6 Cross-Promotion E-mail Dos and Don’ts

No one likes to reinvent the wheel, which is why the temptation to share a sister brand’s or product’s e-mail list can be hard to resist. But not doing so can result in some pretty ugly ramifications, says Kelly Hogan, deliverability services specialist at New York City-based e-mail marketing services firm Experian Cheetahmail.

In a July 29 post, “Best Practices for Cross-Promoting Sister Brands,” on her company’s Email Responsibly blog, Hogan noted how sharing subscriber data across brands “has the potential to negatively impact reputation, which can adversely influence inbox placement for all of the sending brands.”

To cross-promote the right way via e-mail, Hogan presents four dos and two don’ts:

  • DO set the stage with a branded welcome e-mail series. Your goal here, Hogan says, is to “boost interest as well as brand recognition of the sister brand.” Establish the connection between the original and the sister by including all brand logos in the cross-promotion (and even in standard messages, to pave the way for future cross-promotions).
  • DO place the unsubscribe link for the co-branded promotion at the top of the cross-promotion e-mail. Since complaints lead the list of factors that get your e-mails filtered by ISPs, make the opt-out link for the cross-promotion contact prominent to head off complaints and reduce any subscriber irritation.
  • DO make it clear when prospects sign up to receive e-mails from your firm that the message mix could include efforts from sister brands.
  • DON’T change the “from” address that recipients have been used to seeing on e-mails from the brand that initially drove them to sign up for contact. Leverage this recognition to keep your complaint rate low and help facilitate a positive reaction to the brand you’re introducing.
  • DO help build audience awareness of brand relationships in general by featuring your brand/product logos (and other information, as appropriate) on your preference center page(s). When subscribers join, modify or leave your e-mail program, says Hogan, they’ll be exposed to your brand portfolio.
  • DON’T forget to give recipients a reason to welcome cross-promotion e-mails. Include relevant and valuable content that subscribers can use, whether that be a discount offer or how-to tips.

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