email marketing audience

How to maintain your reputation and keep your audience happy

Email marketing is an essential tool for any business, but understanding its etiquette is even more important.

I’m not just talking about headline crafting, personalised copy or conversational style, but probably something that’s even more important than that if you want to protect your reputation.

What I’m getting at is complying with the regulations that go along with email marketing campaigns.

If your response to that is “regulations, smegulations, no one worries about that”, you’re wrong. People do care very much about that.

For starters, you can only send unsolicited emails to someone if they have given you their permission, or if you can apply the ‘soft opt-in’. This is valid if:

  • You’ve got someone’s details during the course of a sale
  • Where messages are only marketing similar products or services
  • Where someone is given a simple opportunity to refuse marketing when their details are collection and they don’t opt out
  • The recipient is given the opportunity to opt out in every email you send

Then, when sending your emails you must tell the recipient who you are and provide valid contact details.

Failure to comply with any of these regulations will not only see you being classed as a spammer, you could also be fined up to £5000.

Respect opt out requests

As mentioned above, all your emails must have an opt out link or button, so when the recipient has had enough of your emails they can easily stop them.

It is vital you respect their wishes.

I receive many newsletters and emails from companies that I do business with, or that I have been interested in at one time or another.

There are 2 in particular that are driving me mad at the moment.

A few months ago I decided to opt out of their emails because they were no longer relevant to me.

Both, within about 4 months, started sending me emails again, even though my opt out specifically showed that I no longer wanted to receive their communications.

Not only is this incredibly frustrating, it also shows a complete lack of regard for my wishes.

Yes, it smarts when you lose people from your marketing list, but is it worth getting the reputation of a spammer? I think not.

That’s why I’m writing this post.

When someone opts out, that’s it. Don’t resurrect their subscription further down the line without their permission because they won’t thank you for it.

Email marketing good practice

So what does good practice in email marketing look like?

If you follow these guidelines you won’t go too far wrong.

  • Always use opt-in based marketing as far as possible
  • Tell your subscriber what they can expect to receive from you when you collect their details
  • Clearly explain how you will use their details
  • Do not use pre-ticked consent boxes
  • Offer a simple and quick opt out method
  • Promptly comply with opt out requests
  • Deal with complaints and unwanted marketing quickly and effectively

Every communication from your company affects your reputation.

Make sure you comply with the wishes of your audience and don’t become a spammer.