E-Commerce Link: E-mail Strategies for Corporate Governance
Is e-mail communication so successful for your company that everyone wants to get in on the act? In many organizations, the marketing, sales, public relations, product marketing and market research departments all want to develop outbound e-mail communications. Many of these business units are likely to be unversed in e-mail best practices and legal issues. The end result can be a free-for-all that can damage your brand, annoy your customers and create serious liabilities for your company.
The first step you should take is to centralize the governance of your e-mail programs. Groups within your company can use e-mail, but you should establish rules and standards. Even if your company’s use of e-mail is limited, it still is advisable to develop a strategy for oversight of the e-mail channel. Here are some thoughts for an integrated approach.
Create a Road Map
Develop a grid that outlines every group that uses e-mail and the primary purpose of its communications. It might look something like this (see chart) in a typical company.
The goal is to map out all the major e-mail touchpoints. Once you’ve done this, identify a contact in each group who has primary responsibility for e-mail efforts. This is the beginning of your governance committee.
Name one person or department in your organization to be responsible for the overall administration of your company’s various e-mail efforts. This individual or business unit should have a keen understanding of the e-mail landscape, keep abreast of industry issues and trends, and have the power to make policy and decisions on the company’s use of e-mail.
Educate Groups on Can Spam and Permission Practices
You must establish standards for legal compliance with the Can Spam Act and any other laws (many of which are industry-specific) that may affect your e-mail programs. Establish levels of permission for the major types of e-mail you send and consider implementing a companywide opt-out policy.