Thou Shalt Not Spam & Avoiding Being Called a Spammer

A lot of non-marketers think of marketers as nothing but spammers.  It’s easy to understand why. We all get mountains of spam emails on a daily basis – regardless of whether or not we gave out the email address.

But unless you want to be prosecuted and condemned for sending spam emails out, you’ll want to take precautions to be careful about who you email and why.

Spam is defined as unsolicited email messages that are sent out to the masses.

True Internet marketers don’t mess with spam because it hurts their credibility, risks their accounts, and doesn’t convert as well as targeted, welcomed email does.  You can have your ISP ban you for sending spam, and you can lose your autoresponder account, too.

It’s far better to use an opt-in form where people willingly enter their first name and email address.  In fact, it’s best to utilize the double opt in option most autoresponders provide.

A single opt in is when you just let the person enter their information once.  But what’s to stop one person from going around entering another person’s contact information for unethical reasons?

You want a double optin to protect yourself.

At least, in most instances.

I use single optins after a customer has purchased from me, as no one else can sign up for them. That form is only for buyers. I let them know on the optin form that they will be receiving an email from me.

Here’s how double optin works:

The user lands on your website and sees an opt in box, asking for their first name and email address.  They enter it (usually in exchange for a free download or the promise of information at a later date).

Then the autoresponder tool automatically sends out a verification email.

The end user gets the email alerting them that they’ve signed up to be on your list, but it asks them to verify their subscription by clicking on a link in the email.

This means if someone goes to your site and signs someone else up, that person will get a notification and have the option to decline if they weren’t the ones who really opted into the list.

Make sure you abide by permission marketing standards.

These people trust you enough to hand over important details, so don’t sell their contact information or abuse it in any way.

If you respect the people on your list, it will grow and you’ll have a ready-made list of prospects that can help you earn more money on both a short and long-term time frame.

There are as many as 180 billion spam email messages sent each and every day.

This is why Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and other email service providers use software called “spam filters” to try to improve the relativity and quality of emails their customers receive.

It can be tough to build your list if your emails keep getting flagged as spam.

When your email does get through to the intended recipient on your list, you want to make sure it is highly related to the topic which got that person to sign up on your list in the first place.

One way to ensure that your list members don’t feel like you are spamming them is to let them know what to expect.

Your very first “Thank You” email should deliver whatever opt-in freebie you promised.

You should also let your new subscriber know how often you will be sending emails, what those emails will be discussing, and any other information you will be sharing.

This guarantees your subscribers understand exactly when and how you will be contacting them.

Spam-Free Best Practices from Email Autoresponder Services

AWeber, GetResponse and the other most popular autoresponder services agree that the following practices will considerably help to get your emails into your subscribers’ inbox, instead of getting swallowed up by a spam filter.

1 – Get permission first. On your opt-in form, squeeze page or landing page, be very clear that someone will be signing up to your email newsletter in return for your opt-in bribe.

2 – Use a “From” name your subscribers will recognize. Research reported by campaign shows that “68% of Americans base their decision to open an email campaign on the “From” line.” Make sure they recognize who you are and what is being sent.

3 – Segment your list. Buyers and non-buyers need to be receiving different emails from you. You can do this simply with list segmentation, a part of all major autoresponder services.

4 – You should also make it very easy for someone to opt out. Believe it or not, being very open and upfront about how to opt-out of your list actually leads to higher loyalty rates.