increased proportionately by 28% in one year.
- Email Marketing was ranked as the best channel in terms of return on investment, with 68% of companies rating the channel as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
- Email Marketing has an ROI of around 4,300% (according to the Direct Marketing Association)
How do you tell the difference between someone just trying to make an honest buck and an untrustworthy email? What is SPAM?
Email spam, also known as junk email or unsolicited bulk email (UBE), is a subset of electronic spam involving nearly identical messages sent to numerous recipients by email. Clicking on links in spam email may send users to phishing websites or sites that are hosting malware. Spam email may also include malware as scripts or other executable file attachments. Definitions of spam usually include the aspects that email is unsolicited and sent in bulk.
My Two Cents
Nefarious emails usually:
- Make an assumption for you - Example: An email that looks like an invoice telling you that you need to renew a service you never signed up for. See an example HERE.
- Closely mirror or illegally represent well-known brands, tell you something is wrong and give you a link to fix it - Example: An email that looks like it is coming from PayPal telling you that you need to change your credit card or social security information by clicking on a link.
- Offer you something personal (usually money or relationships) with an attached file to look at.
Now compare these definitions with a newsletter from a legitimate small business owner. Would you really call that SPAM?
OK - So, you still don't want the email!
What if we unsubscribed like we would breaking-up with a romantic relationship gone cold?:
- "It's not you, it's me - I just can't handle so much email in my life."
- "After much self-reflection, I have discovered what you have to offer isn't what I'm looking for."
- "Your service just doesn't meet my needs."
- "I've found another product I'd rather be with, I'm sorry it had to end this way."
- "I'm not interested, but we can still be friends. Don't email me, I'll email you."
All right, do-it-yourself email marketer, I have gone to bat for you. Now you can do your part by making sure your emails have these important elements:
- Clearly state who you are and where you are located.
- Give helpful information related to the field your product or service is in.
- Use direct links to your website.
- Always offer an unsubscribe link and diligently manage your unsubscribe list.
- Offer a list of choices for the unsubscribe that will help you target your marketing better.
If you would like help developing an effective marketing plan, check out my consulting services. An hour's discussion with me can save you month's of trial and error.