Spam Fallout: Let's Not Agree to Disagree
As an agency or service provider, you've likely been faced with the challenge of dealing with a client who wants it done their way—no matter what. When you're sending thousands or millions of emails, this type of stubbornness can have an impact well beyond one campaign. Sometimes agreeing to disagree can be detrimental to not just their business, but also yours.
Our client had accumulated a sizeable email list—names collected using standard business practices and one that, if used for direct mail, would have been stellar. However, as you know, scanning badges at events or researching email addresses for people with whom you've had limited contact doesn't make for an opt-in email list and presents risks beyond simple undeliverability—it can mean being marked as a spammer for the foreseeable future.
In our first event with this client, after considerable discussions surrounding how often they were sending, what they were sending, and how well they knew the individuals, we sent to their entire list. The trouble came after the send when we found spam complaints to be ten times higher than industry-acceptable limits. Further conversations revealed we were simply speaking a different language. To them, opt-in meant they had acquired the list through their day-to-day, typical business transactions. To us, opt-in meant someone had completed a form or clicked a link to specifically grant permission to receive email correspondence. This gap in communication resulted in not just poor campaign results, but also putting the client's domain on the radar of spam cops the world over.
After re-developing the campaign strategy and adopting a much more conservative approach, the client wasn't happy with the slow migration of their master list into a proper opt-in list. In fact, they were so unhappy, they demanded we scrap the process and go back to blasting the entire list, sans the required opt-in. This made for terse discussions and the resolution just couldn't be, "Let's agree to disagree."
Email marketing is the most effective way to increase sales, improve service, and keep your customers engaged. Email campaigns are best bolstered through an integrated strategy that crosses channels and meets your constituents where they congregate and in the media they prefer. “The Integrated Email” provides best practices and ideas for developing strategies and deploying email campaigns and initiatives while keeping an eye on revenue attributable to marketing.
Cyndie Shaffstall, founder, Spider Trainers, is a successful entrepreneur and prolific author, with many books, dozens of eBooks, and hundreds of articles to her credit. She is the former founder of ThePowerXChange, editor and publisher of X-Ray Magazine, and the current founder and managing member of Spider Trainers, a managed automated email services provider for companies around the world. Connect with Cyndie on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, or join her LinkedIn Group, the Marketing Resource Library for daily links to marketing-critical resources.